Ready for a Rumble

LAKE FOREST -- Bryan Robinson took a day off Wednesday.<p> He's already volunteered for an overtime shift on Sunday.<p> The Bears defensive end, sore knee and all, will punch the clock at Lambeau Field when Chicago (9-2) heads to Green Bay to take on the Packers (8-3) in the biggest NFC Central Division game of the season.<p>

   "This is Green Bay week. There's nothing that's going to keep me out of this game," Robinson said Wednesday at Halas Hall. "Coach (Dick Jauron) gave me the day off (Wednesday). I'll be out there for the game. Guaranteed."

   For the Packers the game is simple: Win and gain a share of the division lead; lose, and fall two games off the pace with four games to go.

   The Bears have won the last two meetings in Green Bay, and have some revenge on their minds after the Packers stole a 20-12 victory at Soldier Field four weeks ago.

   "We know for damn sure we can beat the Packers. We're going up there for a little redemption," Robinson said. "This is a team that has always been a thorn in the Bears' backside.

   "I think compared to the first time we played them this means a little more to some of the guys that didn't recognize what the Green Bay-Chicago Bears rivalry means."

   In the last meeting, the Packers stuffed the Bears' running game and controlled Anthony Thomas. The rookie running back, who practiced Wednesday and is questionable after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, had 29 yards on his first five attempts against the Packers. However, Green Bay held him to 16 yards on 17 carries after that. The Bears finished with 43 yards on 25 attempts (1.7 avg.).

   The Packers rolled up 368 yards of total offense, including 268 by Brett Favre through the air and another 93 on the ground by running back Ahman Green. Green enters the Chicago game needing just 31 yards to become only the third running back in Packer history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

   The Bears and Packers hold the NFL's longest rivalry and will meet for the 164th time Sunday. Chicago holds a 84-72-6 record in the series.

   "This is a game as a football player or a football fan that you either love to watch or you love to play in," Favre said. "Chicago, what they've done this year, is outstanding. They're for real. You don't do what they've done and not be for real. It's a challenge that hopefully we're up for."

   Favre said he has some of his fondest memories playing against the Bears. He recalled the 1995 season when both teams came in with winning records and the Pack prevailed. It was the last time prior to last month's meeting that both teams came in with winning marks.

   "Every one of those games has been memorable," Favre said. "It's like the old high school rivalry you had growing up. Obviously you didn't have that 60,000 (people) in the stands, but the bad blood between the fans will always remain, in a friendly-type of way.

   "There's no other rivalry in football like it."    Besides Robinson and Thomas, defensive end Phillip Daniels, who had both eyes gouged in last week's win over Detroit, is questionable for the Packers game with a sore shoulder. However, like Robinson, Daniels said he would play.

   "Anybody that has any kind of knowledge of this game knows what's at stake," Bears defensive tackle Keith Traylor said. "It's going to be a battle; the big dogs are going to be out, and going at it."


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