A win at Pittsburgh would extend the Bears winning streak to nine games, while sending the Steelers to their fourth straight defeat and deal their playoffs chances a crushing blow.
Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
SERIES: 27th meeting. The Bears have dominated the series, 19-6-1, but this is the first meeting in seven years, and the Steelers have won the past two games, 17-12 at home in 1998 and 37-34 at Soldier Field in 1995. The Bears won the first 13 meetings, from 1934-49.
2005 RANKINGS: Bears: offense 28th (5th rush, 32nd pass); defense 1st (7th rush, 2nd pass). Steelers: offense 20th (10th rush, 23rd pass); defense 10th (4th rush, 21st pass)
BEARS: Seek first nine-game winning streak since 1988-89. ... Have not allowed more than 10 points in their past four games. 16.4 -- Averaging point total allowed by the Bears since the start of last season, tops in the NFL. The Steelers are second at 17.0.
STEELERS: RB Willie Parker needs to average 53 yards over the final four games to become the first Steeler to rush for 1,000 yards since Jerome Bettis in 2001. ... WR Hines Ward has caught at least one pass in a franchise record 115 consecutive games. 4 - Steelers left who were on the team when they last played the Bears, in 1998: Jerome Bettis, Alan Faneca, Deshea Townsend, Hines Ward.
BEARS PERSONNEL NOTES
S Mike Brown will miss is first game of the year because of a calf strain he suffered late in the week. The six-year veteran is third on the team in tackles (89) and interceptions (3).
PR Bobby Wade will reclaim the job this week after Rashied Davis muffed two punts against Green Bay last week. Wade his nine fumbles on the year, which is the most of any non-quarterback.
RB Thomas Jones set a new career-high for rushing yards in a season against the Packers a week ago and needs just four carries against the Steelers for a new mark in attempts.
C Olin Kreutz will make his 100th career start for the Bears today. He's the active franchise leader in the category. He's also the only member of the offensive line to start every game this year.
STEELERS PERSONNEL NOTES
RB Jerome Bettis is likely to dress for the final four games, which likely will be the final four of his 13-season career. Bettis has 186 yards on 67 carries this season and is fifth on the NFL's career FB Dan Kreider not only has blocked for Jerome Bettis but he also blocked for Bears CB Jerry Azumah when they played at New Hampshire and Azumah ran for a Division I-AA career-best 6,193 yards.
WR Hines Ward has three 100-yard games, more than he's had in a season since his career high of four in 2002.
P Chris Gardocki likely is in his final season with the Steelers. His 33.6 net punting average ranks last in the league.
DE Aaron Smith, more than anyone in the Steelers front seven, is having a Pro Bowl season. His 15 quarterback pressures lead the team.
TE Heath Miller has six TD receptions, which ranks seventh among rookies at his position in NFL history. Mike Ditka set the standard of 12 in1961.