(SportsNetwork.com) - Super Bowl dreams have turned into October nightmares for the winless New York Giants.
In fact the scariest thing this Halloween season has been the play of Eli Manning and his teammates.
A Giants team which actually placed a Super Bowl countdown clock in their own locker room and fancied themselves as a legitimate title contender is now at 0-5 a scant five weeks into the season as they prepare to take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Hindsight now says the Giants' dream of playing in another Big Game in their own backyard was nothing more than a fairytale, derailed by a perfect storm of injury and ineptitude that has engulfed "Big Blue" and head coach Tom Coughlin.
"There are only two ways to finish out this season," said veteran defensive lineman Justin Tuck. "Figuring out some kind of way to right this ship and get some positive momentum going here. Or you can sulk and feel sorry for yourself and have the worst season ever in Giants history."
New York is 0-5 for the first time since the strike-shortened 1987 season after committing four turnovers that were converted into 17 Eagles' points. The Giants now have a league-high 20 giveaways through five games, including 12 Manning interceptions after the struggling quarterback was picked off three times in the fourth quarter against Philly.
"Offensively, we just have to take care of the ball better. It's as simple as that," said wide receiver Victor Cruz. "We make plays when we have the ball in our hands and we are pitching and catching, moving the ball up the field. When we turn the ball over, that's when things go awry."
The injury-riddled Giants also saw another key player go down against the Eagles when running back David Wilson exited in the first quarter with a neck injury. Wilson has already been ruled out for the Bears.
Manning did accumulate 334 yards against Philly despite completing just 24- of-52 attempts and he hit Rueben Randle for a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Hakeem Nicks racked up 142 yards on nine catches in the setback, while Randle put up 96 yards on six grabs.
The Bears, meanwhile, are also scuffling a bit, dropping two straight games after a 3-0 start.
The latest setback came in the Second City on Sunday when Garrett Hartley booted four field goals and Drew Brees threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints remained perfect with a 26-18 decision over Chicago.
Alshon Jeffery led the way with a franchise-record 218 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches for the Bears. Jay Cutler finished 24-of-33 for 358 yards and had another scoring pass to Brandon Marshall, while Matt Forte totaled 55 yards on 12 carries in defeat.
"Against a team like that, the way they played offensively and ate up the clock it's hard to rebound if you miss three or four plays in the game," Cutler admitted.
This will be the 49th regular season meeting between the Giants and Bears with Chicago holding a 27-19-2 advantage. The Giants have won two straight in the series, however, and their last four at Soldier Field.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
This is already the Giants' worst start in a non-strike-shortened season since 1979 when Joe Pisarcik kicked off that campaign at quarterback for Ray Perkins until the coach pulled the plug and went to rookie Phil Simms, a move that eventually jump-started the franchise and returned it to relevancy.
Barring a hiccup here and there, New York has remained competitive ever since, punctuated by its four Super Bowl championships after the 1986, 1990, 2007 and 2011 seasons.