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Pregame Warmup

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Bears set to battle rival Packers


The Bears will try to win their third straight game and at least maintain a share of first place in the NFC North when they host the rival Green Bay Packers Sunday at Soldier Field.

After recording back-to-back primetime road wins over the 49ers and Jets, the Bears (2-1) return to Chicago looking to snap a four-game home losing streak to the Packers (1-2).

The biggest challenge for the Bears will be to contain star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose 104.6 career passer rating is tops in NFL history. Rodgers is 10-2 in regular-season and playoff games he's started and finished against the Bears. He has won five of his last six starts versus Chicago, throwing 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

"He's Aaron Rodgers," said cornerback Tim Jennings. "He's going to make all the throws, make those plays. You've just got to minimize some of the stuff he likes to do, get to the quarterback, make him feel rattled and come up with some takeaways."

In Green Bay's first three games this season, Rodgers has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 697 yards with five touchdowns, one interception and a 95.1 passer rating.

Rodgers excels at extending plays with his feet, buying time to allow his receivers to get open. That's exactly what happened in last year's season finale when he beat a Bears blitz to throw a game-winning 48-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-eight in the final minute.

"He's got good feet and he can create more time with his feet," said linebacker Lance Briggs. "You're not going to find a quarterback in the league that's going to pinpoint the ball better than Aaron Rodgers. He can make any throw in the NFL. So that makes it tough.

"He's one of those guys that scrambles. Usually when a guy scrambles to his right or his left, their completion percentage goes down. His stays right around the same."

The Bears counter with quarterback Jay Cutler, who has passed for six touchdowns and no interceptions in the last two games and ranks ninth in the NFL with a 98.2 passer rating.

In last year's season finale, Cutler completed 15 of 24 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 103.8 passer rating. His 5-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall gave the Bears a 28-20 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Packers rallied for a 33-28 victory.

Five Bears players have already been ruled out of Sunday's NFC North clash: center Roberto Garza (ankle), left guard Matt Slauson (ankle), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), linebacker Shea McClellin (hand) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad).

Garza and Slauson haven't played since hurting their ankles in the first half of the season opener against the Bills. They will again be replaced by Brian de la Puente and Michael Ola, respectively.

Marshall (ankle) and defensive end Jared Allen (illness) both are listed as questionable.

Marshall initially injured his ankle in the second half of the Bears' season-opening loss to the Bills. A game-time decision the following week, he not only played against the 49ers but caught three touchdown passes. The Pro Bowl receiver then reinjured his ankle last Monday night versus the Jets, missing part of the first half and finishing the game with just one reception for six yards.

Allen has made 113 consecutive starts dating back to 2007 when he sat out the first two games due to a suspension when he played for the Chiefs. He has missed only one game because of an injury since he entered the NFL in 2004, and that came the fourth week of his rookie season.

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