Goal to go

The Bears have a history of playing well coming out off a bye week, which is exactly what they need today against the Redskins.

The Bears are 10-5 following a bye week. Chicago has a 23-19-1 advantage in the serious with Washington and have won the previous two meetings. The Redskins won six straight before that, from 1989-99. The Redskins also knocked the Bears out of the playoffs in 1986 and '87, both times winning as road underdogs, as Joe Gibbs got the best of Mike Ditka. After the 1986 regular season, the 14-2 Bears were smoked 27-13 at home by the Redskins in the first round. The following year, the 11-4 Bears lost 21-17. Clinton Portis, Redskins running back
With 534 rushing yards in five games, Portis is the key to Washington's offense. Veteran QB Mark Brunell is nothing without a solid running game. With a four-game losing streak, the Skins are desperate for Portis to have a big game and get them back on track.

"Everybody knows the whole key to stopping that offense is stopping Clinton Portis. He's not real confident yet in that offensive scheme -- you can see that by the way he runs the ball. He just doesn't run as hard as he did out in Denver. We have to get after him early and often and force them to beat us with the pass." -- Bears DE Michael Haynes

Brian Urlacher, Bears linebacker
Urlacher caught the bye week at the right time and got two weeks off to rest his hamstring. Portis is one of the game's best backs and can bust a big one at any moment. Washington loves to run the ball, so Urlacher has a big challenge in front of him.

Another key matchup
Jonathan Quinn, Bears quarterback
After flunking his first test against Philadelphia, Quinn has a lot to prove today. With two weeks of extra practice, the Bears are expecting better results from Quinn. This is a huge game for Quinn to show he can handle the load the rest of the season.

Washington defense
The Redskins are only allowing 79 yards rushing a game (second in the NFL), so the focus will be on Quinn more than ever. Since Washington will try and take away Thomas Jones, the Bears' biggest offensive threat, Quinn will get his chances in the passing game.

Game time
Washington and Chicago have played 43 times in series history, the most recent meeting last season when the Bears defeated the Redskins 27-24 at Soldier Field. The Redskins have won six of the last eight games, though the Bears have prevailed in the past two meetings. The two teams have played seven times in the postseason. The Redskins have beaten the Bears twice for the World Championship, although it has been quite a long time, 1937 and 1942.

Washington's president
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs needs nine victories to reach 150 career wins. He has reached 10 wins or more in eight seasons and he has reached 14 wins twice during his career, in 1983 and 1991. Gibbs is also exceptional during the postseason, with a 16-5 record and is one of only five coaches to reach the Super Bowl four or more times. He is also the only coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks.


Bear Report Top Stories