Kickoff: Sunday, 7:15 CT
Television: NBC – Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer
Series: 174th meeting, including one postseason game. Bears lead 88-79-6 and had won three straight before the Packers upset them 26-7 in the regular-season finale in 2006 at Soldier Field, when Brian Griese and Rex Grossman combined to throw five interceptions. The Packers won 18 of 20 from 1994-2003.
KEYS TO THE GAME
To take pressure off the struggling passing game, the Bears need to get more out of RB Cedric Benson, who has proven to be far more effective inside than when asked to stretch plays wide. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner has also said he wants to get WR Devin Hester and rookie TE Greg Olsen more involved to give Griese more options. ... This could be the week the Packers' nonexistent running game comes back to haunt QB Brett Favre. Chicago is tied for the NFL lead with 16 sacks and will bring MLB Brian Urlacher on even more blitzes with no ground game to be scared of. Green Bay will see if it can get something going with the running attack, but most likely Favre will need to use the short passing game to keep the pass rush at bay and set up deeper shots downfield.
Bears: CB Nathan Vasher (groin) and LT John Tait (ankle) are not expected to play; CB Charles Tillman (ankle) is considered 50-50; DT Tommie Harris (knee) and RB Adrian Peterson (calf) should play.
The Bears have allowed 65 points in the second halves of the past two games. ... Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila needs a half-sack to tie Reggie White's career franchise record of 68.5.
LB Lance Briggs
Nam Y. Huh/AP Images
Bears: Vasher (groin) has not attempted to run yet, did not practice Thursday and will not play Sunday. ... Tillman (ankle) was limping badly Thursday, did not practice and is not expected to play. ... Harris (knee) participated on a limited basis in Thursday's practice and is expected to play. ... LB Lance Briggs (hamstring) missed Thursday's practice because of a court date stemming from his one-car crash last month, and he isn't expected to play. ... S Adam Archuleta (broken hand) returned to full practice with a smaller cast and said he would play.
Packers: Gbaja-Biamila learned Thursday that he is the team's all-time sacks leader. Elias Sports Bureau awarded Gbaja-Biamila a third sack in Sunday's game at Minnesota, giving him a team-leading 4.5 this season and 69 for his career. The late Reggie White had the club record with 68.5. Elias had taken a half sack from Gbaja-Biamila after reviewing the Week 3 game against San Diego. ... Jackson remains out with a strained shin, and head coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday that Jackson is doubtful for the game Sunday against the Bears. Jackson also was sidelined for the last game. Fellow rookie DeShawn Wynn would likely make his second straight start. ... TE Bubba Franks was removed from the injury report. He practiced Thursday, a day after he was held out merely as a precautionary team decision. Franks has endured knee soreness coming out of game days. ... Jennings is expected to practice Friday and make the start Sunday after being kept out of team drills Wednesday and Thursday to allow for more recovery for a chronically sore hamstring. ... C Scott Wells had full participation Thursday and should be good to maintain his starting role. He suffered a strained hamstring in practice last week but played from start to finish Sunday. ... LT Chad Clifton returned to practice on a limited basis after being out Wednesday because of an illness.
Bears 21, Packers 16.