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.
Of all the defensive players who are injured, who do you think the Bears miss most?
I think the Bears defense misses outside linebacker Pernell McPhee the most—and I'm talking about the Pernell McPhee who was dominant and disruptive throughout the first half of last season before he was limited by his knee injury later in the year. McPhee made an immediate impact, registering 42 tackles, five sacks and seven tackles-for-loss in the first seven games. He was then limited by a knee injury that eventually required surgery and led to him being placed on the physically unable to perform list at the outset of this season. Hopefully McPhee will come back strong after he sits out the first six games and give the defense a big boost.
It didn't look to me like Jonathan Anderson was offside on the onside kick against the Cowboys. That could have been a pivotal moment in the game. Why didn't the Bears challenge the call?
Unfortunately, offside penalties cannot be challenged. I agree with you that Jonathan Anderson did not appear to be over the line before the ball was kicked, but officials seem to be a lot stricter with those calls during an onside kick than a regular deep kickoff. Regardless, it's a shame the play was nullified by the flag because the Bears executed it to perfection.
What has been the best record the Bears have finished with after an 0-3 start?
This year marks the 11th time in 97 seasons that the Bears have opened 0-3. On two of those previous occasions, they rebounded to finish with winning records of 8-4 in 1955 and 9-5 in 1965. The other nine years they ended up with marks of 3-7 in 1945, 5-7 in 1957, 1-13 in 1969, 4-12 in 1997, 4-12 in 1998, 5-11 in 2000, 7-9 in 2003 and 6-10 in 2015.