Chicagobears.com | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

Pregame Warmup

Bears set to host Arizona Cardinals

forte_pw_main_092015.jpg

The Bears will look to rebound from their season-opening loss to the Packers Sunday when they host the Cardinals at Soldier Field.

The contest will feature the NFL's only two original franchises that are still in existence. The teams first met in 1920, the year the league was founded, splitting two games.

The Bears lead the all-time series 58-27-6 and have won six of the last eight. They won the last meeting 28-13 on Dec. 23, 2012 in Arizona, scoring two defensive touchdowns, limiting the Cardinals to 29 yards rushing and recording four sacks. The Bears rushed for 152 yards with Kyle Long gaining 88 yards on 12 carries before exiting with an ankle injury.

In three career games against the Cardinals, Jay Cutler has completed 62 of 104 passes for 776 yards with six touchdowns, two interceptions and a 107.6 passer rating. In two contests, Forte has rushed for 121 yards and one TD on just 17 carries, a 7.1-yard average.

The Cardinals (1-0) won their season opener last Sunday, beating the Saints 31-19 in Arizona. Quarterback Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes in his first game back from a torn ACL he sustained last season and has now won 14 of his last 16 starts.

Running back Andre Ellington rushed for 69 yards before suffering a knee injury that will force him to miss Sunday's game. He's expected to be replaced by Chris Johnson.

Johnson signed with the Cardinals in August after spending his first seven NFL seasons with the Titans (2008-13) and Jets (2014). He rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all six of his seasons with Tennessee, including 2,006 yards in 2009.

Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee both missed practice Friday and are listed as questionable, meaning that there's a 50 percent chance they'll play.

After sitting out the entire preseason with a calf injury, Jeffery returned to start the season opener and practiced without restrictions Wednesday and Thursday. But the veteran receiver developed hamstring tightness after Thursday's workout.

Generating a consistent pass rush will be a top priority for the Bears defense when they face veteran quarterback Carson Palmer Sunday. In last weekend's loss to the Packers, the Bears did not record a sack or even a quarterback hit against reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

"The most improvement we can make is just improving our pass rush and winning our one-on-one battles a little bit more than we did," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said during the week. "A big part of pass defense is pass rushing. We've got to do a better job of getting some heat on the quarterback."

Palmer looked very sharp last weekend in returning to action for the first time since tearing his ACL last November. The 13-year veteran passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and no sacks in a 31-19 win over the visiting Saints.

Palmer is 14-2 as a starter since Week 8 of the 2013 season, a .875 winning percentage that's tops in the NFL over that span. With a victory over the Bears, he would become the first Cardinals quarterback to win eight straight starts since Ray Mallouf won 10 in a row in 1948.

Palmer has excelled in the past against the Bears, winning all three of his career starts while throwing for eight touchdowns, one interception and a 120.3 passer rating.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising

Advertising