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 believe the keys to beating the Vikings are to stop their running game and to keep a clean pocket for Mitchell Trubisky. What do you think?
Playing against a good Vikings team that’s fighting for its playoff lives in a hostile environment—U.S. Bank Stadium is among the loudest in the NFL—there’s even a smaller margin for error than in most games. As a result, it’s absolutely critical for the Bears to win the turnover battle and avoid negative plays such as giveaways, sacks and penalties. I’m confident that the Bears defense will once again perform at a high level, but the offense also needs to execute and limit mistakes if the Bears are going to beat the Vikings. Mitchell Trubisky did a great job and showed a lot of growth in taking what the 49ers defense gave him and not forcing the ball into coverage in last Sunday’s win over San Francisco. Another strong effort like that seemingly would greatly enhance the Bears’ chances of winning their regular-season finale and finishing with a 12-4 record.
How many tackles does Roquan Smith need against the Vikings to set the Bears rookie record?
With 116 tackles this season, linebacker Roquan Smith needs nine stops Sunday against the Vikings to break Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher’s team rookie record of 124 tackles set in 2000. Smith has already surpassed three former Bears Pro Bowl defenders on that list in safety Mike Brown (102 tackles in 2000), cornerback Charles Tillman (86 in 2003) and linebacker Lance Briggs (78 in 2003).
How many Bears players have interceptions this year?
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Eleven different Bears players have interceptions this season, the most in the NFL. Kyle Fuller leads the team with seven, followed by Eddie Jackson with six and Prince Amukamara with three. Bryce Callahan, Adrian Amos and Danny Trevathan have two apiece, while Khalil Mack, Aaron Lynch, Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith and Sherrick McManis have one each. The Bears lead the NFL with 27 interceptions, three more than they totaled the previous three seasons combined.