Derail the run

GREEN BAY – To beat the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Sunday, the Packers will have to derail the A-Train one more time.<p> Bears rookie running back Anthony Thomas is the sixth-leading rusher in the NFC, with 638 yards on 150 carries. He also has scored four touchdowns.<p>

But against the Packers on Nov. 11 at Soldier Field, the A-Train couldn't get on track. He rushed for 45 yards on 22 carries, and gained 27 of them on seven carries on Chicago's first offensive series. After that, he gained 18 yards on 15 carries. Green Bay won 20-12.

Thomas is battling a sore hamstring. He has missed two games, but is expected to play Sunday. He'll be joined by James Allen, who filled in well for Thomas against Minnesota and Detroit.

"One of our main goals as a defense is to minimize the run, no matter who it is," said linebacker Na'il Diggs, who had two tackles and knocked down a pass against the Bears last month. "We need to keep them in long third down situations. There's a huge difference between third and four and third and eight."

"They know that we dominated their run game the last time we played them, so I'm sure they will feel like they have something to prove," said middle linebacker Bernardo Harris, who recovered a fumble in the Soldier Field game. "We go into every game with the objective of stopping the run."

The Bears have successfully run the ball their last two games at Lambeau. Last year the then-winless Bears rushed for 178 yards en route to a 27-24 upset win. In 1999, they gained 160 yards on the ground and won 14-13, blocking a Ryan Longwell field goal attempt on the last play of the game.

Thomas, a 6-foot-1, 226-pound battering ram drafted in the second round from Michigan, gives the Bears running attack power. Allen, a four-year veteran, gives it some speed.

"They are both threats," said safety Darren Sharper. "Thomas is a little more downhill, and Allen is more shifty. We have to watch out for both of them all the time."

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