The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

October 10, 2013

Bears hope to end skid

(Continued)

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:

MISSING MARSHALL: It’ll be interesting to see how often Brandon Marshall is targeted in light of his comments. He had five passes thrown his way and caught four for 30 yards and a touchdown Sunday. 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 Jay Cutler force some passes to him or look more to another receiver such as Alshon 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 Eli Manning getting picked off on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter.

UNDER PRESSURE: Losing both Henry Melton and Nate 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 has been sacked 15 times.

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