Fred Mitchell answers e-mail questions
Q Brad Maynard was mentioned as a Pro Bowl possibility last season, but he has shanked two key punts the last two weeks. What's his problem?
Bills the ball on their 44-yard line, setting up their winning drive.
Maynard punted six times Sunday and averaged 38.7 yards, with one being downed inside the 20. Last year Maynard established a Bears single-season record by landing 36 punts inside the 20 to rank in the top two in the league for the fourth time in his career.
Q Do the Bears actually practice that lateral play that Mike Brown ran back 62 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter Sunday?
A Much of what happens on the field during a game can be chalked up to football instincts, but the Bears do practice laterals.
When Buffalo's Travis Henry was stripped of the football by Warrick Holdman, his teammates knew what script to follow.
"It was just a good play by Warrick," linebacker Rosevelt Colvin said. "He came up and stripped the ball. I picked it up and stumbled. I heard Mike Brown on the side of me saying, 'Pitch it, pitch it.' He did the rest and got in the end zone."
Q What happened to Anthony Thomas and the Bears' running game?
A The Bears' first offensive play of the game was a play-action pass to Thomas for a 6-yard gain. But that play was not nearly as effective as the game progressed because the Bears failed to establish that they could run consistently. Thomas was limited to 48 yards on 23 carries. That's an average of 2.1 yards a carry. His longest run was 5 yards.
"They're an eight-man [defensive] front team a lot of the time, but we have to run it better than that," Bears coach Dick Jauron said.
Offensive coordinator John Shoop thinks Thomas has to progress to the point of being able to break more tackles.
"We really never broke a chunk in the run game," Shoop said. "That was the difference. Everything is going to suffer if you don't have a good running game."
Q Was David Terrell really forced out of the end zone on that possible third-down touchdown reception in the fourth quarter?
A As Terrell caught Jim Miller's pass with his outstretched hands, Bills defender Pierson Prioleau made contact while also going for the football. The official hesitated, then signaled for a touchdown before Buffalo challenged the call because both of Terrell's feet were not inbounds.
The TD was reversed and the Bears were forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Paul Edinger to tie the score at 20.
Jauron thought Terrell was forced out of bounds by the contact, which would have meant the TD should have counted.
"It looked like it on the replay," Jauron said.