CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Bears will try to reverse course this week against Ron Rivera and the Panthers.
Ron Rivera's return to Solider Field is a much heralded event. Rivera, now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, was unceremoniously dismissed as the Bears defensive coordinator after the 2005 season, when the Bears lost the Super Bowl to the Colts. Rivera was with the Bears the last time they went to the Super Bowl in 1985, and he isn't one to downplay the significance of his return.
Some people would say it's just another game; no it's not. They're all big, but this has a little personal meaning for me because it's Chicago.
With all due respect to Rivera, the big story in Carolina is rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Icon and entertain, Newton proved to be a pretty good football, passing for more than 400 yards in his first two games and earning his first win last week.
The Bears are a team nearing crisis. Quarterback Jay Cutler is on pace to sacked a record number of times this season, assuming he makes through the rest of the year healthy. After topping the Packers for the NFC North title last year, Chicago is sitting at 1-2 with little more than finger pointing to show for their season so far.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, October 2, 1:00 p.m.
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
TV Schedule: Fox
Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick