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.
Why did the Bears waive Dane Sanzenbacher? They never really gave him a chance this year. Last year he did a great job filling in after Johnny Knox went down.
I suspect the Bears waived Dane Sanzenbacher because they need a roster spot to sign a player for Sunday's season finale after running back Matt Forte and safety Chris Conte were injured Sunday in Arizona. With Conte getting hurt after Craig Steltz was placed on injured reserve, the Bears have only two healthy safeties on their roster in Major Wright and Anthony Walters. Sanzenbacher was the logical choice because he had only played in four games this season and doesn't contribute on special teams like Joe Anderson. I know Sanzenbacher played well last year, but he slipped down the depth chart when the Bears bolstered the position during the offseason by trading for Brandon Marshall and selecting Alshon Jeffery in the second round of the draft.
If the Bears make the playoffs, is there a chance they could play the Packers in the opening round?
When the 49ers lost to the Seahawks Sunday night, it became impossible for the Bears to play the Packers in the first round of the playoffs. Green Bay (11-4) currently owns a half-game lead over San Francisco (10-4-1) for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The Packers must beat the Vikings for the Bears to make the playoffs, which would give Green Bay that No. 2 seed. The Bears will earn a wildcard berth and the No. 6 seed with a win in Detroit coupled with a Vikings loss. If that happens, they would open the playoffs in San Francisco—unless the 49ers somehow lose to the woeful Cardinals and the Seahawks beat the Rams this coming weekend.
Everyone has been ripping the Bears offensive line, but I feel they played well against the Cardinals. What do you think?
I think the offensive line played very well in Arizona, especially when you consider that the Bears were playing a different starting five for the fifth straight game. The pass protection and the run blocking were both excellent. The only sack the Bears gave up was a coverage sack and the line created big holes for a running game that produced 152 yards on 33 carries.