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Chalk Talk

Has Barkley earned shot at No. 1 job?

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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.

Do you think Matt Barkley has played well enough to get a shot at the starting job next season?

Brian N.
Streamwood, Illinois

I personally feel that Matt Barkley has performed well enough in his first three starts to at least be considered for the starting quarterback position next season. He's impressed me (and the Bears) with his poise and accuracy, especially late in games. He's also shown a real good awareness in the pocket and the ability to sidestep pressure. If not for a couple dropped passes and holding penalties, the Bears very well could be 3-0 in Barkley's starts, not 1-2. With that being said, there are still three games remaining and a lot could change between now and the end of the season. I'd like to see Barkley continue to improve while avoiding turnovers like he's done in his last two games against the 49ers and Lions. He certainly has an interesting story. He was projected as a top pick in the draft before returning to USC for his senior season, but fell to the fourth round a year later after suffering a shoulder injury. Barkley was drafted by the Eagles, but didn't really fit into Chip Kelly's spread offense and never really got a chance to show what he could do in Philadelphia.

When was the last time the Bears produced takeaways on back-to-back possessions like they did Sunday against the Lions?

Steve B.
Battle Creek, Michigan

The last time the Bears forced turnovers on back-to-back drives was last Dec. 27 in Tampa when Harold Jones-Quartey intercepted a Jameis Winston pass and Jonathan Anderson forced and recovered a Doug Martin fumble in the third quarter of a 26-21 win over the Buccaneers. Those takeaways actually happened on back-to-back plays. Last Sunday in Detroit, Bryce Callahan and Cre'Von LeBlanc picked off Matthew Stafford on consecutive possessions in the second half.

How many times have the Bears actually played on Christmas and how have they done?

Robert H.
Casper, Wyoming

The Bears have played twice on Christmas Day against the same team in the same stadium with very different results. They defeated the Packers in Green Bay 24-17 in 2005 to clinch their first NFC North championship and lost to the Packers at Lambeau Field 35-21 in 2011 as Aaron Rodgers threw a career-high five touchdown passes.

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