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Chalk Talk


How close is Howard to Forte record?


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

How many yards does Jordan Howard need to set the Bears rookie rushing record?

Evan B.
Minooka, Illinois

Jordan Howard needs 61 yards in Sunday's season finale in Minnesota to break Matt Forte's Bears rookie rushing record of 1,238 yards set in 2008. With 1,178 yards, Howard is actually in third place but trails Anthony Thomas (1,183) by just five yards. In the first meeting with the Vikings Oct. 31, Howard rushed for a season-high 153 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries. Comparing the rookie seasons of Howard and Forte, Howard is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, has rushed for six touchdowns and has a long run of 69 yards. When Forte was a rookie he averaged 3.9 yards per carry, rushed for eight TDs and had a long run of 50 yards.

It seems like Bears general manager Ryan Pace has completely turned over the roster. How many current players were on the team before he was hired?

Steve L.
Hobart, Indiana

It's pretty amazing but only 10 of the 53 players on the Bears roster were with the team before Ryan Pace was hired in January 2015. They are punter Pat O'Donnell, receivers Alshon Jeffery and Joshua Bellamy, running back Ka'Deem Carey, cornerback Sherrick McManis, defensive back Demontre Hurst, linebacker Christian Jones, tackle Charles Leno Jr. defensive end Cornelius Washington and outside linebacker Willie Young. Five of the 10 were drafted by the Bears, but only Jeffery (2012 second round) and Carey (2014 fourth round) were chosen prior to the sixth round. Eight others acquired before Pace arrived are on injured reserve: Quarterback Jay Cutler, receiver Marquess Wilson, cornerback Kyle Fuller, guard Kyle Long, tight end Zach Miller, defensive linemen Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson and outside linebacker Lamarr Houston.

I see that the Bears play the 49ers at home next season for the third straight year. How is that possible? I thought teams rotated home and away every time they played.

Rob P.
Sacramento, California

The only time games alternate cities is when one division faces another entire division. For example, the Bears and the rest of the NFC North played the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West in 2012 and 2015. The Bears played in San Francisco in 2012 and therefore hosted the 49ers in 2015. But the Bears-49ers games in 2016 and again in 2017 are both in Chicago because the two teams finished in the same place in the standings in their respective divisions and that's what the schedule format called for.

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