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.
I still can't believe that Allen Robinson's touchdown against the Falcons was reversed. It was called a touchdown on the field, so it's my understanding that there has to be definitive video evidence to overturn the call, correct? Did the officials offer more of an explanation for the reversal after the game?
Oak Forest, Illinois
Yes, in an interview with a pool reporter after the game, NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron explained why the touchdown call was reversed to an interception. Here's what he said: "We can see that it is clear that the process of the catch is not over. Since the process of the catch is not over, the defender still has a right to the ball. And we see that the defender does get the ball and come up with it. Therefore, we reversed it because we had clear and obvious visual evidence that the process of the catch was not over … in order to complete the catch, you must have control, two feet or another body part on the ground, and then you have to perform a football move, or have the time to perform a football move."
I saw that you wrote last week in Chalk Talk about how many times the Bears have made the playoffs after a 2-0 start. Well, what about a 3-0 start? (I hope to continue to ask this question every week after more Bears wins.)
And I hope to be able to keep answering those questions from you every week, Roger. This is the 12th time the Bears have opened 3-0 in the Super Bowl era. On the previous 11 occasions, they've made the playoffs eight times, winning seven division titles (1984-87, 1990, 2006 and 2010) and qualifying once as a wild card (1991). The three times they didn't reach the playoffs after a 3-0 start, they finished with records of 7-9 (1978), 6-10 (1989) and 8-8 (2013). Since 1990, 73.6 percent of NFL teams (109 of 148) that have started a season 3-0 have made the playoffs.
Can you help me understand why the Bears had a takeaway erased against the Falcons because of a roughing-the-passer play when Matt Ryan had already fumbled and wasn't attempting to throw the ball?
The play you're referring to occurred in the second quarter of Sunday's game in Atlanta with the Bears trailing 9-3. Khalil Mack sacked Matt Ryan, causing a fumble that Bilal Nichols recovered. Mario Edwards Jr., who was rushing Ryan as well, was flagged for roughing-the-passer after appearing to make helmet-to-helmet contact with Ryan. Even though Ryan had been stripped of the ball, he's still considered a passer on the play and is afforded all of the protections provided by the rules. There obviously was no intent to injure; Edwards didn't go high at Ryan's head. Edwards was just unfortunate that Ryan was falling to the ground at the time he contacted him.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.