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.
Who do you think has been the Bears' best rookie this season?
That's a really good question. At this point, I would say that running back Jeremy Langford has been the Bears' best rookie this year. But I'm going to reserve judgment before making my final decision at the end of the year because defensive tackle Eddie Goldman has been gaining on Langford and could pass him up with a strong finish. Goldman was considered primarily a run-stuffer when he entered the draft, but the Florida State product has shown excellent pass rush ability as well and leads all NFL rookies with 4.5 sacks. Goldman also has performed well against the run, frequently penetrating into the backfield. Langford has been very solid, taking advantage of increased opportunities in recent weeks. He's shown very good running instincts, explosiveness and speed and always looks like he knows who to block in blitz pick-up, which is always one of the most difficult adjustments for a rookie running back to make.
When was the last time the Bears beat the Vikings in Minnesota the same year the Vikings beat the Bears in Chicago?
Orland Park, Illinois
The last time the road team won both meetings in the series was in 1999 when the Bears beat the Vikings 24-22 at the Metrodome and then lost to Minnesota 15-13 at Soldier Field. The Bears and Vikings have played two games against each other every year since 1961 (with the exception of the strike-shortened 1982 season when they only met once) and the road team has won both games on six occasions (1964, 1965, 1971, 1983, 1996 and 1999). Overall, the home team has won 22 of the last 27 meetings between the longtime division rivals.
Do you think the Bears should wear their white jerseys in their final home game against the Lions to try to bring some of that road mojo to Soldier Field (where they're just 1-6)?
They couldn't do that at this juncture even if they wanted to because the NFL requires that home teams designate which jerseys they're going to wear well before the season even starts. The whole home/road split this season has been very puzzling to me. The Bears lost to some good teams at home in the Packers, Cardinals, Vikings and Broncos, but that wasn't necessarily the case against the 49ers and Redskins. And then you look at them winning games in Kansas City and Green Bay, which are two of the most difficult places to play in the league, and you end up scratching your head.