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Chalk Talk

Who deserves credit for foiling fake?

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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 was impressed with how well the Bears defended the fake punt last weekend in St. Louis. You could tell they knew it was coming. Who would you say deserves the most credit for that?

David L.
Naperville, Illinois

I would give Bears special-teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers the most credit for foiling the Rams' fake punt. It was his decision to leave the defense on the field for that play, and he had worked with the defense in practice during the week leading up to the game to prepare for a situation just like that. The Rams are known for running fake punts and their punter, Johnny Hekker, had completed 6 of 8 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown in his career before facing the Bears. The Rams attempted the fake punt on fourth-and-seven from their own 23 while trailing 27-13 with 10:21 left in the fourth quarter.

I was going to ask which team to pull for in the Packers-Vikings game this week, but in reality I can't bring myself to pull for either team. So what are your feelings regarding which team I should hope loses for the Bears' sake?

Steve S.
Huntsville, Alabama

I'm with you, Steve; I can't root for the Packers or Vikings either. The only time I've ever pulled for the Packers to win a game was in the 2012 season finale; the Bears needed Green Bay to beat Minnesota to earn a playoff berth, and of course the Packers let us all down by losing in the final seconds. So I would suggest channeling 100 percent of your energy into cheering for the Bears and not worrying what happens elsewhere this weekend. If you do feel a need to pick one team in that game, however, I would choose the Vikings only because they already have a one-game lead on the Packers atop the NFC North. If Green Bay loses to Minnesota and the Bears beat the Broncos, the Bears can tie the Packers in the standings with a win Thanksgiving night in Green Bay.

In the last edition of "Chalk Talk" you stated that Vince Evans was the only Bears quarterback since 1960 to record a perfect passer rating. I pretty strongly remember Rex Grossman recording a perfect passing rating in either 2005 or 2006, mainly because he recorded a 0.0 rating the following game, highlighting his inconsistency. Am I mistaken?

Matt S.
Crystal Lake, Illinois

Rex Grossman never posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating during his career with the Bears from 2003-08. His highest rating was a 148.0 in a 34-7 win over the Lions on Sept. 7. 2006 when he passed for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Grossman did record a Blutarski-like 0.0 rating in the 2006 regular season finale against the Packers, but that came immediately after he had posted an 80.4 rating in a win over the Lions. He did have huge fluctuations like you mentioned in 2006, the year the Bears reached the Super Bowl. (I believe the scientific term was "Good Rex/Bad Rex.") Grossman sandwiched a 10.2 rating in a win over the Cardinals between ratings of 101.2 in a victory over the Bills and a 137.4 in a win over the 49ers. Late in the season he posted a 1.3 rating in a win over the Vikings before recording a rating of 114.4 in a victory over the Rams.

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