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Chalk Talk


Could David Fales start on Sunday?


Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

If Jay Cutler can't go against the Raiders, would the Bears start David Fales? It seems to me that it would be a great opportunity to see what the Bears have in Fales.

Madison, Wisconsin

This seems like the most popular topic of the week given the volume of emails I've received asking about the possibility of the Bears starting third-string quarterback David Fales Sunday against the Raiders. Here's what coach John Fox said Monday when asked whether he would consider starting Fales: "I would consider starting anybody on the 53-man roster. That's why they're here." While some may interpret those comments as an endorsement of Fales, I didn't read anything into them. To me, it was just coach Fox wisely keeping his options open and not committing to any one individual as his starter six days before the game. Of course, the Bears are hoping that Jay Cutler is able to return because he clearly gives the team the best chance to win. But if Cutler can't play, I'm sure that Fox will at least consider starting Fales. Fox conceded that he hasn't worked much with Fales, who was sidelined during the offseason with a shoulder injury and for most of training camp with an undisclosed illness. But the coach has been impressed with how Fales performed in the preseason finale against the Browns and how he has prepared early in the regular season.

With 20 seconds left in the first half Sunday, Seattle had the ball on the Bears' 18-yard line with two timeouts remaining. The defense rushed only three linemen and dropped the remaining eight players to the goal line. That left the middle wide open for the Seahawks to get a first down and get that much closer to a touchdown. Do you know what John Fox's strategy was in doing that?

Clyde S.

Coach John Fox basically conceded Monday that it was a mistake to line up in that type of defense with so much time remaining on the clock. The Seahawks were able to easily complete a 15-yard pass, reaching the 3-yard line with :13 left in the half. But the Bears defense forced three straight Russell Wilson incompletions, forcing Seattle to settle for a short field goal. Said Fox: "It might have been a play early. We're probably our own worst critics. I think [defensive coordinator] Vic [Fangio] would probably tell you the same thing. As it turned out, we executed it well and we were able to accomplish what the goal was. At that point they're in field-goal range and we were able to make that happen. [Cornerback] Alan Ball made a couple good plays to get us out of that. We were pretty pleased to hold them to a field goal."

When was the last time that Robbie Gould did not score in a game?

Frank B.
Streamwood, Illinois

Sunday marked the first time in 153 career games with the Bears that Robbie Gould did not score a single point. Previously, he had been limited to one point on six occasions, all in losses to the Packers in 2006, Lions in 2007, Ravens in 2009, Patriots in 2010 and 2014, and 49ers in 2012.

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