The Chicago Bears enter Week 6’s Thursday night game in the enviable position of facing a NY Giants team, now 0-5, that officially fell off the 2013 cliff of no return last week in its dismal 36-21 home loss to Philadelphia.
If legendary Bears boss George Halas were still alive, he’d no doubt be barking to be wary of an upset. It was almost exactly 50 years this week that his Bears, 5-0 at the time and en route to the league title, visited San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium to face a 0-5 49ers team that had been outscored 91-20 its previous five games. A week earlier, Chicago won its game down the road in LA over the Rams, 52-14.
Incredibly, San Francisco won 20-14. It was Chicago’s sole loss of the season and one of two 49ers’ victories. That game is one of only two in league history in which 0-5 has prevailed over 5-0.
Anyway, here’s closer look at Thursday’s game.
THURSDAY - PRO FOOTBALL OCT. 10
New York Giants (0-5) at Chicago Bears (3-2)
Time: 5:25 p.m. PST
Line: Bears by 8 (47½)
Facts: Although the Giants are just two games out of first in the NFC East, no team has ever recovered from 0-5 to reach the playoffs…Chicago had only two first downs on its first five drives vs. New Orleans last week but then the light went on for QB Jay Cutler. On the Bears’ next five possessions, they had 17 firsts, two TDs and a FG… Go figure: New York has held the league’s top two rated QBs, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo, to their worst passer-rating days of the year.
The Giants have gone 4-0 in Chicago since 1992, but before that were 0-6 that dating to their 1963 title game at Wrigley Field. In that long-ago showdown, New York’s original Mr. October, Y.A. Tittle, pitched 5 INTs in a 14-10 loss… Brandon Jacobs, an RB the Giants got from the reject bin last month, is the team’s alpha back now that David Wilson is out (neck). Jacobs’ norm is 2.2 a carry.
Analysis: The Giants and QB Eli Manning have a league-high 20 giveways, far and away the most in the league. At their rate of four a game, the Giants will be threatening Denver’s 52-year-old NFL mark of 65. Compounding their problem Thursday is that Chicago is third in the league in takeaways with 14.
Over the past seven seasons, teams that finished last in giveaways went 3-11 ATS (2-12 SU) when facing a team that was in the top three in takeaways. Finally, if Giants coach Tom Coughlin is indeed capable of stopping the bleeding of this lost season, why didn’t that happen couple of weeks ago after losing 38-0 to Carolina. In the Giants’ next game, they were smashed by KC 31-7.
Forecast: Bears 27, Giants 10
“Popular” Bob Christ has been forecasting NFL games for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in newspapers from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S. Contact him at [email protected].