Bears 24

(11-4, 4-3 away)

Packers 17

(3-12, 2-5 home)

5:00 PM ET, December 25, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
CHI 7 7 10 024
GB 0 7 0 1017

Top Performers

Passing: B. Favre (GB) - 317 YDS, 4 INT

Rushing: T. Jones (CHI) - 25 CAR, 105 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Driver (GB) - 6 REC, 107 YDS

Chicago (10-4) at Green Bay (3-11)

Chicago (10-4) at Green Bay (3-11) Sunday 5:00 pm EST

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- With the Chicago Bears on the verge of clinching the NFC North title, coach Lovie Smith is turning the offense over to Rex Grossman.

Grossman makes his first start of the season Sunday when the Bears visit the Green Bay Packers in a battle of division rivals.

The Bears can clinch their first division crown since winning the NFC Central in 2001 with a victory here or if Minnesota loses at Baltimore later Sunday. Chicago also can clinch a playoff bye with a win and losses by the New York Giants and Carolina, who both play on Saturday.

Smith, who has the NFL's top-ranked defense led by middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, made the quarterback switch at halftime of last week's 16-3 win over Atlanta, benching rookie Kyle Orton in favor of Grossman. Orton's 59.9 rating is the lowest in the NFL among starting quarterbacks.

Grossman would've been the starter heading into the season but fractured his left ankle in the second preseason game. The 2003 first-round pick also was limited to three games last season due to a knee injury.

"Getting a chance to play, it's one of those things that is extremely gratifying," Grossman said. "It's an opportunity I'm definitely going to take advantage of because of what I've been through. I've got a little bit more respect for the position I'm in."

Grossman completed 9-of-16 passes for 93 yards with an interception after replacing Orton last week.

"He was our starter before he went down and we have a lot of faith in him. We think he gives us our best chance to win," Smith said. "We needed to get the offense kick-started a little bit. Rex has come from a lot to go down like he did early in the preseason. We really liked the energy he brought to our football team when we brought him in."

While the offense is changing, the Bears still have their dominating defense that is allowing just 10.8 points per game.

Urlacher registered 12 tackles and free safety Mike Green and cornerback Nathan Vasher each had interceptions as the Bears shut down quarterback Michael Vick in the win over Atlanta.

Cornerback Charles Tillman and Vasher both had momentum-changing interceptions in the Bears' 19-7 victory over the Packers on December 4. Robbie Gould also kicked four field goals in the victory.

The new "Monsters of the Midway" forced Brett Favre into four turnovers and sacked him twice. But the biggest defensive plays were made by Tillman and Vasher.

With Green Bay holding a 7-6 lead and in the red zone late in the first half, Favre was intercepted in the end zone by Tillman, who followed a phalanx of blockers up the right sideline. He was finally brought down at the Green Bay 7 after a 95-yard return, and the Bears didn't bother running a play, letting Gould kick a 25-yard field goal with six seconds left.

Vasher sealed the victory with a 45-yard return for a touchdown with 3:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Favre had long been a nemesis of the Bears. The three-time Most Valuable Player still is 21-6 in his career against Chicago, throwing for 6,413 yards and 51 touchdowns with 27 interceptions.

In the first meeting, Favre completed 31-of-58 passes for 277 yards.

Last Monday, Favre endured the worst loss of his illustrious career as the Packers were beaten, 48-3, at Baltimore. He went just 14-of-29 for 144 yards with two interceptions.

Favre now will have to make due without running back Samkon Gado, who will miss the last two games with a sprained MCL in his right knee. The undrafted rookie out of Liberty had been a bright spot with three 100-yard games.

Matchup to watch: Bears left end Adewale Ogunleye, who has nine sacks this season, lines up against right tackle Mark Tauscher.

Series: The Bears lead, 86-78-6, but the Packers have won 19 of the last 23 meetings.

Next week: Chicago visits Minnesota, January 1 Green Bay hosts Seattle, January 1


Passing Leaders

J. Cutler66.038122818
J. Clausen54.222321
A. Rodgers65.64381385
M. Flynn50.06601

Rushing Leaders

M. Forte26610383.96
J. Cutler391914.92
E. Lacy24611394.69
J. Starks853333.92

Receiving Leaders

A. Jeffery85113313.310
M. Bennett9091610.26
J. Nelson98151915.513
R. Cobb91128714.112

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsCHI
Yards PassingCHI
Yards RushingCHI
Yards AllowedCHI
Pass Yds AllowedCHI
Rush Yds AllowedCHI

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Green Bay leads 7-3
Dec 4, 2005CHI 19, GB 7
Jan 2, 2005CHI 14, GB 31
Sep 19, 2004CHI 21, @GB 10
Dec 7, 2003CHI 21, @GB 34
Sep 29, 2003CHI 23, GB 38
Dec 1, 2002CHI 20, @GB 30
Oct 7, 2002CHI 21, GB 34
Dec 9, 2001CHI 7, @GB 17
Nov 11, 2001CHI 12, GB 20