Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Is there a chance that the Bears-Vikings game could be flexed to Sunday night?
Downers Grove, Illinois
Yes, there is a chance that the Bears-Vikings regular-season finale a week from Sunday in Minnesota could be flexed to later in the day from noon (CT) to 3:25 p.m. or even 7:20 p.m. The NFL does not schedule a Sunday night game for the final week of the regular season and instead moves the most meaningful game into that primetime slot. That decision will be made this Sunday night. The Bears-Vikings game is one of only two in Week 17 that features two teams with winning records. The other is the Colts (8-6) at the Titans (8-6), a game that could possibly decide the second wildcard in the AFC, and if that’s the case, probably would be the top candidate to be flexed to 7:20 p.m. If the Bears are flexed to the primetime slot, it could be beneficial to them because there’s seemingly a better chance that they would be locked into the third seed if every other game has already been played, which would give coach Matt Nagy a chance to rest some of his players if that’s something he would want to do.
I loved seeing all the trick plays the Bears have done this season, especially Akiem Hicks impersonating William Perry at the goal line. I know the Fridge carried the ball and caught a pass, but didn’t he also try to throw a pass in the Super Bowl?
Yes, William Perry was going to throw a pass in Super Bowl XX. The Bears worked on the play extensively in practice two days before the big game and coach Mike Ditka called it late in the first quarter with the game tied 3-3 and the Bears facing second-and-goal from the Patriots’ 3. Perry was supposed to throw the ball to tight end Emery Moorehead in the end zone, but seeing that Moorehead was covered, Perry alertly tucked the ball away and was dropped for a one-yard loss. Two plays later, Kevin Butler gave the Bears a 6-3 lead they would not relinquish in a 46-10 drubbing of New England. Perry later scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of the game.
When was the last time the Bears played in the wildcard round of the playoffs?
Willow Springs, Illinois
Interestingly, the last four times the Bears reached the playoffs before this year (in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2010), they not only won their division but earned a first-round bye as either the first or second seed in the NFC. They haven’t played in the wildcard round since the 1994 season. At that point in time there were three divisions in each conference and three wildcards made the playoffs. The Bears actually finished fourth in the NFC Central with a 9-7 record and were the third wildcard behind the Packers and Lions, both of whom also went 9-7. The Bears upset the NFC Central champion Vikings 35-18 in the wildcard round in Minnesota before losing to the 49ers 44-15 in San Francisco in the divisional playoffs a week later.