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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Why did Bears decline Rams penalty?

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.

In Sunday night’s game, the Rams were flagged for a running-into-the-punter penalty on fourth-and-five around the 10-minute mark in the second quarter. The Bears declined the penalty. Accepting that penalty should have given the Bears a first down, right? If so, why did they elect to decline the penalty?
Clyde S.
Chicago

It was fourth down and actually a little more than five yards to go. So even if the Bears had accepted the five-yard penalty, it would not have resulted in a first down. The penalty would have moved the ball to their own 30-yard line, and the Bears were not going to go for it on fourth down at that spot on the field. Pat O'Donnell's 48-yard punt was not returned, and because the Bears were pleased with the 48-yard net, they declined the penalty.

Do you think that Mitchell Trubisky was at fault on the interception he threw against the Rams that deflected off Anthony Miller’s hand?
Dave W.
Spokane, Washington

The timing on the pass from Mitchell Trubisky to Anthony Miller was off, and coach Matt Nagy explained why on Wednesday, saying that the second-year receiver ran a 16-yard route when the play called for a 14-yard route. Said Nagy: “We talk about timing on that, he turned around, two extra yards and then saw it late, recovering late, [and then it was] tipped for a pick. … Mitch did everything exactly how we teach it. He threw it on time. He threw it to the right spot. Anthony will be the first to tell you … we knew it right away from the clip you could see on the video that he went two yards too deep.”

When was the last time the Bears didn’t score points off a turnover in a game?
Charles M.

The Bears have failed to generate a takeaway in three games this season—losses to the Packers, Saints and Eagles. But last Sunday night’s defeat to the Rams marked the first time in the seven contests in which they’ve forced a turnover that they failed to convert at least one into points. This year the Bears have turned 14 turnovers into five touchdowns and four field goals.

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