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The Week Ahead: Bears prep to visit Rams

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Three days after their 20-13 win over the Lions at Soldier Field, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to continue preparing for Sunday night’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles.

The Bears have not played in Los Angeles since Jan. 2, 1994 when they lost the 1993 season finale to the Rams 20-6 at Anaheim Stadium.

Last Sunday the Bears (4-5) snapped a four-game losing streak and leapfrogged the Lions (3-5-1) into third place in the NFC North. Mitchell Trubisky threw for three touchdowns and posted a 131.0 passer rating, the third highest of his career. Nick Kwiatkoski led the defensive effort with nine tackles, one sack and his first career interception after replacing an injured Danny Trevathan late in the first quarter.

The Rams (5-4) opened the season with three straight wins, then lost three consecutive games and followed with back-to-back victories over the Falcons and Bengals before losing to the Steelers 17-12 last Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Quarterback Jared Goff has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 2,610 yards with 11 touchdowns, nine interceptions and an 82.7 passer rating that ranks 28th in the NFL. Running back Todd Gurley is 23rd in the league in rushing with 428 yards and six touchdowns on 104 carries. Receiver Cooper Kupp ranks seventh in the NFL with 58 receptions for 792 yards and five TDs. Kupp’s 21 catches on third down are tied for the most in the league.

Like the Bears, the Rams have been hit by the injury bug this year after a relatively healthy 2018 season. In last Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, center Brian Allen suffered a season-ending knee injury. Right tackle Rob Havenstein will also miss Sunday night’s game against the Bears after hurting his knee in Pittsburgh. The Rams will also be without receiver Brandin Cooks, who will miss his second straight game since suffering his second concussion of the season.

The Rams defense boasts three players with at least 5.5 sacks: Linebacker Clay Matthews (7.5), defensive end Dante Fowler (6.5) and defensive tackle Aaron Donald (5.5).

Series history
The Bears lead 54-36-3 and have won two straight and six of the last seven matchups. The Bears won the last meeting 15-6 on Dec. 9, 2018 at Soldier Field. The Bears defense aced its stiffest test of the season, dominating an explosive Rams offense. The unit did not allow a touchdown, produced four interceptions and a safety, and held NFL leading rusher Todd Gurley to a season-low 28 yards on 11 carries. The defense constantly harassed Goff, who posted a career-low 19.1 passer rating.

Fun Fact
The Bears have won four straight games against NFC West opponents, sweeping the division last season when they defeated the Seahawks 24-17, Cardinals 16-14, Rams 15-6 and 49ers 14-9. The Bears have not allowed a touchdown in their last 11 quarters versus NFC West opponents.

Numbers game
The Bears enter Week 11 ranked 29th on offense in the NFL (28th rushing and 30th passing) and 9th on defense (9th against the run and 15th versus the pass). The Rams rank 12th on offense (tied for 20th rushing and 6th passing) and 11th on defense (tied for 5th against the run and 17th versus the pass).

Talk show
Bears coach Matt Nagy will address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Trubisky will speak Wednesday, while offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor will conduct press conferences Thursday.

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