EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – What to watch for tonight when the Bears take on the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in preseason game No. 3.
1.All eyes on the line – It has been talked about all week long, almost to ad nauseam, but there is no denying that it’s final exam time for an offensive line that has been far from pulling passing grades since training camp started. Pay attention to the left side in particular, with tackle J’Marcus Webb and guard Chris Spencer in pass/fail mode against the Giants elite front line.
2.The middle – Nick Roach is the fill-in for Brian Urlacher, as long as the Urlacher and the mystery surrounding his injured left knee are on the sideline. Giants quarterback Eli Manning has several young tight ends he would love to break in against Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2, so Roach will be tested against the run and pass.
3.Safety dance – No Chris Conte [shoulder], no Brandon Hardin [neck], which means Chris Steltz is the next man up, working next to Major Wright. The Bears insist that both Conte and Hardin will be ready for the start of the season, but that remains to be seen.
4.All systems go – The Bears have been bragging about all the weapons they have on offense, but going right down the field against Washington like they did last week is one thing, the Giants? That’s a big boy defense that will test Jay Cutler and his receivers to the extreme.