Prime for defeat

The significance of the Cardinals' shocking upset of the Packers on Sunday didn't escape the Bears, who host Green Bay next Monday night in the first game at new Soldier Field.

"It doesn't matter if you're the Bad News Bears or if you're the Arizona Cardinals," said Bears wide receiver David Terrell. "You go out there and you strap 'em on just like everybody else and you practice hard every week. They deserved to win, and that's who won. This week we're going to go out and practice hard and try to get us a win that we need."

It was Terrell's 52-yard reception on a Monday night against the Packers at Champaign that provided one last, late gasp for the Bears in their 34-21 loss at Memorial Stadium last Oct. 7. That was the last catch of the 2002 season for Terrell, who fractured a bone in his left foot on the play, and it was the third of eight straight losses for the Bears, who have now lost 14 of their last 16.

But, in the parity-mad NFL, a Bears victory over the 1-2 Packers could move the winners into second place in the talent-starved NFC North. The Lions are also 1-2 but play at Denver on Sunday. The Vikings are 3-0, but it wouldn't be a surprise if they lost their next three games to the 49ers, Falcons and Broncos. Besides, all six teams that started last season 3-0 failed to make it to the postseason.

"It is what it is," Terrell said. "It's a big game, and right now it's the biggest game of the year. We have to understand that, and I think everybody understands what we've got to do. It's just about us being professional and getting it done, however it may be we have to do it."

The Bears are counting on a boost in Monday's homecoming from their fans, but they realize they have to provide the crowd with something to applaud.

"Until we win, I don't know what message (the fans) are going to get," center Olin Kreutz said. "But we know the Chicago fans, and we know they're going to be there Monday night screaming their heads off for us to win. So, if we can get a win for them, I'm sure they'll keep coming back and they'll get the message."


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