LAKE FOREST, Ill. - At last check, the Chicago Bears had the second-ranked rushing defense (90.1 yards per game) during the regular season.
"We played against him, I think, the last time we played against them," Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "He was back there also."
That is correct. Starks -- on the physical unable to perform list (hamstring) the first nine weeks of the year and inactive for two other games -- ran for 20 yards on five carries against the Bears in Week 17.
"He's a big running back, a little change-up from [Brandon] Jackson," Urlacher said. "We'll do our best to try to hold him to minimal yards."
Something the Eagles failed to do in opening round of the playoffs when Starks rushed for 123 yards in the Packers' 21-16 victory. The following week in Atlanta, however, the rookie averaged only 2.6 yards per carry on 25 attempts, with a long run of 13 yards.
Is it wise for the Bears to respect the Green Bay ground game? Absolutely. Do they sound particularly fearful of Starks? Absolutely not.
In fact, Urlacher scoffed when a reporter wondered aloud why the 6-2 Buffalo product is "so tough to take down".
"Tough, for other teams?" Urlacher said. "We run to the football. That's what we do really well. We get a lot of guys to the football. We haven't missed a lot of tackles this year, but when we do we have guys running to the football to get him down, so we'll keep doing that."