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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: Why did Bears go for two?

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

Why did the Bears go for two after both of their touchdowns Sunday night against the Vikings? Did it have to do with Cody Parkey's missed extra points last week?
Anthony R.
Lansing, Illinois

Coach Matt Nagy is aggressive by nature, so going for two instead of kicking an extra point is something that he has wanted to do. But after explaining that to reporters Monday, he conceded that Cody Parkey's two missed extra-point attempts against the Lions did play a role in the decision, and that's what I love about Nagy. He not only explains his thought processes, but he is honest about them, providing real genuine insight into his decisions. Trust me, this is not the case with 99 percent of coaches I've seen and is yet another reason that Nagy is a breath of fresh air.

Getting back to the reason the Bears went for two after both of their touchdowns against the Vikings—they were successful both times by the way—he said: "There was a plan behind it. If you were to ask all the head coaches in the NFL in general, 'Do you vote for going for two or kicking the extra point,' I'd raise my hand and say, 'Going for two.' But you've got to be able to understand the numbers behind it. There's a small differential between going for one and going for two and it just depends on who you are. If you're an aggressive person and you like going for two or you feel good about the plays that you have in there, then why not? We felt good about the plays we had."

As I mentioned before, Nagy revealed that the two missed extra points from the Lions game did factor into his decision to go for two. Said Nagy: "It's a combination. Considering what happened the week before, considering that I like to go for two if we can and then considering that we as a staff liked our plays down there, it's just the way we went. It worked. It doesn't always work. You've got to make sure that you get two out of every three."

Nagy said he wasn't worried about Parkey losing his confidence in the decision to go for two because the coach talked to him before the game about the situation. Said Nagy: "You're honest with him. You tell him what the plan is. He completely understands it. Whenever you're honest with people, it's so easy to do what you do because you're real with them. You tell them exactly what you're feeling, and everybody knows the plan."

What is the best turnaround the Bears have had from one season to the next? I'm guessing what they're doing this year has to be among the best.
Steve B.
Lake Villa, Illinois

The biggest turnaround in team history from one season to the next is when the Bears improved from 5-11 in 2000 to 13-3 in 2001 under coach Dick Jauron. Given that they're 7-3 after going 5-11 last year, the Bears would have to run the table to match that eight-game improvement. In terms of winning percentage, this season is the fourth best single-season turnaround in franchise history behind 2000-01, when they went from 3-7 in 1945 to 8-2-1 in 1946, and when they went 3-8-1 in 1953 to 8-4 in 1954.

I saw Adam Shaheen catch a pass from Mitchell Trubisky to score the Bears' two-point conversion in the fourth quarter Sunday night with my own eyes, but he didn't get credit for any catches in last night's box score. What gives?
Matt K.
Lake Forest, Illinois

Your eyes did not deceive you. Adam Shaheen did catch a two-point conversion attempt from Mitchell Trubisky Sunday night against the Vikings. But because it came on a conversion attempt, it is not counted as a reception in the official game statistics.

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