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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Will Bears rest their starters?

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.

Are the Bears going to play all of their starters in their final two games?
Brian M.
Sacramento, California

The Bears will approach Sunday’s game in San Francisco as business-as-usual with no plans to rest any of their healthy starters. They’re still in contention for a first-round bye in the playoffs and will keep the pedal to the metal in quest of supplanting the Saints or Rams as one of the top two seeds in the NFC. If the Bears are locked into the third seed heading into the season finale—the only way that can happen is if the Bears lose to the 49ers, the Rams win in Arizona and the Cowboys lose at home to the Buccaneers on Sunday—we’ll have to see what coach Matt Nagy decides to do at that point. But here’s what he had to say about the possibility of resting starters this week: “That’s not even in the world of consideration for us. We’re trying to win. There are too many other things that can happen. The fact of the matter is realistically speaking we can be a higher seed. If you have an opportunity to do that, why wouldn’t you try for that? Unless you’re locked in and you can’t move, that’s when you have to decide what you want to do. But right now, we have to win.”

I know the Bears would win a tiebreaker with the Rams because they beat the Rams. But who would win a tiebreaker between the Bears and Saints?
Allen P.
Springfield, Missouri

Because they trail the Saints (12-2) by two games with two games remaining in the regular season, the only way the Bears (10-4) can tie New Orleans is if they win both of their games and the Saints lose their final two contests. If that scenario occurs, the Bears would win the tiebreaker based on a better conference record (10-2 versus 9-3).

When the Bears sacked Aaron Rodgers with :15 left in last week’s game, why did the clock stop and give Green Bay a chance to kick a field goal? I thought the Packers were out of timeouts.
Sergio L.
Chicago Heights, Illinois

You are correct that the Packers were out of timeouts. The clock stopped with :15 left because Green Bay was penalized for an illegal shift. There was no :10 run-off because the clock was stopped following an incomplete pass on the previous play. It seems to me, though, like that’s a rule that should be changed because the Packers actually benefitted from drawing a penalty. Just imagine if they were only trailing by two points and could have won the game with a field goal.

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