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.
When was the last time the Bears led the NFL in sacks?
Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, the Bears have led the NFL twice—with a team-record 72 in 1984 and 70 in 1987. The Bears enter the final weekend of the regular season tied with the Dolphins for third with 46 sacks, trailing the Steelers (52) and Rams (47.0). The Bears finished the 2018 season tied with the Vikings for third with 50 sacks, behind the Steelers (52) and Chiefs (52).
It seems like the Bears always close the season against the Vikings in Minnesota. How many times have they done so in recent years?
The Bears conclude the season in Minnesota versus the Vikings for the fifth time in the last six years and the sixth time in the last eight years. After losing 13-9 in 2014, 38-10 in 2016 and 23-10 in 2017, they are 2-0 in season finales in Minnesota under coach Matt Nagy, winning 24-10 in 2018 and 21-19 in 2019.
Is this the first time the NFL has played an 18-week season? I seem to vaguely remember that every team had two bye weeks for a few years, maybe in the 1990s.
The NFL added a second bye for each team—thus extending its regular season to 18 weeks—for one year only in 1993. In Dave Wannstedt's first season as coach, the Bears lost their first two games to the Giants and Vikings, and then had a Week 3 bye. They followed with three straight wins over the Buccaneers, Falcons and Eagles, and then had their second bye in Week 7. They were very streaky that year; after their second bye they lost three straight, won four in a row and then dropped their final four to finish 7-9.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.