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 wondering how many sacks the Rams defense has in its first two games this season and do you think they will bring extra heat after the Bears allowed seven sacks to the Packers?
The Rams have recorded just two sacks in two games this season—only the Chiefs have fewer with one—but that doesn't mean their pass rush is not dangerous. Chris Long has emerged as one of the NFL's most productive defensive ends, increasing his sack total in each of his first four seasons from 4 to 5 to 8½ to 13 last season. It certainly is a copycat league so I'm sure the Rams will salivate when they watch tape of the Bears-Packers game and try to design a game plan where they can generate pressure on Jay Cutler. In addition, they probably will incorporate some of the two-man defenses that Green Bay used to shut down and frustrate the Bears last week in Green Bay.
What was your take on the 12 men-on-the-field penalty the Bears drew against the Packers? It seemed to me that Nick Roach had at least one foot out of bounds.
West Palm Beach, Florida
I agree completely with you. It would be one thing if the officials had initially called a penalty on the play. But with a replay challenge there has to be definitive proof to overturn a ruling and I'm not so sure that was the case with the 12 men-on-the-field penalty against Bears linebacker Nick Roach, who appeared to reach the sideline before the ball was snapped.
I thought that Jay Cutler's fourth interception against the Packers should have been ruled an incomplete pass. The replay appeared to show the ball hit the ground. I thought all turnovers and scoring plays are automatically reviewed. Why was this play not reviewed?
You are correct that beginning this season all turnovers are automatically reviewed by the replay official, so I assume the play you're referring to was looked at. It looked border line to me in terms of whether Packers safety Jerron McMillian made the catch. Remember, the ball can touch the ground as long as the player has complete control of it. Interestingly, McMillian was ruled down by contact, but replays showed that clearly wasn't the case.