Gameday: Bears vs. Redskins

Complete, indepth preview of Sunday's season opener between the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Takes on each ball club and gameday information inside!

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 9/11/05
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
SERIES: 45th meeting. Bears lead 23-20-1. Bears and Redskins met in four NFL title games from 1937-43, with each team winning twice. The Bears beat the Redskins 73-0 in the 1940 championship game.
*2004 rankings: Bears: offense 32nd (25th rush, 32nd pass); defense 21st (25th rush, 15th pass). Redskins: offense 30th (21st rush, 29th pass); defense 3rd (2nd rush, 7th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Turnovers and special teams could mark the difference between two teams with solid defenses going against unproven quarterbacks. The Bears are going with rookie QB Kyle Orton, and the Redskins will do everything they can to stuff RB Thomas Jones and stick Orton in long passing situations. The Bears must utilize the short passing game and get Orton comfortable early. Chicago's talented young defense was torched for 171 rushing yards by Redskins RB Clinton Portis this season. The Bears need to jump on QB Patrick Ramsey's mistakes if they hope to win, but that can't happen until they prove they can handle Portis. If Ramsey gets into the flow, look for the Redskins to try a few deep shots to speed WRs Santana Moss and David Patten.

FAST FACTS: Bears: Orton will be the 27th change at quarterback in the Bears' past 92 games. ... Forty wins in season openers is tied with the Giants for the most in the NFL. Redskins: Joe Gibbs needs four victories to join Marty Schottenheimer (182) and Bill Parcells (165) as the only active coaches with 150. ... Portis aims to become first player to have 150 rushing yards in each of his first three meetings with the Bears.

PERSONNEL NEWS:
Bears:

--DT Tommie Harris walked off the practice field Wednesday with a slight limp, but he was back Thursday without restrictions and is not listed on the injury report.

--CB Rashied Davis was third in the NFC with a 13.5-yard punt-return average, but the Bears have refused to proclaim him the starter at that spot for Sunday.

--WR Bobby Wade, who seems to have been surpassed on the depth chart by Justin Gage, Mark Bradley and Bernard Berrian, is still in contention for the punt-return job after averaging 11.9 yards in the preseason, including a 54-yard TD.

--DE Adewale Ogunleye tied for the preseason NFL lead in sacks with four. He had five in an injury-plagued campaign last season after leading the AFC with 15 in 2003.

--P Brad Maynard participated in only one preseason game because of a strained right calf, but he is not listed on the injury report and said he's completely recovered.

Redskins:
--RT Jon Jansen practiced with a padded cast to protect the left thumb he fractured during Monday's practice and will start on Sunday.

--WR Taylor Jacobs took part in a third straight practice after missing four weeks with a sprained left big toe. Although not 100 percent, Jacobs has a shot of being active on Sunday.

--SS Ryan Clark missed a third straight practice after re-injuring his sprained knee in last Thursday's preseason finale at Baltimore. Clark has been ruled out for Sunday.

--OLB Chris Clemons missed a third straight practice after straining a hamstring last Thursday against the Ravens and is out for Sunday.

--SS Matt Bowen took part in a third straight practice after missing a week with a badly bruised chest and should start against the Bears.


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