Tomorrow is the home-opener for the Chicago Bears, providing most fans the opportunity to see QB Jay Cutler and company live for the first time. Any of you going?
Traveling to Soldier Field will be Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
The Giants finished 12-4 last season, losing to the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. Of course, the Giants biggest offseason "move" was getting rid of Plaxico Burress, but they have a couple of exciting young WRs from April's draft to keep an eye on: Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden.
The Giants finished 2008 ranked #7 in total offense (helped largely by their NFL leading rushing offense) and 5th in total defense. For each of their personnel losses from last season, the Giants seem to have covered their bases well enough to have success again in 2009. And certainly one of the biggest factors will be the return of DE Osi Uminyiora.
I remember reading a while back something about the Giants for the 2009 season, which essentially said that their defense is young and stacked, and their offense hinges on the play of the WRs. Basically, if the WRs can be productive, the Giants will look like they did 18 months ago. If they don't step up, they'll look like they did 6 months ago.
For the game at Soldier Field, here are a few things to look for:
- A ton of rookie WRs looking to step up and make plays. The Bears need productive WR play as much as the Giants do, so it will be interesting to see which group of youngsters steps it up.
- Progress: Jay Cutler has almost two full quarters of football under his belt as a Chicago Bear, so look for him to be a bit more effective in tomorrow's game. The pass rush and secondary of the Giants will be relentless, but Cutler has had a solid week to improve his game.
- Even the Giants back-ups are strong, so I am looking forward to a game-long challenge for our offensive line. As we know, the Bears OL has a lot of new folks, so this will provide a great opportunity to see how everything is coming together.
- Caleb Hanie/ Brett Basanez will be under the spotlight, with the emphasis on Basanez. He may very well be fighting for a roster spot.
- And one thing that I am personally curious about: The fans. Soldier Field is undoubtedly going to be rocking harder than the Rolling Stones did in Super Bowl XL in 2006, so it will be interesting to hear about the atmosphere there. Whoever is going to be there, make sure you keep in touch.
What all are you interested in seeing (or hearing about) tomorrow?