Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
It was great to see the Bears run for so many yards against the Texans. What is the team record for most rushing yards in a game? I'm assuming it occurred during Walter Payton's career, right?
The 281 yards the ground game produced versus the Texans is tied for the 20th most in Bears history. It was the most since Sept. 30, 1984, when the Bears ran for 283 yards against the Cowboys at Soldier Field. It's hard to believe, but the team record was not recorded when Walter Payton or Gale Sayers were on the Bears; it remains 406 yards in a 52-31 win over the Packers Nov. 6, 1955, at Wrigley Field. In that game, running backs Rick Casares and Bobby Watkins both rushed for 115 yards. The second-most yards in a game in franchise history did come during Payton's career; the Bears ran for 375 yards in a 26-0 victory over the Packers Oct. 30, 1977 in Green Bay. Sweetness rushed for 205 yards, Johnny Musso added 69 yards and Robin Earl ran for 60 yards.
Do you think this is the week that Lucas Patrick has finally recovered enough from his hand injury that he starts at center against the Giants?
Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Listening to offensive coordinator Luke Getsy Thursday, it didn't sound like this would be the week that the Bears move Lucas Patrick from right guard—where he has alternated with Teven Jenkins in the first three games—to center. As you mentioned, Patrick is recovering from a right hand injury he sustained early in training camp. Said Getsy: "You're coming off of that type of injury, we've got to keep building up and when we feel really good about it, then we can make a real decision of, 'Are we going to move him to center full-time or not?' But right now I don't think we're to that point just yet of feeling that comfort."
On Justin Fields' 29-yard scramble against the Texans, it appeared that he had a couple of receivers open but didn't throw the ball to them. What's the coaching point on that; what should he have done on that play?
Justin Fields told reporters that he was initially looking for Darnell Mooney on a deep corner route, but the Texans cornerback did a good job of taking that option away by playing outside leverage. Equanimeous St. Brown also came open, but Fields said his "feet just weren't ready for that," so he took off running. Dante Pettis was also open on the play in the right flat. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy broke down the play during his press conference Thursday, saying: "It could have been called for illegal contact. The guy cut Mooney off and they ran into each other. What you'd love to see [Fields] do is go all the way down to Pettis there on the checkdown. But that's who [Fields] is; when he has that moment to be able to create space and time, we definitely don't want to take that away from him. So I wouldn't say he necessarily hung onto it too long. It's just once that collision happened, find your checkdown. And then if that wasn't there, now it's time to get out. So maybe just taking that checkdown step and then go would be the improvement from that play."