PITTSBURGH — After recording comeback wins over the Bengals and Vikings at Soldier Field, the Bears hit the road for the first time this season Sunday night when they visit the Steelers.
The contest at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is the first of four nationally-televised night games for the Bears this season. Chicago (2-0) enters Sunday's action in first place in the NFC North, one game ahead of the Packers (1-1) and Lions (1-1) and two ahead of the Vikings (0-2).
Marc Trestman has joined Hall of Famer George Halas and Neill Armstrong as the only head coaches in Bears history to win their first two games. Halas won his first five en route to a 10-1-2 season in 1920, while Armstrong went 3-0 before finishing 7-9 in 1978.
The Steelers are 0-2 for the first time since 2002. They've lost to the Titans in Pittsburgh 16-9 and the Bengals in Cincinnati 20-10.
The Bears lead the all-time series 20-7-1. Chicago won the first 13 games between the two teams from 1934-49, the franchise's longest winning streak against any opponent.
The Bears won the last meeting against the Steelers 17-14 on Sept. 20, 2009 at Soldier Field. Chicago rallied from a 14-7 fourth-quarter deficit as Jay Cutler threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Knox with 6:21 to play and Robbie Gould kicked a 44-yard field goal with :15 remaining.
The win was Cutler's first as a member of the Bears. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 236 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 104.7 passer rating. On the Bears' final two scoring drives, Cutler connected on 9 of 10 passes for 92 yards with one TD and a 138.3 passer rating.
In two career games versus the Steelers, Cutler has completed 49 of 67 passes for 484 yards with five touchdowns, two interceptions and a 105.6 passer rating. In four contests against Pittsburgh, Brandon Marshall has caught 22 passes for 246 yards. Marshall's 133 receptions since joining the Bears last season are the most by any NFL player during that span.
In total yards, the Bears offense ranks 14th in the NFL (14th rushing and 17th passing), while the Steelers defense ranks 10th (25th against the run and ninth versus the pass). The Bears defense is 17th overall (14th against the run and 17th versus the pass), while the Steelers offense is 31st (31st rushing and 26th passing).
Last Sunday against the Vikings, Cutler completed 27 of 38 passes for 292 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. His 16-yard TD pass to tight end Martellus Bennett in the left corner of the end zone with :10 to play gave the Bears a 31-30 victory.
After recording only one sack in each of their first two games this season, the Bears defense is determined to generate more pressure on the quarterback Sunday night. But it won't be easy against the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger. The two-time Super Bowl champion excels at escaping the pocket and making plays with his feet.
Bears return specialist Devin Hester will look to build on one of the best performances of his NFL career. Last Sunday he broke his own single-game franchise record with 249 kickoff return yards, including clutch returns of 76 and 80 yards that came immediately after the Vikings had scored momentum-swinging touchdowns on a 105-yard kickoff return and a 61-yard fumble return.
The three-time Pro Bowler was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the 13th time in his eight seasons with the Bears.