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Chalk Talk: Did Bears ask Panthers to freeze kicker?

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

It seemed odd to me that the Panthers called a timeout to ice the Bears kicker late in the first half of Thursday night's game. That's not something you usually see in a preseason game. Did the Bears ask them to do that?
Paul T.
Streamwood, Illinois

The Bears didn't ask the Panthers to call a timeout late in the first half to ice Elliott Fry before he attempted a 43-yard field goal. But Carolina coach Ron Rivera, who played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Bears and later served as their defensive coordinator, revealed after the game that he did it to assist his old team. Said Rivera: "I did that to help the Bears because they're in a kicking contest." So kudos to Rivera for lending a hand to his old team. As you probably know, Fry split the uprights from 43 yards—the same distance as Cody Parkey's infamous double-doink in last season's wild-card playoff loss to the Eagles.

What's one area that you think the Bears need to improve from their first preseason game to their second?
David A.
Oak Forest, Illinois

The Bears take pride in playing error-free football, but they committed eight penalties for 58 yards in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Panthers. Five of the flags were on the offense, three for holding and two for false starts. So I'd say that cleaning up those penalties is a top priority. Here's what backup quarterback Chase Daniel had to say after the Bears' 23-13 loss to the Panthers: "It's the first preseason game, so there are going to be mistakes. I thought there were too many penalties on the offensive side of the ball and we will look at why."

How many top five defenses do the Bears face this season?
Paul J.
Nova Scotia, Canada

The NFL's top five defenses in total yards last season were the Ravens, Bills, Bears, Vikings and Jaguars. The Bears play only two games against those teams in 2019, both versus the Vikings. They also play four contests against the defenses that ranked No. 6-10 last year, facing the Cowboys (No. 7), Chargers (No. 9) and the Lions (No. 10) twice.

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