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.
After the offense struggled again against the Vikings, do you think that Bill Lazor will continue to call plays next week versus the Packers?
Yes, that appears to be the plan. Matt Nagy was asked Tuesday morning about whether offensive coordinator Bill Lazor would continue to call plays against the Packers a week from Sunday after the Bears return to action following their bye and here's what the coach had to say: "Yeah, that's where we're at right now. I'm never going to right now say anything is for sure for different reasons because we've got time now [heading into the bye week], but with where we're at, I don't think it's in a good position to give him one game and this happens and then all of a sudden you're going back to the other way, so yeah, I expect him to be calling plays."
Why didn't the Bears kick a field goal on fourth-and-9 late in Monday night's loss to Minnesota to cut the deficit to three points? Their offense was having a very difficult time moving the ball and picking up first downs.
The fourth-and-9 play you're referring to came from the Vikings' 35 with 2:10 left in the game and the Bears trailing 19-13. I think keeping the offense on the field in that situation was the correct decision. First of all, a 53-yard field goal certainly is not a gimme on a windy night at Soldier Field, even with Cairo Santos kicking as well as he has been. Even more significant was that there wasn't much time remaining and it was hardly a sure thing that the Bears would get the ball back at all, let alone with enough time to set up a potential game-tying field goal. For as well as the defense has been playing, the unit had only one three-and-out against the Vikings, and Dalvin Cook rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries in the fourth quarter alone after Akiem Hicks had exited the game with a hamstring injury. After the Bears turned the ball over on downs, Minnesota picked up one first down before eventually punting with just :44 remaining. Again, I think it was the right move.
Did Cordarrelle Patterson's 104-yard kickoff return touchdown put him in the NFL lead in kick-return average this season?
Oak Park, Illinois
Yes, Cordarrelle's 104-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Vikings—the longest in Bears history—catapulted him to the top of the NFL leaderboard with a 30.3-yard kickoff return average this season. The Colts' Isaiah Rodgers is second (29.8), followed by the Bills' Andre Roberts (29.1) and the Saints' Deonte Harris (28.2). Patterson is seeking to lead the NFL in kickoff return yardage for the fourth time in eight seasons; he previously did so with averages of 32.4 yards in 2013, 31.8 yards in 2015 and 31.7 yards in 2016, all with the Vikings.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.