A pessimistic Giants fan will say the season already is over. The optimist will point out that, even at 0-5 and entering a short-week matchup against the Bears in Chicago, the team is just two games out of first place in the NFC East. A win Thursday night won't do much to change their situation overnight, but coach Tom Coughlin likely would take any signs of progress at this point. Win or lose, here are three dire issues fans should be happy to see the Giants make great strides toward fixing in the Windy City.

Fewer turnovers

Since the cringe-inducing six giveaways against the Cowboys in Week 1, the Giants have committed three or four more in each game. That adds up to 20 on the season, which is eight more than the next-worst team in that category, the Jets. It would be a small victory to commit two or fewer turnovers against a Bears defense that is third in the NFL in take-aways. That means Eli Manning's throws cannot continue to wind up in opposing defensive backs' hands.

Hold Bears under

30 points

The Giants have yet to prevent an opponent from scoring more than 30 points this season. Dating back to the end of last season, their last seven losses have been by 31 points or more. They're not just bad right now; they're historically bad. The franchise holds the record for points allowed per game in a 14- or 16-games season, having surrendered 35.8 ppg during the 14-game 1966 season. Through five games this year, the Giants defense has allowed 36.4 ppg. Much more of this, and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will be looking for work.

Salvage the

running game

Just one team has gained fewer rushing yards this season than the Giants, and that's the Steelers. Of course, Pittsburgh already had it's bye week -- as have five other teams that have accumulated more yards on the ground. Complicating matters is starting running back David Wilson missing Thursday night's game due to a neck injury. If the trio of Brandon Jacobs, Da'Rel Scott and Michael Cox can cross the 100-yard mark against a Bears defense that allowed 98.2 ypg on the ground, fans should count that as a small victory.

Biden to address nation . . . LI unemployment rate rises . . . Sands Point mansion Credit: Newsday

Plane crash latest . . . Biden to address nation . . . Netanyahu speaks to Congress . . . Ocean Beach escape

Biden to address nation . . . LI unemployment rate rises . . . Sands Point mansion Credit: Newsday

Plane crash latest . . . Biden to address nation . . . Netanyahu speaks to Congress . . . Ocean Beach escape

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