My five things to watch in tonight’s 2012 Chicago Bears preseason game at the New York Giants:
1. Most importantly, when I watch, I certainly hope I see no more injuries! I know this is not something anyone can control, and in this game the players need to play into the first series of the 3rd quarter as a tune-up for the regular season. But as I’ve been telling everyone that has asked me how I feel about the Bears’ chances this season, I think they have as good a shot for great success as they have since 2006 as long as they don’t lose key players.
2. The focus has been on the competition at left tackle, but more importantly to me, how will the offensive line as a whole play? As I mentioned earlier this week, to me the play of right tackle Gabe Carimi was suspect last week as well, and it’s just as important for the line as a whole to play well as whoever ends up starting at left tackle.
3. Will the offense look as impressive on the road against the Super Bowl champions as they did at home against a team that is constantly in disarray (the Redskins)? This will be a great test.
4. How will the run defense fare? The first two games have been punctuated by a weakness against the run especially early on in games. Nick Roach will be starting at middle linebacker again-does he give us hope that the defense will perform if God forbid Brian Urlacher does miss playing time in the regular season? I personally hope to see Blake Costanzo get another long look at MLB as I was impressed by his play there against the Redskins.
5. Will the nine-year run with constantly revolving safeties be good enough to compete? With the injury to Chris Conte that is hoped to not keep him out in the regular season, Craig Steltz will be starting at free safety tonight. Steltz played admirably at the end of the 2011 season after Conte was lost last year; will he be good enough in 2012 to step in when needed? Will Major Wright stay on the field for the whole game without getting injured tonight?
6. OK can’t miss the sixth-will punter Ryan Quigley be good enough to fill in if Adam Podlesh has to miss significant time?
Enjoy the game.