Goal to go

The Bears will ask Rex Grossman to do more than just hold onto the ball against Washington.

Eye of the storm
* Rex Grossman, Bears quarterback

After a solid outing in his first career start, Grossman will be asked to do more against Washington. He didn't throw any interceptions against Minnesota and the 'Skins rank 21st in the NFL in defense. That means Grossman could have a big game.

* Champ Bailey/Fred Smoot, Redskins cornerbacks
The two young corners have helped a secondary combine for 11 picks this season.

Coach Steve Spurrier coached Grossman for two seasons at Florida and knows him well. Washington could make Grossman vulnerable by mixing up coverages against the rookie.

Another key match-up
* Tim Hasselbeck, Redskins quarterback

The younger brother of Matt, Seattle's signal-caller, had a rough day against Dallas last week. Hasselbeck threw four picks and had just 56 passing yards and a 0.0 QB rating. With no running game, the 'Skins will lean on Hasselbeck big-time.

* Alex Brown, Bears defensive end
The team's sack leader could have a big day against a struggling team and an inexperienced quarterback. Brown had two sacks last week against the Vikings and has continued to be the team's steadiest pass rusher.

Injury report
* Redskins: RB Ladell Betts (arm), S David Terrell (knee) are doubtful; RB Trung Canidate (ankle), WR Taylor Jacobs (foot), OT Chris Samuels (knee), OL Brandon Winey (knee) are questionable; LB LaVar Arrington (knee), S Matt Bowen (knee), WR Laveranues Coles (toe), TE Zeon Flemister (neck), WR Rod Gardner (knee), S Andre Lott (ankle), RB Chad Morton (ankle), DE Bruce Smith (knee), LB Jeremiah Trotter (knee) are probable.

* Bears: G Chris Villarrial (side) is probable; QB Chris Chandler (shoulder), TE Desmond Clark (toe), T Mike Gandy (shoulder), TE John Gilmore (back), S Mike Green (groin), DT Keith Traylor (knee), S Cameron Worrell (knee) are questionable.

Extra special
The installment of R.W. McQuarters into the role of Chicago's featured punt returner in the second week of the season got the team's return units going in the right direction and both the punt and kickoff return units can now be found ranked among the top five in the NFL. McQuarters is ranked third in the NFL (second in the NFC) at 12.7 yards per punt return and has the Bears tied for third in the NFL at 12.2 yards per return. Meanwhile, Jerry Azumah has breathed new life in the team's kickoff return team. Azumah, who had two returns of 30-plus yards in his debut on Oct. 5 against Oakland, leads the league at 30.3 yards per average and has Chicago ranked third in the league at 23.9 yards per kickoff return. The Bears, Chiefs and Lions are the only teams to have run back both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown this season, while Chicago and Kansas City are the only two teams with two kickoff return touchdowns.

Scoring troubles
After outscoring their two previous opponents 31-0 in the fourth quarter, the Bears have been outscored in the fourth quarter by each of their last two opponents 22-7. Despite giving up Minnesota's only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter last Sunday, Chicago holds a seasonal scoring advantage in the fourth quarter of 105-101. The Bears allowed a season-high 15 fourth-quarter points against Green Bay on Dec. 7. Chicago has been outscored in each of the first three quarters of the game (first, 59-36; second 88-76; and third 43-36).

Quick hits
* The Bears snapped a six-game losing streak to the Redskins with a 20-15 win in 2001.
* The Bears lead the all-time series 22-19-1 vs. the Redskins.
* With a win, the Bears would have six home wins for just the fourth time the past 13 seasons.
* The Bears were flagged for a season-low three penalties last week against Minnesota.
* The Bears are 5-2 at home and have won five of their last six at Soldier Field.

Fast fact
The Bears have lost four in a row and five of nine all-time contests to Washington at Soldier Field, including playoff losses in 1986 and '87.


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