AP pro picks: Bears will get back their roar against Giants
By BARRY WILNER
The Chicago Bears have two reasons to be in a nasty mood — consecutive losses to Detroit and New Orleans.
The Giants have five reasons to be ornery — defeats in every game so far this season.
New York is 0-5 for the first time since the 1987 strike-interrupted season, and on merit. The Giants can’t protect Eli Manning, who has been looking around for where the rush is coming almost as much as he’s been concentrating on receivers downfield. New York already has 20 turnovers, on pace to set a humiliating league record, and Manning has been picked 12 times.
Plus, the Giants can’t run the ball, and their only real threat at running back, David Wilson, won’t play today because of a neck problem.
On defense, the Giants rank 26th and can’t manufacture a pass rush. The secondary has been a mess and is ravaged by injuries.
Not a pretty picture.
“You just keep working and keep trying to improve and find out the mistakes I’m making and correct those,” Manning said. “If there are mistakes within the offense that are mental, if there are things we can do better, get everybody on the same page — and how do you fix those mistakes? Just have a positive attitude and keep working, knowing that we can get to play at a better level.”
Chicago’s level hasn’t been very high since winning its first three games. It can’t have helped the Bears’ mindset that top receiver Brandon Marshall complained about not seeing the ball enough after teammate Alshon Jeffery set a Bears record with 218 yards receiving.
“Two weeks ago in Detroit, we didn’t take care of the football,” first-year coach Marc Trestman said. “We moved the football, but didn’t take care of the football. Our defense turned it over for us and we didn’t take advantage of that.
“Last week, we had a poor start. We weren’t consistent throughout the game.”
Chicago (No. 12 in the AP Pro32) is an 8-point favorite over the spiraling Giants (No. 31, AP Pro32). Poor starts, inconsistency — even with those traits, the Bears can handle the Giants.
No. 9 Cincinnati (minus 7½) at No. 23 Buffalo
Not the best defense for QB Thad Lewis to make Bills debut against.
BEST BET: BENGALS, 20-7
No. 26 (tie) Washington (plus 5½) at No. 14 Dallas
Just a feeling the Redskins will be ready after their bye, Cowboys will be down after brutal loss to Denver.
UPSET SPECIAL: REDSKINS, 30-28
No. 2 New Orleans (plus 2½) at No. 7 New England
Brees vs. Brady. Drew has far more to work with right now.
No. 32 Jacksonville (plus 27) at No. 1 Denver
Time to swallow hard and lay the points.
No. 24 Oakland (plus 9) at No. 4 Kansas City
Shouldn’t be too much of a test for Chiefs, despite bitter rivalry.
No. 7 Green Bay (minus 3) at No. 10 Baltimore
Packers making too many mistakes on road.
No. 11 Detroit (minus 2½) at No. 16 Cleveland
Lions making too many mistakes on road as well.
No. 29 Pittsburgh (plus 1) at No. 17 New York Jets
Pittsburgh off bye, New York off short week, Jets rarely beat Steelers.
No. 5 Indianapolis (minus 1½) at No. 20 San Diego, Monday night
No way Colts looking ahead to Peyton’s visit next week. Well, maybe a little.
No. 15 Tennessee (plus 13½) at No. 3 Seattle
Seahawks just too tough at home for a so-so opponent with injuries.
No. 18 Arizona (plus 11) at No. 5 San Francisco
Like the Cardinals’ defense. Like the Niners’ D better.
No. 22 Philadelphia (minus 1) at No. 30 Tampa Bay
Now that Buccaneers have Josh Freeman fiasco behind them … they still lose.
No. 28 Carolina (plus 2½) at No. 26 (tie) Minnesota
Now that Josh Freeman is a backup in Minnesota, the Vikings … get a win.
No. 25 St. Louis (plus 7) at No. 19 Houston
Two of the most disappointing teams through five weeks.
Against spread: 3-12 (34-41-3). Straight up: 8-6 (48-29).
Best Bet: 3-2 against spread, 5-0 straight up.
Upset special: 1-4 against spread, 1-4 straight up.
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