Steelers-Bears At A Glance

By Mike Ashcraft
SteelerNation.com

The Steelers (2-0) look to start a season with three-straight wins for the first time since 2010 when they travel to Soldier Field to face the Bears (0-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised by CBS Sports, with Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl on the call. The game will also be broadcast on 102.5 WDVE-FM and the Steelers Radio Network, with Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley calling the action.

SERIES HISTORY
The contest will mark the 30th all-time regular season meeting between the two franchises dating back to 1934. Chicago leads the all-time series, 21-7-1 and is 12-1 all-time against Pittsburgh in games played in the Windy City. The Steelers’ lone victory over the Bears in Chicago came on Nov. 5, 1995 — a 37-34 overtime triumph for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers and the Bears last faced off in the regular season on Sept. 22, 2013, at Heinz Field, with Chicago prevailing by a score of 40-23. The Bears jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and led by as many as 21 in the first half. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 406 yards and hooked up with wide receiver Antonio Brown on a pair of touchdown passes. Brown finished the contest with nine catches for 196 yards. The Steelers scored 13 unanswered points to trim Chicago’s lead to 27-23 with just over 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler connected with wide receiver Earl Bennett for a 17-yard touchdown with just under six minutes to play and defensive end Julius Peppers caught a fumble by Roethlisberger and rumbled 42 yards for a touchdown with just under four minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.

Pittsburgh last played at Solider Field on Sept. 20, 2009, with Chicago pulling out a 17-14 win. The Steelers grabbed a 14-7 lead in the third quarter thanks to a two-yard touchdown run by Roethlisberger, but two missed field goals by kicker Jeff Reed kept the Bears in it and allow Cutler to connect with wide receiver Johnny Knox for a seven-yard touchdown to tie the game and kicker Robbie Gould to boot a 44-yard field goal to win it.

MEMORABLE MATCHUP
Heinz Field, Dec. 4, 2005. Reeling after a three-game losing streak and staring down the barrel of missing the playoffs at 7-5, Pittsburgh muscled its way to a 21-9 win over the Bears that ultimately sparked its epic run to a Super Bowl XL title that year. Played in a snowstorm, the game produced one of the most iconic images in franchise history — Steelers running back Jerome Bettis plowing over Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher for a five-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Bettis finished the contest with two touchdowns and 101 yards — the 61st and final 100-yard rushing performance of his Hall of Fame career.

NOTABLE FRANCHISE CONNECTION
Chicago wide receiver Markus Wheaton was drafted by Pittsburgh with the 79th overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Wheaton spent his first four NFL seasons with the Steelers, grabbing 107 receptions for 1,508 yards and eight touchdowns. Wheaton was plagued by a shoulder injury in his final year in Pittsburgh in 2016. He fractured his pinkie in the preseason and has not played in Chicago’s first two regular season games this year but reports indicate that he will be ready to suit up for the Bears for the first time on Sunday when they take on the Steelers.

SERIES HIGHS
Passing Yards — Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, 406, 9/22/2013; Bears: Billy Wade, 264, 11/24/1963
Rushing Yards — Steelers: Jerome Bettis, 131, 9/13/1998; Bears: Gale Sayers, 112, 11/9/1969
Receiving Yards — Steelers: Antonio Brown, 196, 9/22/2013; Bears: Mike Ditka, 146, 11/24/1963

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