Week 3 Preseason NFL Picks: August 24th 2012
Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants
Current Line: New York Giants (-3/41)
The Chicago Bears visit MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. to take on the New York Giants on Friday at 8pmET. The Bears are 1-1 this preseason after edging Washington 33-31. The Giants are 1-1 after beating the Jets 26-3 last week. Last season, the Giants crushed Chicago, 41-13, laying 4.5 in their second game of preseason.
Weather: 81 degrees and 13% chance of rain.
Chicago is coming off a 8-8 SU, 7-8-1 ATS and 9-7 Over. Last year, they went 3-1 ATS in the preseason while Lovie Smith is 16-16 SU, 13-17-3 ATS and 17-16 Over in preseason. The Giants are coming off a disappointing 9-7 SU regular season, but made the playoffs and won the Super Bowl. They were also 8-7-1 ATS and 8-7-1 Over. Last year, they went 2-2 ATS in the preseason. Tom Coughlin is 39-33 SU (NYG, Jax) lifetime in preseason, 36-31-5 ATS and 39-28-2 Over. (all stats are before preseason started).
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The Giants will be holding their first true home game since capturing last season’s Lombardi Trophy with a hard-fought 21-17 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI, though Big Blue was in its familiar venue for last weekend’s annual preseason encounter with the fellow Met Life Stadium-tenant Jets. The Giants looked very much like an elite outfit in that one, taking the latest battle of New York with a convincing 26-3 triumph over their crosstown rivals.
Excellent defense set the tone for last Saturday’s rout, with the Giants sacking quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow a combined seven times while limiting the Jets to a meager 148 total yards on the night. The unit also came through with a touchdown when rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley intercepted a hurried Sanchez and returned the pick 77 yards late in the first half.
The Giants’ offense wasn’t quite as crisp, with Super Bowl XLVI Most Valuable Player Eli Manning going just 7-of-14 for 62 yards and tossing an interception before exiting at halftime.
New York will probably be without top receiver Hakeem Nicks once again, though the big-play wideout did resume practicing this week as he recovers from a broken foot sustained earlier in the summer. Will Beatty, the Giants’ projected starter at left tackle, remains sidelined indefinitely with a lingering back issue, however, with veteran Sean Locklear filling in during the interim.
The Giants continue to be banged up on the defensive end as well. Tackles Chris Canty (knee), Shaun Rogers (blood clot in leg) and Marvin Austin (back) will all sit out another week, as will linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee). Hosley joined the list of walking wounded when he left Saturday’s win with a turf toe injury.
Chicago bounced back from a lopsided home loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the opening week of the preseason to down Washington last Saturday at Soldier Field. The Bears wound up holding on for a 33-31 decision over the Redskins, but had built a comfortable 30-10 lead after three quarters before Washington rallied against the bottom members of the Chicago depth chart.
Starting quarterback Jay Cutler and understudy Jason Campbell both fared well in the win, with the pair combining for 263 yards on 16-of-28 passing. The Bears’ offense also got good games out of a pair of rookies, with second-round wideout Alshon Jeffery coming up with three catches for 62 yards and fourth- round tight end Evan Rodriguez gaining 49 yards on his three grabs.
Offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall added 61 yards on two receptions for the Bears, who finished with 307 net passing yards as a team.
Chicago was hit with a few concerning injuries against the Redskins. Starting free safety Chris Conte will miss the rest of the preseason after dislocating his shoulder, while rookie backup Brandon Hardin was carted off the field with a neck problem in the third quarter and punter Adam Podlesh strained his left hip.
The Bears are already without defensive leader Brian Urlacher, with the decorated middle linebacker to be held out of the entire exhibition slate to build strength in his surgically repaired left knee.
Chicago: LB Brian Urlacher (knee) is out indef. S Chris Conte (shldr) is out. S Brandon Hardin (neck) is out. P Adam Podlesh (hip) is dbtful. New York Giants: WR Hakeem Nicks (knee) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back) are dbtful. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand) is ? OT Will Beatty (back) is out indef. DT Shaun Rogers (calf) is out indef. CB Terrell Thomas (knee) is out indef. DT Chris Canty (knee) is on PUP list
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