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.
Is Mitchell Trubisky on pace to break Bears single-season passing records?
Mitchell Trubisky is on pace to eclipse Erik Kramer’s single-season Bears passing records he set in 1995 with 3,838 yards and 29 touchdowns. With 2,304 yards and 19 TDs through nine games, Trubisky is on pace to finish the season with 4,096 yards and 34 touchdowns. Trubisky is not on pace to break Jay Cutler’s marks of 561 attempts and 370 completions he set in 2014, but that’s understandable because the Bears played very poor defense and trailed a lot in 2014, forcing the offense to pass more than usual.
The Vikings defense scares me in that I think they will blitz more against the Bears than normal. I think that it’s possibly the only way for them to beat the Bears. What can the Bears do to beat their blitz?
The Vikings like to blitz, especially when they face young quarterbacks, and they do an excellent job of disguising when they’re coming. Said Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich: “They’re really good at making the non-pressure and the pressure both look the same, and that’s how they get on the edge of people all the time is just that half a second, that half step where a tackle slow sets and then he’s beat off the edge or they’re worried about the A-gap and the B-gap pressure comes.” The Vikings also are able to generate consistent pressure from their front four; defensive end Danielle Hunter ranks second in the NFL with 11.5 sacks. In terms of what the Bears can do to beat Minnesota’s blitz, getting the ball out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s hands quickly is key. Trubisky will have to read the blitz and throw accurately to a hot receiver. A screen pass like the one that Tarik Cohen turned into a 70-yard touchdown against the Jets a few weeks ago also would be nice to see.
What is the Bears record when receiving the opening kickoff versus their defense starting the game?
The Bears are 3-0 when they receive the opening kickoff and 3-3 when their defense starts the game on the field. In all nine Bears games this season, the team that has won the coin flip has deferred until the second half, so that also means that the Bears are 3-0 when they lose the coin flip and 3-3 when they win it. In games they’ve started on offense, their first possession has resulted in two touchdowns and one punt. In the six contests they’ve opened on defense, their opponents’ first drive has resulted in two TDs and four punts. In the six games the Bears have deferred they’ve opened the second half with two touchdowns, one field goal and three punts.