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Chalk Talk

How does Langford compare to peers?

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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.

I've been impressed with Jeremy Langford this season. How many running backs were selected before him in the draft and where does he rank among those players in rushing?

John G.
Midlothian, Illinois

Picked by the Bears in the fourth round (106th overall), Jeremy Langford was the ninth running back taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. The first eight were Todd Gurley (Rams) and Melvin Gordon (Chargers) in Round 1, T.J. Yeldon (Jaguars) and Ameer Abdullah (Lions) in Round 2, and Tevin Coleman (Falcons), Duke Johnson (Browns), David Johnson (Cardinals) and Matt Jones (Redskins) in Round 3. Of that group, Langford ranks sixth in rushing with 523 yards behind Gurley (1,108), Yeldon (740), Gordon (641), David Johnson (556) and Abdullah (553). Interestingly, the Seahawks' Thomas Rawls, an undrafted free agent from Central Michigan, ranks second among NFL rookies in rushing behind Gurley with 830 yards.

On Tampa Bay's Hail Mary touchdown with :01 left Sunday, one could argue that the Bears could have committed an intentional pass interference penalty. That way the Bucs would have had the ball at the 1 and be forced to run another play and time would run out. I thought of this during the Packers-Lions game when Green Bay won on a Hail Mary.

Jim

Great question, Jim. Love the outside-the-box thinking. It's definitely an intriguing strategy and one that I'm sure teams would employ if they knew that they would allow a touchdown on the Hail Mary pass. But the assumption is that there's a very small chance of that happening, so I don't think defenses would commit an intentional pass interference penalty, especially when a team is leading by less than a touchdown as was the case in the Packers-Lions game. I'm sure Detroit would not want to give Green Bay one untimed down from the 1. Another strategy, especially in the case of a team with a two-score lead like the Bears had Sunday in Tampa, would be to intentionally hold all of the eligible receivers off the line, thus drawing only a 10-yard penalty and giving the offense only enough time to run more one play.

When was the last time the Bears won a game in December before beating the Bucs?

Jen B.
Hartford, Connecticut

Sunday's 26-21 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa snapped a streak of nine straight December losses for the Bears. The skid dated back to a 38-31 victory over the Browns in Cleveland on Dec. 15, 2013. In case you were wondering, the Bears are 3-6 in January regular-season games, all of which have been season finales.

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