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.
Which Bears players, if any, do you think will make the Pro Bowl this season?
Fort Wayne, Indiana
It’s difficult for players on teams with losing records to garner much support for the Pro Bowl, but I think that both running back Jordan Howard and defensive end Akiem Hicks will make the NFC squad. (Side note: I’m very happy they reverted to the NFC versus AFC format a couple years ago after having former players like Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders choosing teams like a pickup game). Howard currently ranks second in the NFC in rushing with 1,032 yards, just three yards behind leader Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. Hicks has been the heart and soul of the Bears defense all season, leading the unit with seven sacks and 14 tackles-for-loss. He could be hurt by the fact that he has not recorded a sack in his last five games, however. But that probably has more to do with him getting double- and tripled-teamed by opponents.
It seems like the Bears always win the coin toss. What is their record in coin tosses this year?
The Bears have won 16 of 19 coin tosses this season, a pretty remarkable feat. That includes all four in the preseason, 10 of 13 during the regular season and two in overtime this year.
How have the Bears fared when facing a quarterback for the second time in a season (like they will this weekend against the Lions’ Matthew Stafford) under John Fox?
This will be the seventh time the Bears face a quarterback for the second time in a season in John Fox’s three years as head coach. In four of the six previous occasions, the quarterback posted a higher passer rating in the second meeting. That was true twice with Matthew Stafford, though the level of improvement wasn’t very significant: 117.7 to 119.4 in 2015 and 56.8 to 64.3 last year. (Stafford posted a 120.2 earlier this year in a 27-24 win over the Bears at Soldier Field when he completed 21 of 31 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.) Other quarterbacks who improved their passer ratings in the second game against the Bears were the Vikings’ Teddy Bridgewater in 2015 (72.5 to 154,4) and Sam Bradford in 2016 (88.6 to 114.5). The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers had a better game in his first meeting with the Bears in both 2015 (140.5 to 62.4) and 2016 (102.2 to 87.0). Rodgers only faced the Bears once this season, missing the second contest due to a broken collarbone.