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.
I do not understand how the Bears continually fail to pick up one yard in situations where they need one yard for a score or a first down. How many times has that happened this season?
Vernon Center, New York
The Bears have successfully converted 24-of-42 opportunities (57.1 percent) when they've needed one yard for a touchdown or a first down this season, but they've struggled in recent weeks. They were 18-of-26 in their first seven games (69.2), but are just 6 of 16 in their last five contests (37.5). In researching your question, I discovered some other interesting stats. Even though Matt Forte was stopped on back-to-back plays in Sunday's loss to the Vikings, he still has converted 12-of-17 times (70.6) when needing one yard for a TD or first down, which is much better than Michael Bush's 3-of-11 (27.3). The Bears have scored touchdowns on just 5-of-14 plays from the 1-yard line (35.7). Bush has carried on nine of those plays and scored only two TDs. The Bears are 0-of-6 on first-and-goal from the 1 with five Bush runs and one Jay Cutler interception.
Prior to Sunday, had Robbie Gould ever missed two field goal attempts in one game?
It's only happened one other time. Robbie Gould missed his only two field goal attempts from 37 and 49 yards on Dec. 11, 2006 in St. Louis. But he did connect on 6-of-6 extra points in a 42-27 rout of the Rams on Monday Night Football. The 66-yarder that Gould missed on the final play of regulation Sunday in Minnesota was the longest attempt of his career. The previous long was the Bears-record 58-yarder he made at the end of the first half in this year's season-opening win over the Bengals.
It seems like the Bears generally hang onto win when they have the lead in the fourth quarter. Do the statistics back me up?
Yes, they do. Prior to Sunday's loss to the Vikings, the Bears were 27-2 when leading after three quarters since 2010. The only two defeats in that span also came in overtime: Tim Tebow rallied the Broncos from a 10-0 deficit to a 13-10 win on Dec. 11, 2011 in Denver and the Seahawks turned a 14-10 deficit into a 23-17 victory on Dec. 2, 2012 at Soldier Field.