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Chalk Talk


Why didn't Bears run the ball more?


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

Watching the Thanksgiving game against the Lions in the UK, I was surprised that Kyle Long wasn't given more carries. Why did the Bears abandon the run so early, especially considering the Bears' inconsistent passing game?

West Sussex, UK

Facing a Lions defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run, the Bears used a short-passing game with screens and swing passes as an extension of their running game. Said coach Marc Trestman: "That's how we looked at it, is using those to get outside, to get them running sideline-to-sideline, and it started well for us. We just couldn't sustain it." It certainly worked great early; Jay Cutler threw passes on all six plays on the Bears' opening possession, capped by a 10-yard touchdown on a swing pass to Alshon Jeffery. It was the first TD on their first drive since Week 4 against the Packers. But as Trestman said, they couldn't sustain that success. And when they fell behind by 14 points in the second half, they had to abandon the short passes and throw downfield. Matt Forte had just five rushes for six yards, and the Bears' eight rushing attempts as a team were the fewest in franchise history.

Why did Willie Young get penalized on his sack of Matthew Stafford?

Cam P.
Terre Haute, Indiana

Coach Marc Trestman said after the game that the referee explained to him that Young "grabbed his facemask and I took exception to that." Young did not receive an explanation but said later that he thinks the penalty was called because of a "blow to the head. I think when his helmet actually kind of popped off or whatever, they had to throw the flag. I felt like I had the back of his shoulder pads. As I was getting pushed I still had him. I think his pads rolled up and his helmet just popped off. I don't think they'll fine me for it just because when they go back and review it they'll see that I just didn't grab his helmet and ripped it off. That should be a challengeable play."

I can't remember the last time the Bears won on Thanksgiving. What is their record on turkey day?

Nathan G.
Sacramento, California

The Bears are now 16-15-2 all-time on Thanksgiving and have lost their last four appearances, three in Detroit in 1997, 1999 and 2014 and one in Dallas in 2004. The last time the Bears won on Thanksgiving was in 1993 when they beat the Lions 10-6 at the Silverdome.

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