Behind Enemy Lines with Giants' Featured Columnist Patricia Traina

Andrew DannehyCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 24:   Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears shoves Rueben Randle #82 of the New York Giants during a preseason game on August 24, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

A second consecutive loss has the Chicago Bears reeling, but they're not as desperate as this week's opponent, the 0-5 New York Giants.

In two straight weeks the Bears haven't been good enough on either side of the ball in the first half and it put them in a hole they couldn't recover from. They've been outscored by a combined 30 points in the first half of their last two games and weren't able to make enough plays in the second half to come back for the win.

The Giants aren't your standard 0-5 team as they were picked by many to win their division and a few to go to the Super Bowl. They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but have been plagued by mistakes. They're last in the league in turnover differential by a wide margin, but it just doesn't seem like that can continue.

For more information on this matchup I hit up Giants' Featured Columnist Patricia Traina. 

Patricia has over 15 years of experience covering the NFL. As her B/R profile states she:

Began her career with Inside Football, which exclusively covers the New York Giants. This opportunity has led to numerous opportunities to cover several major events such as four Super Bowls—three of which the Giants participated—the first-ever International Series game between the Giants and Miami held in London during the 2007 season, the NFL Draft, training camps, games and practices. 

As you'll see below, she has an interesting take on the matchup between two of the NFL's most storied franchises this week.


What is something you're concerned about with the Giants facing the Bears?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants yelling on the sideline during the 2nd half of the Denver Broncos 41-23 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jerse
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

I'm very concerned about the Giants' collective psyche. They've had some very frustrating losses and every week it's just one thing after another. They keep saying the right things, but talk is cheap, and sometimes I wonder if they all really believe what they're saying regarding staying together, getting back to work, improving, etc. Add to the fact that the Giants have a short work week and are coming off a deflating divisional loss, and I'm concerned about how "ready" they're going to be on Thursday.


My take

I agree, 0-5 has to be tough on every team and at this point they have to start wondering if they're doing things the right way. Still, I see a very talented, veteran team that can snap out of this funk and go on a long winning streak. They've played some tough teams with some very good defenses that have forced some big mistakes.


What is one area you think the Giants can exploit in the matchup?

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) is brought down by New York Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (99) and New York Giants safety Stevie Brown (27) during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLif
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I'll go with the strength of the team right now, and that is the defensive tackles. They've played very well against the run and have limited some strong rushers to under 100 yards. So I'll put my eggs in that basket given the way they've played to date.


My take

That could be huge in this game because the Bears need to run the ball to be successful. If the Giants can force the Bears into 3rd-and-long, it could be a long day for the Bears lackluster offensive tackles. Like with any quarterback, when you pressure Jay Cutler he will make mistakes. Lately, he's had a major issue with fumbling, but he's also been known to throw to the other team on occasion. I think every Bears fan remembers the last meeting between the two teams when the Giants knocked Cutler out of the game with a concussion. Another concussion—or injury of any sort—to Cutler could end the Bears season in Week 6.


Who do you think wins and why?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears passes against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on October 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Saints defeated the Bears 26-18. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I wish I could say the Giants will win, but they haven't given me a reason to believe that these problems that keep happening every week are about to go away any time soon.


My take

I'm cautiously optimistic about the Bears this game. The thing that gives me concern is that the one thing the Giants have done well offensively has been the Bears' biggest weakness. The Giants are tied for fourth in the league in passing plays of over 20 yards, while the Bears are next-to-last in giving those up. One could argue that was the sole reason they lost to the Saints. If they can't create turnovers and the offense struggles to block, the Giants could get their first win. I'm still picking the Bears 35-24, but this is a dangerous opponent.