Nuts & Bolts: Bears-Packers

December, 24, 2011
12/24/11
9:30
AM ET

BEARS AT PACKERS
| When: 7:20, Sunday | TV: NBC | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM

BEARS (7-7)

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)

[+] EnlargeKahlil Bell
Don McPeak/US PresswireBears running back Kahlil Bell should see more touches against the Packers this week.

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.

Streaks
• 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.



PACKERS (13-1)

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)

[+] EnlargeAaron Rodgers
Matthew Stockman/Getty ImagesAaron Rodgers is 99 passing yards away from setting the Packers' single-season record.

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.

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.

Streaks
• 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.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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