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Jauron faces former team for first time

Oct 3, 2006 - 11:02 PM Buffalo (2-2) at Chicago (4-0) Sunday 1:00 pm EDT

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Dick Jauron faces his former team for the first time when the Buffalo Bills visit the Chicago Bears in an interconference meeting.

Jauron was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2001, guiding the Bears to a 13-3 record and a division title. But they were 22-42 in his four other years with the team.

Bills general manager Marv Levy worked as a Bears' broadcaster during Jauron's tenure with the team from 1999-2003. Levy was impressed enough to hire Jauron as coach of the Bills last January after Mike Mularkey resigned.

In 2005, Jauron worked as defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions and took over as interim coach after Steve Mariucci was fired on November 28. The Lions went 1-4 under Jauron but none of those games were against the Bears.

Now Jauron is coaching a franchise that has not reached the postseason since 1999 and last won a playoff game in 1995 when Levy was the coach. Under Jauron, Buffalo is off to a 2-2 start.

No NFC team is off to a better start than the unbeaten Bears, who are 4-0 for the first time since 1991 when Mike Ditka was the coach.

Under coach Lovie Smith, the Bears won the NFC North title last season, yielding a league-low 202 points. This season, they have allowed just one offensive touchdown and 29 points in four games.

With reigning Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs at linebacker and Adewale Ogunleye, Alex Brown and Tommie Harris on the defensive line, the Bears have allowed less than 10 points in eight consecutive regular-season games dating to last season.

Last week, the Bears sacked Matt Hasselbeck five times and intercepted him twice in a 37-6 victory over the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.

Rex Grossman passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns and Bernard Berrian caught three passes for 108 yards, including a 40-yard TD.

The emergence of Berrian, a third-year player from Fresno State, has helped ease the double teams on Muhsin Muhammad and made Chicago's offense more explosive.

Grossman is second in the NFC in passer rating, completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,061 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions.

Chicago is seeking its first 5-0 start since 1986 when it won its first six games en route to a 14-2 record.

The Bills beat Minnesota, 17-12, last week in the first of three consecutive games against NFC North opponents. They play at Detroit next week.

J.P. Losman completed 23-of-32 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers in the win over Minnesota. Lee Evans caught seven passes for 90 yards.

Buffalo's Willis McGahee leads the league in rushing with 389 yards.

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