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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Week 2 Nuts & Bolts: Bears at Packers

By Michael C. Wright

CHICAGO BEARS at GREEN BAY PACKERS

When: 7:20 p.m., Thursday | TV: NFL Network; WPWR | RADIO: 780 AM, WBBM & 105.9 FM

Jay Cutler and Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith listed beating Green Bay as his No. 1 priority, and Jay Cutler gives him a solid chance.

CHICAGO BEARS (1-0)


Coach: Lovie Smith Record including playoffs: 72-57

Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Mike McCarthy: 5-8 | Career record vs. Packers: 8-9

Last week: Defeated Indianapolis Colts 41-21

Key stat: Jay Cutler has thrown 2 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions on throws of at least 15 yards down the field against the Green Bay Packers since joining the Bears, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The 9 INTs are 5 more picks than the next highest opponent.

Offense rank in 2011: 5th (428 ypg) | Defense rank: 15th (356 ypg)
Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall said he's hoping Green Bay's DBs play defensively.

Offensive leader: WR Brandon Marshall made a smashing debut with the Bears, catching 9 passes for 119 yards and a TD against the Colts. Having produced 20 100-yard receiving games over his career, Marshall’s Week 1 performance went down as the most production from a player making his debut with the franchise since Harlon Hill gained 140 yards against Detroit back in Sept. of 1954.

Defensive leader: CB Tim Jennings recorded the first multiple-interception game of his career in Week 1 against the Colts by picking off two Andrew Luck passes. Jennings became the first Bear since Sept. 19, 2010 (D.J. Moore) to intercept two passes in a game, and has already tied his single-season high for INTs, having picked off two in 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Streaks

" A win gives the Bears their sixth 2-0 start under the current playoff format. The previous five times the Bears started 2-0, they made the playoffs on four occasions.

" The Bears have lost each of their last four games -- including the playoffs -- against the Packers, and haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 2007.

" In the seven games the Bears lined up with Chris Conte and Major Wright as the starting safeties, the club has nabbed 11 interceptions while allowing five touchdown passes and a passer rating of 66.4.


GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-1)


Coach Mike McCarthy: Record including playoffs 102-66

Career record vs. Smith: 8-5 | Career record vs. Bears: 8-5

Last week: Lost to San Francisco 49ers 30-22.

Key stat: During Green Bay’s 19-game winning streak from 2010-11, QB Aaron Rodgers completed 55.5 percent of his throws travelling 15 yards or more downfield, according to ESPN Stats & Info. In his last four games, Rodgers has completed 25.8 percent of those throws.

Offense rank in 2011: 18th (324 ypg) | Defense rank: 18th (377 ypg)

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has thrown a touchdown pass in 30 consecutive regular-season games at Lambeau Field, which is a franchise record.
Offensive leader: Aaron Rodgers passed for 17,037 yards from 2008-11, which ranks as the most yardage in NFL history for a QB in his first four seasons as a starter. Rodgers has thrown a touchdown pass in 30 consecutive regular-season games at Lambeau Field, which is a franchise record. In 63 regular-season starts, he’s finished 35 contests without an interception.

Defensive leader: LB Clay Matthews is the only player in Packers history to score a touchdown on defense in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, and his 17 sacks over his first 20 games ranked as the most by a player to start his career. Matthews is the first player in the NFL since 1982 to rack up double-digit sacks and a defensive touchdown in each of his first two years seasons in the league.

Streaks


" The Packers have generated 300 yards of total offense or more in a franchise-record 17 consecutive regular-season games, which serves as the longest current streak in the league.

" The Packers are one of two teams (New Orleans is the other) to finish in the top 10 in total offense in each of the last six seasons.

" Green Bay has won seven of 10 games played in Sept. since 2009, which ties Chicago, New Orleans and New England as the third-best record in the NFL in that month over the last four years.