Sunday Snapshot: Steelers vs. Bears

LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (Getty: Jonathan Daniel)

The Scout.com NFL experts chip in with everything you need to know just before Sunday's showdown between the defending champ Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Week 2. Keys to the game, injury reports, fast facts, personnel news and a whole lot more.

SUNDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: 3:15 p.m. Central
Surface: Grass
Television: CBS – Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Series: Bears lead 16-7-1, but Steelers won the only meeting in the past 10 years, 21-9 at Hines Field on Dec. 11, 2005.

KEYS TO THE GAME
With 10 days between games, the Steelers spent a lot of time working on their ground attack, which produced just 36 yards on 23 carries in the opener. Meanwhile, the Bears' run defense will have a different look with LB Hunter Hillenmeyer starting for the injured Brian Urlacher. But the strength of Pittsburgh's offense right now is the passing game and QB Ben Roethlisberger working off pump fakes. Chicago's front seven was constantly in the backfield in Green Bay and must repeat that pressure. Bears QB Jay Cutler threw four interceptions against the Packers, but the Steelers secondary is minus injured S Troy Polamalu. If RB Matt Forte is given a chance to establish the run, Pittsburgh should be vulnerable vertically.

FAST FACTS
The Steelers lead the AFC with 87 sacks since 2007. ... Of Bears WR Devin Hester's 18 career touchdowns, 12 have come on returns and six on receptions.


LB Jamar Williams
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears:
CB Zack Bowman, who played as well as anyone in the Bears' secondary during the offseason and training camp – before he strained a hamstring and missed three weeks of the preseason – will start in place of Nathan Vasher, who was toasted for the 50-yard, game-winning Greg Jennings TD in Week 1. ... S Danieal Manning (back) worked through most of Thursday's practice and is expected to play nickel back and return kickoffs. He could also mount a challenge for regaining job at free safety. ... LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) is out and will be replaced by Nick Roach, who started nine games on the strong side last year. ... LB Jamar Williams will get some snaps at strong-side linebacker in relief of Roach, who is starting in place of Tinoisamoa. ... TE Kellen Davis moves up to No. 2 on the depth chart with Desmond Clark (ribs) out this week. Davis did not catch a pass last year as a rookie but should see a lot of action this week since the Bears play a lot of two-tight end formations.

Steelers: LB Lawrence Timmons returned to practice on Thursday, although it does not seem he will start on Sunday. He has a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the opener. Keyaron Fox replaced him and led the team in tackles. ... WR Limas Sweed did not practice Thursday after leaving practice Wednesday with a foot sprain. He's not likely to play on Sunday and will be replaced on the roster by veteran Shaun McDonald. ... CB Ike Taylor has been known to cover the opponent's best receiver, lining up wherever they put him. Hester is Chicago's best by far, and Taylor could draw that assignment Sunday. ... RB Willie Parker will start Sunday, but he and Rashard Mendenhall will rotate. Parker will play two series, then Mendenhall one, and they will do it that way unless one gets hot. ... S Ryun Mundy, on the practice squad last year as a rookie, is now the top backup at both free and strong safety while Polamalu sits out the next 3-6 games. Tyrone Carter starts at strong safety for Polamalu.

PREDICTION
Steelers 31, Bears 13.


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