Defense has been offensive

Statistically, the Bears' defense is the NFL's worst in points and rushing yards allowed per game and second worst in total yards allowed.

Historically, the defense has been manhandled by the Packers. Quarterback Brett Favre is 18-4 lifetime against the Bears and has beaten them at their home field nine times in a row. Green Bay has scored 24 points or more in 13 of the last 17 games against the Bears.

And, while talk of sniping among Bears defensive teammates has been overblown, it has occurred, providing distraction and the appearance of dissension on top of poor performance.

It appears the deck is stacked against the Bears as they prepare to christen rebuilt Soldier Field Monday night against the Packers.

But to Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache, all is well.

"The one good thing is when the sniping does start, you take some lumps, (but) we huddle together," Blache said. "We pull in together. I love that atmosphere. I love us against the world."

Blache is already advocating a bunker mentality to help the Bears rally from an 0-2 start in preparation for Monday night's game, which could become a turning point.

"There's nobody you can trust but that guy next to you," Blache said. "What happens sometimes is we get comfortable with people from the outside, and I think it weakens us. When we're at our strongest is when things are against us and we have adversity and we do huddle together and count on each other. We talked about it (Wednesday) morning."

Despite the ineffectiveness of the first two games, not changes have been made in the starting lineup. Neither Blache nor head coach Dick Jauron has resorted to blaming individual players, but both have hinted that every player has to elevate his game.

Blache doesn't buy the contention that Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher hasn't made much of an impact this season.

"Football's a team sport and no one guy is going to carry the whole football team," Blache said. "We said all along we didn't want to be 'Urlacher and the Boys.' We want to be the Chicago Bears football team, and everybody's got to do their job and do their role. We need to all play better.

"We're here by our own doing, and the only way we're going to get out is to make a stand and get out together. We're not coming out one by one. We have to come out of this together. I'm confident we will come out of it. I'm not pleased with what's happened so far, but by golly we'll come out of this thing smoking."

Against the Vikings, the defense obsessed over the sudden death that wide receiver Randy Moss can inflict and instead wound up as road kill underneath 202 rushing yards. Against the Packers, Favre and running back Ahman Green make opponents respect both methods of transportation.

"You try to stop the run game, which is very effective with (Green)," Jauron said, "and then you've got to contend with one of the best quarterbacks who's ever played in the game. And the receivers (Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson) are good, and the tight end (Bubba Franks) we think is a tremendous player. So there's a lot to worry about there."

Blache just wants to make sure his defenders aren't worried about Packers from the past who have helped Green bay dominate what used to be a closely contested rivalry B.B. (Before Brett) but has turned one-sided lately.

"The only people we have to beat are the 22 people they put on the field Monday night," Blache said. "We don't have to beat (Vince) Lombardi or Curly Lambeau or anybody else. They don't have to beat any ghosts. If we take care of our job and do our things like they need to be done, I'll live with the outcome because I'm very confident it will be a positive outcome on our part."


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