With his 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last Sunday, Jerry Azumah turned a bad special-teams day into a good one.
He fumbled his first return after a 10-yard gain, and his next four returns went for 23, 37, 17 and 12 yards. Azumah's 31.4-yard average leads the NFL, and he and the Chiefs' Dante Hall are the only players with 2 kickoff-return TDs this season. Azumah could be the Bears' best chance for a Pro Bowl player.
"I'm not really thinking about it," he said. "If it happens, it happens. I'm just trying to go out there and make plays, period. Our kickoff return unit, we have a lot of confidence and we have that feeling every time they kick off the ball that we can take it to the house. We're playing with the passion and pride and only thinking about that moment in time right then and there. We're not thinking about anything else."
BY THE NUMBERS: After Rex Grossman takes his first snap Sunday, the Bears will have used three starting quarterbacks this season, including Kordell Stewart and Chris Chandler. They used three starters last season: Jim Miller, Chandler and Henry Burris, and a fourth, Cory Sauter, played. In 2001, Miller and Shane Matthews both started games. In 2000, Miller, Matthews and Cade McNown all started games and all three also started games in 1999.
The Vikings rushed for 202 yards against the Bears in Week Two, including 108 on 21 carries by Moe Williams. But the Bears have held five of their last seven opponents to under 100 rushing yards.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Think quick and run fast." -- Fellow rookie Justin Gage's advice for quarterback Rex Grossman, who makes his NFL debut Sunday.
SERIES HISTORY: 85th meeting. Bears trail Vikings in series 46-37-2.
Vikings have won past two meetings, but Bears won three straight prior to that.