Panthers Preview: Oct. 18 home game against Chicago Bears
Game: Chicago Bears (4-1) at Carolina Panthers (3-2), 1 p.m.
TV: FOX (Kenny Albert play-by-play, Jonathan Vilma color analyst, Shannon Spake sideline reporter)
RADIO: WBT-AM 1110/WBT-FM 99.3 in Charlotte is flagship station (Mick Mixon play-by-play, Kurt Coleman and Jim Szoke color analysts, Kristen Balboni sideline reporter)
THE SERIES: Chicago leads series 6-4, including a 17-3 win in Chicago on Oct. 22, 2017 in the teams last meeting.
RANKINGS AMONG NFL (Through week 5): Carolina offense – 6th overall, 14th rushing, 5th passing. Carolina defense – 14th overall, 25th rushing, 4th passing. Chicago offense – 27th overall, 27th rushing, 23rd passing. Chicago defense – 9th overall, 16th rushing, 10th passing.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7-4-1 – Panthers record in Game 6 after they’ve started 3-2 or better. Both Super Bowl teams started 3-2 or better as both teams started 5-0.
NOTABLE: Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater passed for 313 yards in last week’s 23-16 win at Atlanta, marking the 60th time in team history it had passed for 300 or more yards. Carolina is 28-32 all-time in games in which it has passed for 300 or more yards….
Bridgewater also wasn’t sacked for the second straight week. The last time the Panthers have had two straight games without being sacked since Weeks 3 and 4 of the 2011 season….
Carolina’s offense is off to some of the best five-game statistical starts in franchise history. The Panthers are first in team history in first downs (114) and second in total offense (399.6 average), passing yards (281.8) and third-down conversions (49.2 percent)….
Carolina’s last win over the Bears came in the teams last meeting in Charlotte; The Panthers won 31-24 on Oct. 5, 2014. But easily the most memorable victory came in 2005 NFC divisional playoffs when Carolina won 29-21 at Chicago when the Bears’ defensive coordinator was Ron Rivera. The Panthers star that day was Steve Smith, who caught 12 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in a game in which Carolina equalled a NFL record for consecutive road playoff wins (4) with the Dallas Cowboys (1975-81)….
Several Bears have Carolinas connections – Backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played at North Carolina, tight end Jimmy Graham is from Goldsboro, defensive end Robert Quinn is from Ladson, S.C., and played at North Carolina, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is from Rock Hill, S.C., defensive tackle Daniel McCullers is from Raleigh, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano was an assistant coach at East Carolina (1992-94) and North Carolina (2007), wide receiver coach Mike Furrey was head coach at Limestone (2916-17) and tight ends coach Mike Snyder was an assistant coach at Wingate (2012-14) and Coastal Carolina (2015-17)….
Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, had a 26-18 record as the Bears starting quarterback after three games this season. Trubisky went 8-5 as starter at North Carolina in 2016.