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Chalk Talk

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Have Bears put bite back in defense?

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 ChicagoBears.com.

The game against the Jets was the first time the Bears have held their opponent to under 20 points since the Arizona game all the way back in 2012. Notwithstanding all the injuries to the defense, do you think this is the start of a trend or just an anomaly?

Carl
Chester, New Jersey

Other than the difficulty the Bears had stopping the run in the opener against the Bills, I think the defense has played much better in the first three games this season than it did most of last year. The Bears did an excellent job against 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last week two years after Kaepernick completely destroyed them in a game in San Francisco. The Bears gave up 414 yards to the Jets, but allowed just one touchdown on six red-zone possessions. And the best thing about the defensive resurgence is that a bunch of rookies are contributing and gaining confidence. Five rookies were on the field for the final drive at one point or another in cornerback Kyle Fuller, safeties Brock Vereen and Ahmad Dixon and defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton.

A slightly tongue-in-cheek question for you: Do you think that Kyle Long will end the season with more yards receiving than rushing? After three games he has 136 yards on the ground and 146 through the air.

Alastair
Hamilton, New Zealand

Thanks for checking in halfway around the world! While the Bears have struggled to get their running game going, I'm confident that it will eventually bust out and become an integral part of the offense. The good news is that the Bears are able to take advantage of Matt Forte's ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield and get the ball to him in space, where he is normally quite effective. Some of the short passes to him are really akin to extended handoffs. With that said, I still believe that he will gain more yards on the ground than through the air.

It is only three games into the season, but Kyle Fuller already has three interceptions. What player has the most interceptions in a season as a rookie in Bears history?

Steven Zaborowski
Highland, Indiana

Mark Carrier set the Bears rookie record and overall team mark with 10 interceptions in 1990.

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