Chicago Bears: Sunday Matchups
| When: 7:20, Sunday | TV: NBC | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM
Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 73-59
Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Mike McCarthy: 5-7
Career record (including playoffs) against Packers: 8-8
Last week: Lost to Seahawks 38-14.
Key stat: The Bears are 11 of 50 on third-down conversions over the past four games. Since losing Jay Cutler to injury, the Bears offense ranks among the NFL’s worst in scoring (31st), passing yards per game (32nd), turnovers (31st) and first downs (31st).
Offense rank: 24th (312.6 ypg)| Defense rank: 17th (353.1 ypg)
Offensive leader: Running back Kahlil Bell makes his second start of the season, a week removed from scoring his first career touchdown -- a 25-yard reception in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Bell is averaging 4.2 yards on 39 attempts, and will see his workload increase with Marion Barber out because of a calf injury.
Defensive leader: Linebacker Lance Briggs leads the Bears in “stuffs” (tackling of a rusher for negative yardage) with 65.6 for 152.5 negative yards since 2003, according to STATS LLC. Seeking a new contract, Briggs has been on somewhat of a tear recently; recording double-digit tackles in six games, including 15 stops on Dec. 11 at Denver.
• A loss would put the Bears out of the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years.
• After winning five in a row, the Bears are in a midst of a four-game skid. Until now, the Bears hadn’t lost four consecutive games since 2009.
• The Bears haven’t won a game in which they trailed after the first quarter or halftime.
• Devin Hester hasn’t made a catch in two consecutive games. Before Week 4, Hester had caught at least one pass in 48 consecutive games, which ranked as the fourth-longest streak in franchise history.
Coach: Mike McCarthy | Record: 66-35| Last week: Lost to Chiefs 19-14.
Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 7-5 | Career record vs. Bears: 7-5
Key stat: A Green Bay victory would give it the distinction of becoming the second team in NFL history to defeat a team four times in the same year. Going back to Week 17 of last season, the Packers have already defeated the Bears three times in 2011.
Offense rank: 4th (397.8 ypg) | Defense rank: 31st (397.8 ypg)
Offensive leader: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs just 99 yards through the air to break the franchise’s single-season passing record of 4,458 yards set in 1983. Rodgers tossed his 40th touchdown pass against the Kansas City Chiefs. Interestingly, Rodgers has put together only one 300-yard passing performance against the Bears.
• The Packers have won 11 in a row at Lambeau Field and 17 of the last 18. The streak marks the longest regular-season home winning streak by the team since 2001-02 and is currently the longest home winning streak in the league.
• Counting the playoffs, Rodgers has generated passer ratings of 110 or better in 19 of his last 25 starts.
• The Packers have put points on the board on 55 of 59 trips to the red zone this season, which ranks second in the NFL behind the Detroit Lions.
Defensive leader:Cornerback Charles Woodson is tied for first in the NFL with seven interceptions, and 2011 marks the veteran’s fourth season as a Packer in which he’s tallied seven interceptions or more. Woodson is also the only NFL player to put together four seasons of seven interceptions or more since 2006.
| When: Noon, Sunday | TV: FOX | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM
Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 73-58
Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Pete Carroll: 1-1
Career record (including playoffs) against Seahawks: 4-2
Last week: Lost to Broncos 13-10 in OT.
Key stat:In the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Bears haven’t lost four in a row since 2009. That season, the team finished 7-9 and third in the NFC North.
Offense rank: 13th (319.6 ypg) | Defense rank: 20th (358.2 ypg)
Offensive leader: Receiver Earl Bennett is arguably the team’s most dynamic offensive threat. But the problem is he’s been neutralized over the last three weeks. After making 14 catches over Jay Cutler’s last three games, Bennett has produced just two catches for 10 yards over the last three weeks. Against the Broncos, Bennett finished without a catch for the first time all season.
Defensive leader: Defensive end Julius Peppers leads the Bears in sacks (9), and has produced three of those over the last three weeks, including two in the Nov. 27 loss at Oakland. A six-time Pro Bowler, Peppers ranks fourth in the NFL in career sacks (98) since coming into the league in 2002, and has recovered nine fumbles in 151 games.
• The Bears now have 19 takeaways in the last seven games, which is the most in the NFL since Week 7.
• The Bears haven’t won a game all season in which they trailed after the first quarter and are 17-25 under those conditions since 2004. The team is also 0-4 this season when it trails at intermission.
• Robbie Gould hasn’t missed a field goal from a distance of 50 yards or more all season (6 of 6), which establishes a single-season franchise record. Gould’s six field goals of 50-plus yards tie him for second in the NFL in 2011.
Coach: Pete Carroll | Record: 46-47 | Last week: Defeated the Rams 30-13
Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 1-1 | Career record vs. Bears: 2-2
Key stat: Under Carroll and general manager John Schneider, the Seahawks made 284 roster moves in 2010. Of the 53 players on the active roster, just 12 were with the team in 2009. Seventy-seven percent of the roster is in their first or second year with the club.
Offense rank: 27th (303.2 ypg) | Defense rank: 13th (335.2 ypg)
Offensive leader: Running back Marshawn Lynch has gained 100 yards or more in five of Seattle’s last six games. Lynch’s 969 yards ranks fifth in the NFC and seventh in the league, and he is on pace to become the franchise’s first running back to produce a 1,000-yard season since 2005 (Shaun Alexander).
• The Seahawks have rushed for 100 yards or more as a team in six consecutive games, which is the first time they’ve accomplished that feat since the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
• The Seahawks are tied for second in the NFL in fewest second-half touchdowns (9). Seattle has allowed 93 total second-half points all season, and just seven opponents have scored TDs against the Seahawks’ defense in the second half all season.
• Lynch has scored at least one touchdown in five of his last six games..
Defensive leader:Defensive end Chris Clemons has racked up 20 sacks in 29 games for the Seahawks. Clemons is fifth among defensive ends, sixth in the NFC, and ninth in the NFL in sacks since the start of last season. Interestingly, Clemons ranks among five 2011 Pro Bowlers (DeMarcus Ware, Jason Babin, Terrell Suggs, Cameron Wake and Clay Matthews) in sacks since 2010.