Packers-Bears matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Sept. 24, 2010 @ 1:24 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Monday night's Week Three battle between the Bears and Packers.

Packers NT B.J. Raji vs. Bears C Olin Kreutz

Both Raji, who has taken over the Packers' starting NT job in his second season, and Kreutz, a seasoned Bears veteran and highly respected team leader, are playing well two games into the young season. Raji, whose rookie campaign was hindered by a high ankle sprain suffered in the final preseason game, already has proven to be a much more active pass rusher up the middle. He has been working overtime with fellow D-linemen Mike Neal and Cullen Jenkins dealing with rib problems and a broken hand, respectively, and he doesn't seem any worse for the wear.

With a sack and six tackles through two games, Raji could be a real challenge for Kreutz, the steadying force on a Bears offensive line in a state of flux with OLT Chris Williams (hamstring) probably out on Monday night. Kreutz looks a lot healthier following surgery on his Achilles tendon and is enjoying playing in a revamped system under new coordinator Mike Martz that allows him to better utilize the athleticism he still appears to have plenty of in his 13th season.