Pre-Gamer: Panthers vs. Bears - NBC Chicago
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Pre-Gamer: Panthers vs. Bears



    This Sunday, the Bears will attempt to stop a two-game losing skid and emerge from the first quarter of the season 2-2. What do you need to know before sitting down to (hopefully) enjoy the game?

    Heisman watch: Cam Newton is tall, strong, and can throw the ball like a cannon. With 1,012 yards and four touchdowns so far, the Bears have to be worried about him on every single play. One of Julius Peppers' best games last season was against his former team. Can he come up with another great game against the Panthers and neutralize Newton?

    Finding offense: The Bears offense is not good, and if they are going to find their ability to score, it needs to be against the Panthers D. They're a middle of the pack team that doesn't make big plays, and big plays are exactly what Jay Cutler and his merry band of receivers need to make.

    Homecoming: Greg Olsen will want to put on a show for his former team, and he might have an easy time doing that against the Bears beat-up secondary. So far this season, Olsen has fit in well with the Panthers offense.

    Handling Steve Smith: Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman will have their hands full as they take on Steve Smith, who already has 349 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The best way to stop him is to hit him. Hard.

    More injuries: The Bears have been decimated by injuries. Luckily, they didn't lose anyone new in the loss to Green Bay, but Earl Bennett and Gabe Carimi definitely won't play. Chris Harris is unlikely to play, but the good news is that Marion Barber and Major Wright are expected to play. The Panthers are relatively injury-free. Only cornerback Chris Gamble is listed as doubtful.

    History lesson: This will be the sixth time the Bears play the Panthers. Chicago leads 3-2, with the last win happening last season in Charlotte.

    Gametime weather
    : Andy Avalos predicts a high of 64 and sun for the game, which will be a nice change for Carolina. They played their last game in a deluge.

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