Redskins.com looks at two key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Bears game at Soldier Field.
"Redskins-Bears: Marquee Matchup" is presented by Papa John's.
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QB Donovan McNabb vs. Bears Pass Defense
It's a homecoming for Donovan McNabb, who grew up on Chicago's South Side. He has played at Soldier Field five times in his career, with four wins.
A year ago as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb completed 23-of-32 passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 24-20 comeback win over the Bears at Soldier Field. McNabb was sacked three times by a defense that was absent middle linebacker Brian Urlacher at the time.
The Redskins' offense is ranked ninth in the NFL in passing and McNabb is ranked sixth. He has thrown just five touchdown passes to go with five interceptions, though.
The Bears are stout against the run – third-best in the NFL – so look for the Redskins to get the passing game going.
Like the Indianapolis Colts a week ago, the Bears play a Cover 2 scheme in which they try to minimize big plays. That means McNabb and his wide receivers are going to have to be patient and target short and intermediate routes.
Starter Charles Tillman and reserve D.J. Moore lead the Bears' cornerbacks with two interceptions each. As a team, the Bears have seven interceptions to rank 15th in the NFL.
LB Brian Orakpo vs. QB Jay Cutler
A year ago at this time, Brian Orakpo started to emerge as an elite NFL pass rusher when he recorded seven sacks in a seven-game span.
This season, Orakpo leads the Redskins' defense with five sacks and he also leads the defense with 24 quarterback hurries. He is on pace to record 13 sacks, which would be a career high.
On the line, Orakpo matches up against left tackle Frank Omiyale, a 6-year vet. His goal is to take down Jay Cutler, though.
Cutler has been sacked a league-high 23 times. (Bears quarterbacks have been sacked a league-high 27 times.) He suffered a concussion in Week 4 after he was sacked nine times in the first half by the New York Giants.
Last week against Seattle, Cutler faced a relentless blitz from cornerbacks and safeties and was sacked six more times.
Pass protection issues stem along the injury-plagued Bears offensive line. The team has employed four different starting lineups, including former Redskins lineman Edwin Williams at right guard.