Inside the Bears-Packers game

The Bears are a decided underdog in today's matchup. For Lovie Smith and Co. to have a chance at their first victory of the year, Ahman Green will have to be contained.

Eye of the storm
* Ahman Green, Packers running back One of the league's elite backs, Green ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns at Soldier Field last season. Not only is Brett Favre 20-4 against the Bears, but Green has more yards (748) against Chicago than any other team during his career.

* Brian Urlacher, Bears linebacker
Urlacher said it Wednesday: Green's the guy you have to stop. As scary as it sounds to make Favre beat you, that's exactly what the Bears believe. They will do everything they can to contain Green, while crossing their fingers Favre has an off day.

Another key matchup
* Thomas Jones, Bears running back Jones will need to take some pressure off of quarterback Rex Grossman if the Bears are going to survive at Lambeau Field. Grossman has never played in front of the Cheeseheads, and the Bears will need a solid running game to take the pressure off of him.

* Packers' linebackers
Nick Barnett, Hannibal Navies and Na'il Diggs will key on Jones, and make Grossman beat them in the passing game. The Packers know Grossman is prone to mistakes, so they'll look to rattle the young QB on enemy turf.

Injury report
* Bears:
OUT: CB Jerry Azumah (neck); LB Marcus Reese (hamstring); G Rex Tucker (elbow); CB R.W. McQuarters has been taken of the injury list being list as questionable earlier in the week (ankle).

* Packers: OUT: DT Grady Jackson (knee); DOUBTFUL: DT Kenny Peterson (ankle); QUESTIONABLE: RB Najeh Davenport (hamstring), LB Torrance Marshall (hamstring); PROBABLE: T Kevin Barry (ankle), C Mike Flanagan (knee), LB Paris Lenon (thumb), TE David Martin (quadricep), LB Hannibal Navies (shoulder).

Bear hunter
Dominated by the Packers throughout the Brett Favre era, the Bears have lost seven straight games to Green Bay dating to 2000. Chicago has lost 20 of 24 games against the Packers since 1992, including 12 of 13 from 1992 to '98.

So we meet, again
The Bears and Packers continue the NFL's longest rivalry today as they meet for the 168th time (including one playoff game), with the Bears holding a 84-77-6 advantage.

The two teams met for 59 straight years, starting in 1923, until the players strike canceled both contests in 1982. Before Chicago's 1999 victory, Green Bay had won 10 straight, the longest win streak by either team over the last 78 years.

The series has been particularly tight in Green Bay, with the Packers holding only a 39-36-4 home record at Lambeau Field. Chicago is 47-38-2 versus Green Bay at home. During the current Packers seven-game win streak, Green Bay has outscored Chicago by more than 12 points per game.


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