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Bears set to battle Packers on road

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Bears will look to snap a two-game losing streak and split their season series with the Packers when they battle their longtime rivals Sunday night at Lambeau Field.

The Bears (3-5) have lost four of their last five games since a 2-1 start and are in last place in the NFC North behind the Lions (6-2), Packers (5-3) and Vikings (4-5).


Jay Cutler and the Bears will look to improve to 4-5 Sunday night when they visit the Packers.The Bears lead the all-time series with the Packers 93-90-6 but have lost 10 of 12 meetings since 2009. That includes a 38-17 defeat Sept. 28 in Chicago. The Bears led 17-14 late in the first half before the Packers scored the game's final 24 points for their fifth straight win at Soldier Field.

The Bears did not force a Green Bay punt in the game. The Packers scored five touchdowns and one field goal on their first six possessions before Willie Young blocked Mason Crosby's 38-yard field goal attempt on Green Bay's last drive.

Aaron Rodgers completed 22 of 28 passes for 302 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 151.2 passer rating that was the second best of his career. Rodgers has now won the last eight regular-season and playoff games he's started and finished against the Bears dating back to 2008, passing for 19 touchdowns and five interceptions.

"He's one of the best," said defensive end Jared Allen. I'll bet when his career is over, he'll be up there with the all-time greats. When he gets into that rhythm, it's a scary thing to be on the other side of the ball."

One reason for the Bears to be optimistic is that Allen will play Sunday night after missing the Week 4 loss to the Packers while recovering from pneumonia. Allen has recorded 16 sacks in 13 career games against Green Bay.

As they kick off the second half of their season, the Bears are determined to improve their turnover margin, become more balanced on offense and do a better job of taking advantage of matchups.

In starting the season 2-1, the Bears were plus-four in turnover margin with eight takeaways and four giveaways. But in losing four of their last five games, they're minus-seven with four takeaways and 11 giveaways.

That includes minus-five in their last two contests with no takeaways and five giveaways in losses to the Dolphins and Patriots. It's the first time the Bears have failed to generate a takeaway in back-to-back games since 2010.

In trying to turn around the Bears' season, quarterback Jay Cutler is putting "quite a bit" of the responsibility on his own shoulders.

"I think all quarterbacks throughout the league put a lot of pressure on themselves, look at themselves as leaders of the team and energize guys throughout the week and get everyone Sunday ready to play," Cutler said.

Cutler is on pace to finish the season with the highest passer rating (95.8) and completion percentage (67.2) and the most touchdown passes (34) in his nine-year NFL career. But he has committed 12 turnovers (with eight interceptions and four lost fumbles) that have been costly.

Running back Kyle Long figures to play a significant role against the Packers, who rank last in the NFL in run defense. Forte rushed for a season-high 122 yards in a Week 4 loss to Green Bay and likely will be leaned on again as the Bears have made no secret of their desire to establish the run and be more balanced on offense.

"I think it's important to do whatever we have to do to move the ball," said coach Marc Trestman. "Running the ball is certainly a big part of that. We've shown we can run the football against them. We have been able to do that in the times that we've played them over the last couple years. So that will be a big part of what we're trying to accomplish."

Forte has three straight 100-yard outings against the Packers; the only backs with four in a row since 1960 are Walter Payton and Barry Sanders. Forte ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing with 562 yards, second in receptions (58) and third in yards from scrimmage (1,052).

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