The Bears head to Cleveland to face the Browns. Both teams are 1-2 and in need of a win.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: FOX, Ron Pitts, Tim Ryan, Jay Glazer
SERIES: 13th meeting. Browns lead series 8-4 over Bears, but they gave met just once in the past 12 years, a 27-21 Bears victory in overtime on Nov. 4, 2001. The Bears scored 14 points in the final 28 seconds of regulation and then won on the Browns' first possession, when QB Tim Couch's pass was batted at the line of scrimmage by DT Bryan Robinson and picked off by S Mike Brown, who returned it 16 yards for the win. It was the second straight week in which Brown returned an interception in overtime for a Bears victory.
2005 RANKINGS: Bears: offense 27th (14th rush, 29th pass); defense 4th (9th rush, 5th pass). Browns: offense 12th (25th rush, 5th pass); defense 30th (26th rush, 30th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: Bears QB Kyle Orton has thrown one touchdown to six interceptions, but coach Romeo Crennel isn't likely to go overboard with various packages to confuse the rookie because the Browns are still getting adjusted to their new 3-4 defense. Chicago desperately needs to run the ball to put Orton in manageable passing situations, and rookie WR Mark Bradley needs to produce in his first career start to take pressure off Muhsin Muhammad, whose 16 receptions are four more than the Bears' five other receivers. The Browns also want to run the ball well on early downs to avoid facing the Bears' strong pass rush, which should only improve with DT Tommie Harris as healthy as he has been all season.
FAST FACTS: Bears: Are 10-6 (.625) following a bye. ... Muhammad has five 100-yard receiving games in his past six road games. Browns: Offense has just one touchdown in six red-zone possessions. ... Have forced at least one turnover in 16 consecutive games, tied with San Diego for the NFL high.
Bears Personnel NewsThe Bears signed kicker Robbie Gould to the active roster. He will kick if Doug Brien is unable to go.
SS Mike Brown (hamstring) practiced Friday and remains probable for Sunday.
S Mike Green, who was replaced as the starting free safety after Week One, would be part of a platoon that would replace starting SS Mike Brown (hamstring, probable) if he can't play Sunday. Green would share time with Todd Johnson.
SS Todd Johnson would be part of the Bears' replacement plan if SS Mike Brown cannot play on Sunday because of a hamstring injury. Johnson would share time with Mike Green.
PK Doug Brien (back) did not practice all week and has been downgraded to questionable for Sunday.
CB Jerry Azumah was removed from the injury list and returned to practice on Thursday. He is expected to play nickel and return kickoffs on Sunday.
The Bears placed linebacker Joe Odom on injured reserve. He played in two games this season before suffering an ankle injury in the contest versus Detroit on September 18.
BrownsQB Trent Dilfer ranks 20th in the league in third-down passer rating
(71.6 rating). Dilfer said he needs to be better there, especially in the
red zone. "That's where I want to play my best football," he said.
RB Reuben Droughns welcomed the return of Lee Suggs to full health,
even if it cuts into Droughns' playing time. "We're a different style of
running back," Droughns said. "When you got that you're going to throw
defenses off balance."
WR Dennis Northcutt has just eight catches for 62 yards in the team's first three games, totals far below what is expected of him. "I don't think he's gotten as many looks as some of the other receivers have gotten," coach Romeo Crennel said. "As a result he might not have been as productive as we all would like him to be and know he can be."
DE Orpheus Roye benefited more than any Browns player from the bye week. Roye had time to rest a sore knee. Thing is, the "injury" has not affected Roye's play one bit. He's been the team's best player.
LB Andra Davis is on pace for more than 200 tackles but shrugged it off saying: "I really haven't paid attention to the tackle totals. I'm just out there trying to get a victory."
LB Kenard Lang said a fast start is the key to curing the Browns woes at home. The team has not won a home game since Oct. 17, 2004, when they beat the Bengals. "You start fast you get the crowd into it and get going," Lang said.