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 was very happy to see the Bears stick with their running game against the Vikings. What is their record now when Kyle Long rushes for at least 100 yards?
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The Bears improved to 18-5 when running back Matt Forte rushes for 100 yards. Interestingly, the Bears had been 15-1 during Forte's first five-and-a-half seasons, but they are only 3-4 since the middle of last season, including Sunday's win over the Vikings. Prior to Sunday when Forte rushed for 117 yards, the Bears had been 0-2 this year, with Forte rushing for 122 yards in a 38-17 loss to the Packers in Chicago and 114 yards in a 51-23 defeat to the Patriots in New England.
How many times were Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery targeted in Sunday's win over the Vikings compared to the two previous games against the Patriots and Packers?
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery combined to catch 18 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns while being targeted 27 times against the Vikings. In the blowout losses you're referring to, the two receivers combined to catch eight passes for 94 yards and 1 TD on 18 targets in New England and 14 passes for 175 yards and 1 TD on 22 targets in Green Bay.
With about a minute left in the first half, why did the Bears call two running balls instead of using the clock and their last timeout to get into a position for a score before halftime?
The situation you're referring to occurred when the Bears took over at their own 26 with 1:05 left in the first half and one timeout remaining. Coach Marc Trestman said after the game that he called two straight handoffs basically because the Bears were going to get the ball to start the second half and he didn't want to risk a negative play in Vikings territory. Said Trestman: "We knew we were going to get the ball back at the start of the half. That was the reason why we played it out. … We didn't want to put our team at risk being backed up. We've done that before; started with a couple of runs to see where we are and go from there. We only had one timeout left and we had to use that one. It didn't work out the way we wanted, but at the end of the day we knew we would come back with the football." After the Bears reached their own 48 on Matt Forte runs of 7 and 15 yards, Jay Cutler was intercepted by Xavier Rhodes on a pass downfield with :07 left in the half.