One More Look

Daunte Culpepper to Randy Moss sounds dangerous against any defense. <P> It could be flat-out scary against the banged up Bears secondary.

One of the NFL's greatest combinations could be airing it out early and often against Chicago's secondary, which will be minus cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) and safety Mike Brown (Achilles' tendon). Both players were lost in last week's win over the Packers, with Tillman out seven to 10 weeks, and Brown was placed on injured reserve and is lost for the season.

The Bears are already missing corner Jerry Azumah (neck surgery) for a few more weeks. That means little used corner Todd McMillon or rookie Nathan Vasher will start alongside R.W. McQuarters, the team's third-best corner who will see plenty of Randy Moss.

The key for the Bears will be getting help on Moss from safeties Mike Green, Bobby Gray and second-year safety Todd Johnson, who will get his first start.

"This is one of the elite receivers (Moss), and this is one of the elite passers (Culpepper) in the league," Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "So I think (our guys) do look at this as a challenge and I think that these guys feel pretty comfortable with what we're trying to do right now.

"I think we have an opportunity to make some plays."

The Vikings are averaging 412.5 total yards per game, and Daunte Culpepper is tied with Eagles QB and Mt. Carmel grad Donovan McNabb for the NFL lead with six touchdown passes after two weeks. Opposite of Moss, will be former Bears receiver Marcus Robinson.

The Vikings are far from healthy, either. Offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal (foot) and tight end Jim Kleinsasser (knee) are both out for the season. Running back Michael Bennett (knee) is still not ready to play, while backup running back Moe Williams (ankle) isn't 100 percent.

The Bears know the best way to contain Culpepper and Moss is to keep them off the field. That means Chicago will need to move the chains and control the clock. Thomas Jones had 152 yards rushing against the Packers. The game will be on turf, which means his speed could be a factor.

"If we can have no turnovers and run the ball effectively -- offensively we're going to win a lot of games," Bears quarterback Rex Grossman said.

The Bears offense could be without Desmond Clark because of an ankle injury. The tight end is now questionable. Dustin Lyman would start if Clark were unable to go.

Bears (1-1) at Minnesota (1-1)
When: Noon, today.
TV/Radio: Fox (Ch. 32)/WBBM-AM (780).

Bear Report Top Stories