Something to Prove

The Bears took it personally when the Panthers were talked about like they were a lock to roll into Chicago and come out with a win. The outcome proved otherwise and now Carolina has revenge on their mind.

With an impressive 23-0 win over the New York Giants serving as further proof they can win big games on the road, the Panthers will look to avenge one of only two road losses this season when they meet the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Panthers' offense played its worst game of the season in the last meeting in the Windy City on Nov. 20 as Jake Delhomme dug the Panthers an early 10-point hole with two key interceptions and was sacked a season-high eight times.

It's pretty clear the Panthers, especially those on the offensive line, are thrilled to get another shot at the Bears.

"Oh yeah, I remember that game. It's an ugly memory," said right tackle Jordan Gross.

Gross said it was embarrassing to give up eight sacks.

"It's a big chance for redemption," Gross said. "We didn't play well there last time and we know it won't be easy this time, but we've got a chance to go in there and show them we're a lot better than we played last time."

Travelle Wharton said he's anxious to go back to Chicago and avenge a poor game in which he gave up three sacks.

"The main thing for me is to not let my teammates down," Wharton said. "I felt like I let them down the last time."

Carolina's defense actually played well against the Bears in the last meeting. Ten of Chicago's 13 points were the result of Delhomme interceptions that were returned inside the Carolina 20-yard line.

This time around, however, the Bears will start Rex Grossman at quarterback instead of Kyle Orton.

"We're looking forward to it," said defensive end Mike Rucker. "It's one of those things where you have to learn from your mistakes. We look forward to going back up there. We've been on the road before and we've won on the road before. We're not going to let that affect us."

Despite holing the Panthers to just a field goal, WR Steve Smith torched the defense for 169 yards on 14 receptions.

"The thing about their defense is that there is no trick about it. We know how they are," Smith said. "We saw how hard they hit and how hard they play. There is no mystery about it. That's an advantage for us and that's an advantage for them, because they know us and we know them."

Guard Mike Wahle said he expects another physical game.

"It's going to be a battle. It's going to be a real physical battle," Wahle said. "They have an excellent defense. Their offense, with Grossman in there, is turning some heads. The environment up there, I can't imagine how cold it's going to be. I love it. It's going to be fun game."

Carolina is 7-2 on the road, while Chicago allowed just 61 points in going 7-1 at Soldier Field.

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