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Bears-Panthers matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week Five battle between the Bears and Panthers.

Panthers QB Jimmy Clausen vs. Bears' pass coverage

After committing three turnovers in the previous two games, Jimmy Clausen took better care of the ball in Week Four. He didn't have any turnovers, and the winless Panthers gave the Saints a scare. Carolina is hoping he can make that more of a habit and allow its running game and defense to do the heavy lifting.

If Clausen can avoid fumbles and interceptions again, the Bears could find themselves in a position similar to the Saints' — trying to avoid an upset.

Then again, this game could get out of hand if Clausen continues to stare down his receivers.

Bears defenders in pass coverage would be wise to read Clausen's eyes because the rookie still is learning how to avoid telegraphing his throws, and he has a ways to go. Chicago is tied for second in the league in takeaways (11), and it's no surprise considering how much of an emphasis Lovie Smith places on forcing turnovers.

The Bears' corners, safeties and linebackers should get at least an opportunity or two to get their hands on one of Clausen's throws. It's up to them to capitalize.

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