Say Cheese

Lake Forest - Bears coach Lovie Smith knows about rivalries. He has been involved as a coach with Ohio State-Michigan, Tennessee-Florida and Arizona-Arizona State. <P> Tomorrow, he'll be a part of an even bigger one.

"Everywhere I've been, there's been people around that thought there was no other rivalry game like that one," Smith said. "This one, we started it all. We're the founding (NFL) franchise, so most of the rivalries, as I see it, take a back seat to this one."

The Bears (0-1) head to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers (1-0) in an NFC North showdown. Chicago is coming off a 20-16 loss to the Lions, while Green Bay beat defending NFC champion Carolina 24-14 Monday night.

Sunday's meeting is the 168th between the teams. The Bears hold an 84-77-6 advantage in the NFL's longest rivalry, but the Packers have won seven straight.

"It's a great rivalry, it always will be," Packers quarterback Brett Favre said. "I've been fortunate enough to play in a lot of them. And I think the more you play in them, the more you appreciate it.

"It's hard for a young guy to come in here this week and us convince him how important this rivalry is to not only this city and state, but really to the game of football."

Favre has been a Bears killer, winning 20 of 24 games against Chicago and throwing more touchdown passes (48) against the Bears than any other team in his career. On the other sideline, since Favre took over for Green Bay on Sept. 27, 1992, the Bears have had 16 different starting QBs. In his 14th season, Favre is now second on the all-time passing touchdown list with 347 and has started 190 consecutive games.

Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye will get his first taste of the rivalry. Ogunleye's ability to get pressure on the future Hall of Famer will be a key to the game.

"He's arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game," Ogunleye said. "So when you're talking about the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, you definitely have to put him at the top of the list."

Favre can break the NFL record for consecutive touchdown pass games against one opponent. Favre has thrown a TD in 24 straight games against the Bears.

Another Bears concern is standout running back Ahman Green, who last week rushed for 119 yards on a career-high 33 carries and all three Green Bay touchdowns against Carolina. Last year against the Bears, he ran for 256 yards and three TDs. One of the best all-around running backs in the game, Green is coming off a 20 -touchdown season with more than 2,200 yards of total offense.

While the Bears defense played well against the Lions allowing just 262 yards of total offense, the unit will have come up with an even better effort against the balanced attack of the Packers.

Chicago forced just one turnover in Week 1. With Rex Grossman in his fifth career start the offense will need as much help as possible and working with a short field would help.

Bears at Green Bay
When: Noon Sunday
TV/Radio: Fox (Ch. 32)/WBBM-AM (780)

Bear Report Top Stories