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The Giants Meet Their Opposites This Weekend

The Bears look similar to the Giants, until you get to the record

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    After a week where every Giants flaw has been pointed out, stared at and magnified, it's time for a little bit of good news. There are still 13 games left to play and the first of those 13 is against a team that doesn't appear to be an insurmountable obstacle for Big Blue.

    The Bears have a terrible offensive line, their pass rush hasn't caught fire despite having a big name defensive end in Julius Peppers and they have concentrated heavily on passing the ball to make up for a fairly ineffective running game. That sounds pretty familiar. It actually sounds a lot like the Giants.

    Chicago's been a bit better about stopping the run, a bit worse at running the ball and much better on special teams but their 3-0 record obscures a team that's pretty much at the same level as the Giants. So why have they managed to come out on top each time this season? To make a long story short, they've wound up on top because they've benefited from all the mistakes that have crushed the Giants this season.

    The Giants have turned the ball over 10 times this season, plays that have loomed large in each of their losses. The Bears, on the other hand, have eight takeaways. Those have helped them win games despite giving up massive amounts of yardage in the air. The Bears have also come out on top when it comes to penalties. The Packers thoroughly outplayed them on Monday night, but 18 flags for 152 yards wound up handing the victory to the Bears. We all know the way the Giants melted down mentally against the Titans and handed over a game that they probably could have won if they played with a modicum of self-respect.

    There's no Giants version of the way the Bears beat the Lions in Week One -- a correctly applied ruling of a ridiculously stupid rule that wiped out a game-winning Calvin Johnson touchdown catch -- but you get the picture. The Bears have been below average in most phases of the game this season, but they've found a way to win games because factors outside their control have favored them every time they take the field.

    The Giants are also below average in most phases but they've compounded those disadvantages by being undisciplined in all phases. Saying that they just need to play smarter is sort of like telling the kid at math that he just needs to be better at math. If they were capable of doing so, they'd do so because, really, who likes to be known as the stupid kid?

    Instead we'll just point out that the Giants should be able to apply heavy pressure on Jay Cutler while keeping an anemic ground game under wraps. On offense, Eli Manning should be able to throw for a serious amount of yardage and the weaklings on the offensive line should be able to make a good impression for a change. That should add up to a victory and an end to two nightmarish weeks for Tom Coughlin. 

    Unless, of course, things just keep on working the way they have for the first three weeks of the season.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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