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Eli Manning

COMMENTARY | The New York Giants will try to avoid their first 0-6 start since 1976 when they pay a visit to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Thursday, October 10.

On paper, it looks like a horrible match-up for Big Blue, which is hurting on the offensive line and in the secondary. But the Bears have lost two straight games, so there's a chance for an upset. Here's a look at five players who could lead New York to its first victory of the season:

QB Eli Manning -- David Wilson is out with a neck injury, so Manning may have to pass the ball at least 50 times for the Giants to have a chance in this game. He's completing only 53.7 percent of his passes and has thrown a league-high 12 interceptions, but the Bears' 27th-ranked pass defense is giving up 278.4 yards per game. The key will be how much time Manning has to throw the ball.

DT Johnathan Hankins -- In his season debut, Hankins made five solo tackles and helped the G-Men hold the league's leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, to 46 yards on the ground last week. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the team's second-round pick graded +3.7 against the run. Hankins will have to pitch in again for Big Blue to stop Matt Forte, who has 375 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

WR Hakeem Nicks -- Nicks is coming off his best game of the season, a nine-catch, 142-yard outing against the Philadelphia Eagles. But he had zero catches the week before against the Carolina Panthers. Which Nicks will we see on Thursday night? The Giants need their big receiver to be on point against the Bears, and hope he can find the end zone for the first time this season.

CB Prince Amukamara -- Amukamara, the Giants' first-round pick in 2011, has been one of the team's few bright spots so far this year. He'll draw his toughest assignment of the season in Brandon Marshall, who has posted 378 yards and three touchdowns despite a recent slump. Veteran Corey Webster has been ruled out, so Amukamara must be lead the beleaguered secondary by example.

S Will Hill -- In his first game back from a four-game suspension, Hill played every defensive snap and made 11 solo tackles against the Eagles in Week 5. With Big Blue's secondary in shambles, Hill is going to get another chance to make a difference. He'll help keep tabs on Marshall and the red-hot Alshon Jeffery, who has 15 receptions for 325 yards with two touchdowns over the last two weeks

Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.

Sources

Pro-Football-Reference.com.

The Official Site of the New York Giants.

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