1. Archive


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_ Bucs five straight victories over Chicago are the most by any team against the Bears other than Washington (six).

_ Bears have their version of the triplets - receivers Bobby Engram, Marcus Robinson and Marty Booker combined for 21 receptions for 206 yards at Minnesota last week.

_ Bears lead the series 30-14, but Tampa Bay has won the last five meetings and six of the last seven. The Bucs did not allow Chicago to score a touchdown last season, winning 6-3 at Raymond James Stadium and 20-6 at Soldier Field, a game which clinched the NFC Central title.

_ The Bucs have lost only one game at home to an NFC Central opponent at Raymond James Stadium since it opened in "98 (to Detroit in "98).

_ The Bears suspended fines for players being overweight this week so as not to dehydrate them for today's game at Raymond James Stadium.

_ Chicago is averaging a whopping 6.1 yards per carry rushing average. But it's deceiving, since QB Cade McNown rushed for 87 yards last week, the most by a Bears signal caller since Bobby Douglas.


Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson vs. Bears CB Thomas Smith.

Johnson is the Bucs biggest weapon in the passing game and the Bears signed Smith to blanket him the way he did in Buffalo when Johnson was not much of a factor last year in games against the Bills, with two, four-catch outings. But Johnson can impact the game in more ways than catching passes, as proven last week at New England when he had just four receptions.

"Thomas is a good corner," said Johnson. "He's probably a little underrated."

Bears WR Marcus Robinson vs. Bucs CB Donnie Abraham.

Robinson had seven catches for 86 yards last week at Minnesota and a TD. He is among the NFL's elite receivers and has a big size advantage over the Bucs defensive backs. Abraham is Tampa Bay's best cover corner, but he proved last week he can be vulnerable when he was beaten for a late touchdown by the Pats Terry Glenn.

Bears kick returner Glyn Milburn vs. Bucs special teams.

Milburn is perhaps the league's best and has burned the Bucs before. Tampa Bay is struggling in kick coverage and yielded three returns of 30 yards or more, including a 66-yarder last week at New England. Milburn equaled a career-high with seven kickoff returns at Minnesota for 175 yards. "We had him in the Pro Bowl," said Bucs coach Tony Dungy. "He's a tremendous returner, so we'll have our work cut out for us."

Bears QB Cade McNown vs. Bucs QB Shaun King.

The QB comparison is significant in this game since both played some as rookies and are full-time starters in their second year. King wasn't selected until the 50th overall pick and is 1-0 over McNown in head-to-head meetings. McNown, the 12th overall pick last season, was 0-2 vs. the Bucs.



"My game is totally different from practice. We can't cut, we can't grab, we can't get a quick hit to the face in practice. Now, in gametime, all that's legal. I can cut him, I can do pretty much what I want and coach Dungy won't get mad at me this time."

_ Bucs G Frank Middleton on facing ex-Buc Brad Culpepper


"The guy runs hard. Fumbles. It's nothing new, he knows he does."

_ Bears DT Brad Culpepper on Bucs FB Mike Alstott