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Bears begin preparing to face Bucs

Three days after their victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The contest is the second of five home games over a six-week span for the Bears (4-6), who are tied for third in the NFC North with the Vikings (4-6) behind the Lions (7-3) and Packers (7-3).

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Kyle Long and the Bears wiill battle Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers Sunday.
The Buccaneers (2-8) have struggled this season, but they're coming off their best game of the year, a 27-7 road win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday. Tampa Bay is coached by Lovie Smith, who compiled an 81-63 record in the same position with the Bears from 2004-12.

The Bears lead the all-time series with the Buccaneers 36-18, including 20-6 at home. The Bears won the last meeting 24-18 on Oct. 23, 2011 at Wembley Stadium in London. Matt Forte rushed for 145 yards and one touchdown and the defense intercepted four Josh Freeman passes.

In two career games against the Buccaneers, Jay Cutler has completed 44 of 66 passes for 453 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 78.7 passer rating. He currently ranks fifth in the NFL with 250 completions, tied for sixth with 21 TD passes, seventh with 2,695 yards and 11th with a 93.4 passer rating.

The Bears rank 13th in the NFL in offense (19th rushing and 10th passing) and 19th in defense (15th against the run and 25th versus the pass). The Buccaneers rank 28th in offense (28th rushing and 19th passing) and 27th in defense (22nd versus the run and 30th versus the pass).

ChicagoBears.com will provide all the latest news throughout the week from Halas Hall. Coach Marc Trestman will address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Defensive end Jared Allen, linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will be available Wednesday, while Cutler, Forte and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer will speak Thursday.

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