2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bears look to end skid against winless Giants

By ANDREW SELIGMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-09 12:01

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - On the surface, this would seem like an easy one for the Chicago Bears. They're trying to get back to winning against a team that hasn't won a game all season.

The problem is the New York Giants (0-5) are no strangers to victories no matter what their record says, so the Bears (3-2) aren't exactly breathing easy heading into Thursday night's game at Soldier Field.

They see a perennial contender, a quarterback in Eli Manning with two championship rings, and signs of danger even if there's a big zero in the win column.

``When you look at their personnel, they've got playmakers all over the field,'' Bears coach Marc Trestman said. ``They've got a future Hall of Fame quarterback that's got a couple of Super Bowls. ... They have firepower.''

They also have one of the league's worst defenses, a running game that ranks at the bottom and is injured, an offense that leads the league with 20 turnovers, and a quarterback with more interceptions (12) than anyone else.

They won't have starting halfback David Wilson. The team's first-round pick in 2012, he injured his neck against the Philadelphia Eagles last week and will miss this game.

The offensive line has struggled all season through injuries to center Kevin Baas and guard Chris Snee, and it's added up to this: New York matching its worst start since the 1987 strike season.

``I think our guys have handled it well, and I think they know that we can fix it,'' Manning said. ``They know that we can play better than what we are. They know we're capable of more and that we'll do whatever it takes to get that first `W.' I think that's been good.''

The fact that everyone in the NFC East is below .500 has Manning believing the Giants are not quite out of it. Beating the Bears would be a good start, and it would add to the percolating angst in Chicago.

Losses to Detroit and New Orleans have raised the anxiety level after a 3-0 start. The Bears struggled to mount a pass rush from the start, and that was before defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins suffered season-ending knee injuries.

On offense, they're still adjusting to Trestman's system. And they probably could have done without Brandon Marshall going public with his frustration over a lack of catches against the Saints, particularly given Alshon Jeffery's team record performance in that game.

Here are five things to watch when the Giants and Bears meet:

MISSING MARSHALL: It'll be interesting to see how often Marshall is targeted in light of his comments. He had five passes thrown his way and caught four for 30 yards and a touchdown. The Saints were blanketing him, and that created opportunities for Jeffery, who set a franchise mark with 218 yards. So do the Giants double up on Marshall? If they do, does Cutler force some passes to him or look more to another receiver such as Jeffery? Another possibility is the Giants pay more attention to Jeffery, which could ease the pressure on Chicago's Pro Bowl receiver.

GETTING IT BACK: The Bears didn't force any turnovers against Drew Brees and the Saints. Chicago has 14 takeaways and 55 points off turnovers. The Giants gave it away four times for 17 points against Philadelphia, with Manning getting picked off on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter.

UNDER PRESSURE: Losing both Melton and Collins left the Bears short-handed up front and dealt some more blows to a group struggling to wreak havoc. The only teams with fewer sacks than Chicago (eight) are the Giants (five) and Steelers (four), but there might be some hope for the Bears going against a shaky line. Manning's been sacked 15 times, tied for fourth in the league.

RUN WITH IT: The Giants haven't rushed for a 100 yards as a team yet after averaging 116.4 per game a year ago. They released No. 1 running back Ahmad Bradshaw to clear the way for Wilson. Now, he's out and Brandon Jacobs figures to make his first start since the end of the Giants' 2011 season. He played little last year with San Francisco because of injuries and a run-in with coach Jim Harbaugh.

NO DEFENSE: The Giants have allowed at least 31 points in each loss, tying an NFL record set by the Chicago Cardinals in 1954, and it's not hard to see why. They have no pass rush and can't get off the field on third down. Opponents have converted 39 of 79 chances, the second-highest percentage in the league.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

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Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

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Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

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Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

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San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

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