Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Who is most underrated Bears player?

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.

Who do you think is the most underrated Bears player?
Alan P.
Rockford, Illinois

Not sure if you mean on the current team or all-time. But among the 2019 Bears, I’d go with nose tackle Eddie Goldman. On a defense that features Pro Bowlers Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson, Goldman often gets overlooked. But his teammates and coaches rave about his ability and his importance to the team’s success, so that’s good enough for me. The fact that coach Matt Nagy awarded Goldman the first “Sweep the Sheds” Award given to a player who’s not too big to do the little things is further proof. If you’re talking about the most underrated Bears player of all-time, I would say it’s either Neal Anderson or Steve McMichael. You don’t hear much about Anderson, primarily because he followed the incomparable Walter Payton in the backfield. But Anderson had three straight 1,000-yard seasons and was voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls. And McMichael ranks second in Bears history with 92.5 sacks, a remarkable number for a defensive tackle.

What has been the best performance by a Bears player you have ever witnessed in a Monday Night Football game?
Ross K.
Bradley, Illinois

Interesting question, Ross. There are a lot of great Monday Night Football performances to choose from. A few that come to mind include William Perry rushing for a touchdown and leading Walter Payton into the end zone in a 1985 win over the Packers; Devin Hester returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in a 2006 victory over the Rams; and Josh McCown throwing for four TDs and running for a fifth in a 2013 win over the Cowboys. But the best performance by a Bears player I’ve ever seen was by Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher in the 2006 comeback victory over the Cardinals. Urlacher simply willed the Bears to that 24-23 win; he was all over the field and seemingly made every tackle. He also forced a fumble that Charles Tillman returned for a touchdown by ripping the ball away from Cardinals running back Edgerrin James. I remember Hester saying that Urlacher turned into “The Incredible Hulk” in that game and I recall thinking that night that that game would be viewed as the signature game of Urlacher’s illustrious career.

I remember a game in 1990 when safety Mark Carrier had three interceptions against the Redskins. Is that the most ever by a Bears player in a game?
Dave C.
Franklin Park, Illinois

Yes, Mark Carrier’s three interceptions in a 10-9 loss to the Redskins on Dec. 9, 1990 in Washington tied a team record. Other Bears who have picked off three passes in a game include Bob Margarita (1945), Johnny Lujack (1948), Richie Petitbon (1967), Curtis Gentry (1967) and Ross Brupbacher (1976).

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