Kickoff: Sunday, Noon CT
Television: FOX – Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Laura Omkin
Series: 86th regular-season meeting. Bears lead 48-34-3 and won the last meeting 42-27 on Dec. 11, 2006, at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won the previous four meetings from 1998-2003.
KEYS TO THE GAME
One the road against a struggling team, the Bears will let RB Matt Forte try to carry the load out of the gate. Chicago is looking to move the chains more consistently after converting just five of 26 third-down opportunities the past two weeks. St. Louis is last in yards allowed per pass play (8.9), but S Oshiomogho Atogwe has four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his past seven games and is the defense's one difference-maker. ... Behind a beat-up offensive line that struggles in pass protection even when healthy, Rams QB Marc Bulger needs to get rid of the ball quickly. In his favor is working against the Bears' 30th-ranked pass defense that is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete more than 60 percent of their passes. The underneath routes will be there, especially if Chicago blitzes more to beef up its paltry pass rush.
Bears: QB Kyle Orton (ankle) is expected to have improved mobility this week.
Rams: RG Richie Incognito (shoulder) is day-to-day; LT Orlando Pace (knee) is out.
The Bears have just one sack in the past 116 pass plays they have faced. ... Rams WR Donnie Avery is second among NFC rookies with 34 receptions and 485 yards.
DT Anthony Adams
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Bears: DT Anthony Adams is expected to be active Sunday for the first time in four weeks, as the Bears try to get more production from an underachieving defensive line. Adams was a productive eight-game starter last season but has played in just three games this season. ... CB Corey Graham is expected to play on alternate possessions on the right side, as he did last week, and could also get some snaps at nickel back. ... CB Nathan Vasher hasn't officially lost his starting job on the right side, but he is likely to split playing time for the second straight week with Graham. ... S Danieal Manning has a good chance of taking some reps from Devin Hester on kickoff returns, as he did last week. Manning has run with more aggressiveness than Hester in his 11 kick returns this season, averaging 26.5 yards to Hester's 21.8. ... LB Nick Roach, who has started the past three games on the strong side, moving ahead of Hunter Hillenmeyer, has been limited in practice this week (ankle), which could provide an opening for the incumbent to regain some lost playing time. Hillenmeyer missed two games with a thumb injury but was back last week, although his snaps were limited primarily to special teams.
Rams: G John Greco split reps with Incognito in practice Thursday. Incognito will start against the Bears this week, but it's still possible Greco will see some time. Said coach Jim Haslett, "I'd like to get John some work in games before the season is over." ... CB Ronald Bartell had no residual problems from practicing Wednesday after injuring his knee Sunday and wasn't even listed on the injury report after Thursday's practice. ... C Nick Leckey worked after practice Thursday on shotgun snaps following a bad day Sunday against San Francisco, when 14 of his snaps were too low. ... LB Chris Draft, who cracked a bone in his foot against Arizona Nov. 2 and has missed the last two games, is walking without a boot and could be ready for the Dec. 7 game in Arizona.
Bears 31, Rams 24.
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