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 know the Bears usually do a good job of stopping the run, but they struggled last week against Saquon Barkley and I'm afraid that Todd Gurley could have a big game. What's the key to containing the Rams running back?
Every defensive player and coach I spoke with this week said the same thing: The Bears must get as many tacklers to Todd Gurley as possible because the 6-1, 224-pounder is big, fast and elusive. Said outside linebacker Khalil Mack: "It takes all 11 players on defense getting to the play. That's a good and great challenge. He's one of the best backs in the league." Gurley leads the NFL in rushing with 1,175 yards and 15 total touchdowns (11 rushing and four receiving). Said coach Matt Nagy: "He's such a big man, and when he's running, he's very explosive. It's hard to bring him down with one man tackling-wise. He's got great hands. He understands the pass game. They use him well, whether it's protection and then getting out in the flat. He can run routes in empty formation. He does it all."
I read that Akiem Hicks became the first Bears defensive lineman to rush for a touchdown since William Perry. But didn't Jim Flanigan get into the end zone on offense?
The Bears utilized defensive tackle Jim Flanigan as a goal-line weapon from 1994-96 and he did score four touchdowns—but all four came on short passes, not rushes. Flanigan's TDs all came on throws from Erik Kramer and all were in losses—to the 49ers in the 1994 playoffs, the Packers and Vikings in 1995 and the Lions in 1996.
When was the last time the Bears generated as many takeaways as they have this season?
The Bears enter Week 14 leading the NFL with 30 takeaways, the most they've had in a season since 2012 when they produced 44. The franchise record for most takeaways in a season is 58 in 1947. That total consisted of 31 fumble recoveries and 27 interceptions. Remarkably, 16 different players picked off passes that season, led by Noah Mullins with six. The 1985 Super Bowl champions generated the second-most takeaways in team history with 54 (34 interceptions and 20 fumble recoveries). Ten different players recorded an interception, led by Leslie Frazier with six.