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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Are Bears still alone in first place?

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.

With a 3-2 record, are the Bears still in first place ahead of the Vikings and Packers, who are both 3-2-1? How is that determined with all three teams having three wins and two losses?
Charles D.
Wheaton, Illinois

Yes, the Bears are still alone in first place in the NFC North based on winning percentage. At 3-2, they have a .600 winning percentage, while the Vikings and Packers, who are both 3-2-1, have a .583 winning percentage. Minnesota and Green Bay both have played one more game than the Bears, which makes it a little confusing. While the Bears host the Patriots this weekend, the Vikings visit the Jets and the Packers are off. The Lions, by the way, are 2-3, which means all four NFC North teams are within one game of each other. Detroit plays in Miami Sunday.

Why did the Bears run the ball on three straight plays and settle for a 53-yard field goal attempt in overtime Sunday in Miami instead of giving Mitchell Trubisky a chance to pick up some yards through the air?
Walt L.
Rock Island, Illinois

The bottom line is that coach Matt Nagy had what he described as "ultimate trust" in kicker Cody Parkey to make the field goal from 53 yards. Facing third-and-four from the 35, Nagy didn't want to risk losing yardage on a sack. He also felt that the Bears could pick up some positive yards by handing the ball to running back Jordan Howard, who had rushes of 19 and 15 yards on back-to-back plays earlier on the same drive. Nagy summed it up by saying: "In the end, I felt very comfortable with giving Cody Parkey a chance to make that field goal."

Why didn't the Bears call a timeout right away before the Dolphins punted late in the fourth quarter Sunday? They could have had more time to try to score before overtime.
Barry G.
Oak Lawn, Illinois

The Dolphins were facing fourth-and-six from the Bears' 41. The reason the Bears let some time click off the clock before calling a timeout with :41 to play is because Miami had not yet committed to punting the ball. In case the Dolphins were planning to keep their offense on the field, coach Matt Nagy didn't want to give them more time to score. Said Nagy: "That was an interesting scenario as a coach, with what you do there. You'll notice I let some time run down there a little bit before I called [timeout]. There's a little bit of that cat-and-mouse [game]: 'Do you want to leave time on the clock?' You don't know what they're going to do. They may go for it, and if they go for it, now you're giving them more time to be able to get closer."

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