CHICAGO -- Marc Trestman won't take the bait that seems to be dangling here with the opponent that's coming to Soldier Field on Thursday night to face his Bears. Trestman wouldn't dare call the Giants a bad football team even though nearly every shred of evidence indicates they're just that this season.
The stats say as much, most notably the 20 turnovers the Giants have during their 0-5 start plus the league-worst 182 points they have given up.
The injury report furthers the case with so much reshuffling the Giants likely will start a 31-year-old running back (Brandon Jacobs) who began the regular season out of work; a linebacker (Jon Beason) who was acquired via trade with the Panthers six days ago; and a center (Jim Cordle) making his third career start as David Baas sits out with a neck injury.
Heck, the naked eye can identify this Giants team as a sputtering bunch that's not only losing but getting blown out with defeats by 18, 38, 24 and 15 points -- all in the last 25 days.
For a Bears team flustered by back-to-back losses and physically pulling itself together on an ultrashort turnaround, the orders for Thursday's game seem obvious. Stay sharp, play up to potential and a 4-2 record should escort the team into what could be a well-timed and relieving three-day weekend.
Still, Trestman won't allow himself to think that way. He sees danger in a Giants team coached by a respected and galvanizing leader in Tom Coughlin.
"He always has been able to get his teams ready," Trestman said. "And at moments like this, the fork in the road, he has had his teams ready to play. So we have to be at our best."
Trestman also refuses to look past any team quarterbacked by Eli Manning, whom Trestman classifies as a future Hall of Famer.
"I know the kind of player he can be. And he could certainly show up very easily on Thursday night," Trestman said. "And that's No. 1. The guy playing quarterback has been there and had his back against the wall and done it. We've all seen it. ... So that alone is enough to keep our eye on the ball."
Of course, Manning himself has been a big part of this season's struggles with 12 interceptions and a 65.8 rating that currently has him looking up in that category at the Vikings' Christian Ponder (65.9) and the Browns' Brandon Weeden (69.2).
Manning also threw three interceptions and had three intentional grounding penalties in last week's lopsided home loss to the Eagles. So, yeah, the Giants visit should have the Bears' defense eager.
"I'm not trying to review (Manning's) season," defensive end Julius Peppers said. "I'm trying to worry about the game we have (Thursday). And we're going to try to affect him and try to make him play bad."
An opportunistic defense that has forced 14 turnovers will grapple with a Giants offense giving the ball away at a record clip. A struggling Bears pass rush gets an opportunity against an line that has surrendered 15 sacks.
A Bears offense looking to move past the myriad miscues of the last two games faces a defense that allows 395 yards per game.
One of the few hints that the Giants are even remotely dangerous comes from the reality that they claimed a Super Bowl championship just 20 months ago. Bears tight end Martellus Bennett spent the 2012 season with them and knows better than to view Thursday's game as a "gimme."
"I think their win is coming," Bennett said of the Giants. "We just hope it's not this week.
"I mean, it's just like a sleeping giant. Sometimes you get to step over him and you don't wake him up. Sometimes you try to step over him and he grabs your leg. We don't want him to grab our legs."
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