>>Bears Host Panthers Sunday
On Sunday, Ex-Bears DE Julius Peppers will return to Soldier Field as the Carolina Panthers (4-2) visit the Chicago Bears (2-4). Peppers spent four seasons with the Bears from 2010 to 2013 after playing eight years with the Panthers.
Now, the 37-year-old is back home in Carolina as his career winds down. He has 150 career sacks and needs one more to move past former Minnesota Vikings great Chris Doleman for No. 4 on the all-time list.
Peppers' target this week will be Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who will make his third career start. Trubisky earned his first victory last week as the Bears outlasted the Baltimore Ravens for a 27-24 overtime win.
Trubisky has passed for 241 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his first two appearances.
The Bears continue to rely heavily on the ground game, where running back Jordan Howard has amassed 495 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his first six games. Chicago is No. 1 in the NFC and No. 3 in the NFL with an average of 136.0 rushing yards per game.
The Panthers' stingy defense ranks fourth in the NFL this season with only 280 yards allowed per game. Carolina has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
On the opposite side of the ball, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will look to beat the Bears with his arm as well as his feet. Newton has passed for 1,476 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions so far this season. He has rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns, which ranks second in the NFL among quarterbacks to Houston Texans rookie Deshaun Watson (202 rushing yards, 2 TDs).
The Panthers will play on 10 days' rest after losing 28-23 to the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday night.
>>Packers Host Saints Sunday Without QB Aaron Rodgers
Even with Aaron Rodgers sidelined indefinitely with a broken collarbone, the quarterbacks will be in the spotlight when the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Without Rodgers, third-year pro Brett Hundley will make his first NFL start. Hundley threw three interceptions in relief of Rodgers in Sunday's 23-10 loss at Minnesota. His career passer rating of 40.9 is the lowest among quarterbacks with at least 40 career passing attempts since the start of the 2015 season. On the other hand, his passer rating of 107.3 is the highest among quarterbacks with 100-plus passing attempts over the last three preseasons.
At age 38, Drew Brees has completed 68.9 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 103.2 rating. In six career games against the Packers, Brees has topped 300 passing yards every time. His lowest output came in the most recent matchup, 2014 in New Orleans. Brees completed 27-of-32 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns to lead a 44-23 rout.
The Packers are limping into this game, with a whopping 14 players on the injury report, with starters Rodgers, Taylor and safety Morgan Burnett not practicing, and cornerbacks Davon House (quad), Damarious Randall (hamstring) and Lenzy Pipkins (concussion) limited. The Saints have only two, with Armstead (shoulder) and receiver Willie Snead (hamstring) limited.