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Bears begin preparing to host Panthers

Posted Oct 18, 2017

Three days after their exciting 27-24 overtime win over the Ravens in Baltimore, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday's home game against the Panthers.

Three days after their exciting 27-24 overtime win over the Ravens in Baltimore, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday's home game against the Panthers.

The Bears improved to 2-4 in Baltimore by rushing for 231 yards—the most the Ravens have ever permitted in a game in franchise history—and generating three takeaways, highlighted by a 90-yard interception return touchdown by safety Adrian Amos.

Mitchell Trubisky
Bears Mitchell Trubisky attempts a pass against the Ravens.

Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will make his third straight start Sunday against the Panthers. Operating a run-oriented game plan in Baltimore, the second pick in the draft completed 8 of 16 passes for 113 yards with one touchdown and a 94.0 passer rating.

The Panthers lost to the Eagles 28-23 last Thursday night, but they remain in first place in the NFC South with a 4-2 record. Carolina opened the season by beating the 49ers 23-3 and Bills 9-3 before losing to the Saints 34-13. The Panthers then rebounded to beat the Patriots 33-30 and Lions 27-24 before falling to the Eagles.

Carolina is led by head coach Ron Rivera, a former Bears linebacker and defensive coordinator. The Panthers offense is quarterbacked by Cam Newton, who has completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 1,476 yards with nine touchdowns, eight interceptions and an 85.3 passer rating this season. He has also rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries.

Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Bears from 2007-10, broke his foot in Carolina’s second game and is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks.

The Bears lead the all-time series with the Panthers 5-4 and have won three of the last four matchups. Carolina won the last meeting 31-24 on Oct. 5, 2014 at Bank of America Stadium. The Bears blew a 21-7 lead but rallied to regain a 24-21 advantage before the Panthers scored the game’s final points, capped by Newton’s 6-yard TD pass to Olsen with 2:18 remaining.

Entering Week 7 the Bears rank 26th in offense (3rd rushing and 28th passing) and 6th in defense (15th against the run and 8th versus the pass). The Panthers rank 19th in offense (22nd rushing and 17th passing) and 4th in defense (5th against the run and 7th versus the pass).

ChicagoBears.com will provide all the latest news throughout the week from Halas Hall. Coach John Fox will address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Trubisky and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will be available Wednesday, while defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and special-teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will speak Thursday.