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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: When was Bears' last TD on first play?

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 scored a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage like they did Sunday on David Montgomery's 80-yard run?
Vince W.
Roselle, Illinois

The last time the Bears scored a touchdown on their first play was Dec. 17, 1995 on a 15-yard run by Rashaan Salaam in a 31-10 win over the Buccaneers at Soldier Field. The TD came after Bears linebacker Ron Cox intercepted a Trent Dilfer pass on Tampa Bay's first play from scrimmage. 

Where does David Montgomery's 80-yard touchdown run against the Texans rank among the longest in Bears history?
Brian S.
Hammond, Indiana

David Montgomery's 80-yard run tied for the fourth longest in Bears history, matching Neal Anderson's 80-yard TD Nov. 27, 1988 in a 16-0 win over the Packers at Soldier Field. The only three longer runs in franchise history are Bill Osmanski's 86-yard TD Oct. 15, 1939 against the Chicago Cardinals, Beattie Feathers' 82-yard TD Oct. 10, 1934 versus the Pittsburgh Pirates and Rick Casares' 81-yard TD Oct. 16, 1955 against the Baltimore Colts.

Take a look at where David Montgomery's 80-yard touchdown run against the Texans ranks among the longest running plays from scrimmage in Bears history.

Can you provide any information about the false start that was called on tight end Jimmy Graham on the goal line against the Texans? It looked like he was starting to go in motion on the play, so I was surprised a flag was thrown.
Jeff D.
Somerset, Kentucky

Tight ends coach Clancy Barone provided some excellent insight about that false-start penalty during a video call with reporters Monday. The Bears faced second-and-goal from the 1 when the flag was thrown after Jimmy Graham turned to go in motion at the same time that Mitchell Trubisky moved quickly from behind center into the shotgun position. Barone revealed that the Bears were told by officials that the flag was thrown due to an "abrupt shift." Said Barone: "I didn't know that we could not shift really quick. We were not trying to deceive the defense or draw them offside. We were just trying to have the play clock in mind and get our shifts taken care of before the play clock wound down." Barone explained the Bears' pre-snap movements, saying they were "trying to create matchups, trying to create conflict of assignment for the defense. When they're in their goal-line defense, they have very strict assignments. So if we can show them one formation and then shift to a different one, [we're] trying to make the guys on defense do all the advanced algebra and figure out how to get things worked out the right way before we can snap the football. It's something that I've been doing with goal-line offense for my entire career and had never ever seen it called for an abrupt shift before. But apparently it's something that we have to look out for in the future." The good news is that the Bears overcame the penalty on the next play as Graham caught a 5-yard TD pass from Trubisky, increasing their lead to 14-0.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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