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Chalk Talk

How have Bears fared in third game?

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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.

Given that the third preseason game is considered a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, how have the Bears fared in the third game and has it provided an indication of how the team will do during the regular season?

Nate N.
Boulder, Colorado

There has been little correlation in recent years between what transpires in the Bears' third preseason game and how they do during the regular season. The only exception was in 2014. Playing in Seattle, the Bears gave up touchdowns on the Seahawks' first four possessions in falling behind 31-0 at halftime en route to a 34-6 loss. The team then went on to implode during a dysfunctional 5-11 season in Marc Trestman's final year as coach. The last time the Bears made the playoffs—when they won the NFC North in 2010—they lost their third preseason game to the Cardinals 14-9 at Soldier Field. Since then, they lost the third preseason contest 14-13 to the Titans in Tennessee in 2011 and to the Bengals 21-10 in Cincinnati in 2015 and defeated the Giants 20-17 at MetLife Stadium in 2012 and the Raiders 34-26 in Oakland in 2013.

What happened to the rookie tight end from Harvard?

Larry D.

Undrafted rookie Ben Braunecker recently returned to practice on a limited basis from an ankle injury that forced him to miss most of training camp. So if you haven't heard a lot about him, it's because he hasn't been participating in practice. Given that he only came back a few days ago, I'm not sure whether he will play in Saturday's preseason game against the Chiefs. Hopefully Braunecker will at least get on the field to show what he can do in the preseason finale next Thursday in Cleveland.

I've been impressed with Connor Shaw in the preseason. Do you think he can unseat Brian Hoyer as the Bears' No. 2 quarterback?

Steve G.
Glenview, Illinois

I think that Connor Shaw faces an uphill battle to become the second-string quarterback primarily due to Brian Hoyer's experience and performance the past couple of seasons. Interestingly, Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains worked with both Shaw and Hoyer with the Browns in Cleveland, so Loggains has insight he can rely on to help make that decision that goes beyond how the two quarterbacks have fared this summer in training camp and the preseason. And remember, David Fales is also in the mix.

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