- Summer Fantasy Outlook: Chicago Bears - Examiner.com
- There was a lot of talk in the spring about the Bears potentially being interested in Plaxico Burress and Brandon Marshall. It's easy to see why. While Rex Grossman has been the posterboy for a pedestrian Bear offense in recent years, the fact is: Few...
- Bears ticket sale July 25 - The State Journal-Register
- AP LAKE FOREST — The Chicago Bears announced Tuesday that individual-game tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster at noon on July 25. Purchases must be made with a credit card, by phone or on the Internet. Fans can buy tickets by phone at (800)...
- Chicago QB Jay Cutler would be happy to throw to former Denver ... - Daily Press
- By Marty O'Brien 247-4963 WILLIAMSBURG - Jay Cutler's recent addition to the Chicago Bears' roster appears to have ended almost a decade of musical chairs at quarterback in the Windy City. But a receiving corps rated average at best begs the question...
- Bears' new QB brings ego and explanations to W&M camp - The Virginian-Pilot
- The resolution: when he found out, the indignant Cutler, 26, forced a deal to the Chicago Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton and draft picks. "When Mike Shanahan got fired, it kind of started tumbling from there," Cutler said of Denver's former coach....
- Bears Fans Will Pay More for Parking - Chicago Public Radio
- Chicago Bears fans will have to pay a little more if they want to tailgate during games this football season. That's due to a 50 percent jump in parking fees for two lots just south of Soldier Field. One lot is underneath McCormick Place, and the other...
- Many Chicago Bears impress coach Lovie Smith in off-season - Chicago Tribune
- By Dan Pompei | Tribune reporter Had Lovie Smith talked about the Bears who failed to impress him this off-season instead of those who did, it would have saved notebook paper, video tape and vocal strain. Before a question could be asked,...
- Cleveland Browns will use version of Chicago Bears' famed 46' defense - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
- Ryan's Chicago Bears "46" defense bludgeoned foes in the 1980s with relentless pressure on running and passing downs. Ryan's defense might have been the most dominant the NFL has ever seen. The 46 name came from the jersey number of hard-hitting safety...
- When Mike North and Dan Jiggetts interviewed David Hernandez -- a ... - Chicago Tribune
- I'd like to have us all partnering and acquire the Bears. That would be a lifelong dream. MN: What would you do? What would you do as a very successful businessman? What would be your first, the first order of duty with the Chicago Bears?...
- ESPN's All-Decade Offense - Windy City Gridiron
- The tiebreakers: Kreutz appeared in a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears and more league personnel named him than Mawae or Birk. "You look at a guy like Kreutz and you really appreciate his consistency," San Diego Chargers general manager AJ Smith said....
- Bold names: Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane on cover of EA Sports ... - Chicago Tribune
- Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is sympathetic to Brandon Marshall's plight in Denver and hasn't been averse lately to lending a sympathetic ear to a wide receiver he wouldn't mind running routes for the Bears. "I talked to 'B' a few days ago," Cutler...
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the NFC North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team is legally and corporately registered as Chicago Bears Football Club, Incorporated.
The Bears have won nine Professional American Football league championships (eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX). The Bears have the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with 26 members. The Bears have also recorded more regular season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise. The franchise recorded their 700th win on December 7, 2008.
The club was founded in Decatur, Illinois, in 1919, and moved to Chicago in 1921. Along with the Arizona Cardinals (also originally from Chicago), it is one of only two remaining extant franchises since the NFL's founding. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. With the exception of the 2002 season, they have played their home games at Chicago's Soldier Field every year since 1971. The stadium is located next to Lake Michigan, and was recently remodeled in a modernization intended to update stadium amenities while preserving a historic Chicago structure. The team has a fierce, long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers, whom they have played more than 170 times.
The team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. They hold their annual training camp from late July to mid-August on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
Originally named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley Company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team. This was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921. However, official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
The team relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the Chicago Staleys. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$ 100, whereupon they were renamed the Chicago Bears.
The Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL (and a crosstown rivalry from 1920 to 1959), was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs (who took two league titles over that span), and split with their crosstown rival Cardinals (going 4–4–2 against each other over that span), but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.
The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest, fiercest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, and then graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player.
In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears. The team moved into Wrigley Field, which was home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team (some directly, some indirectly - like the Bears, whose young are called "cubs"). Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, and the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each (the blue is a Navy Blue, and the orange is Pantone 1665, similar to burnt orange).
The franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7, even putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo. But the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, and the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929.
During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated. The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian.
After the financial losses of the 1932 Championship season, Halas' partner Dutch Sternaman left the organization. Halas maintained full control of the Bears until his death in 1983. He also coached the team off-and-on for forty seasons, an NFL record. In the 1932 "Unofficial" NFL Championship, the Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans in the first indoor American football game at Chicago Stadium.
The success of the playoff game led the NFL to institute a championship game. In the very first NFL Championship, the Bears played against the New York Giants, defeating them 23–21. The teams met again in the 1934 NFL Championship where the Giants, wearing sneakers defeated the Bears 30–13 on a cold, icy day at the Polo Grounds.
From 1940–1947, quarterback Sid Luckman led the Bears to victories in four out of the five NFL Championship Games in which they appeared. The team acquired the University of Chicago's discarded nickname "Monsters of the Midway" and their now-famous helmet "C", as well as a newly penned theme song that declared them "The Pride and Joy of Illinois". One famous victory during that period was their 73–0 victory over the favored Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium in the 1940 NFL Championship Game; the score is still an NFL record for lopsided results. The secret behind the one-sided outcome was the introduction of a new offensive formation by Halas. The T-formation, as Halas named it, involved two running backs instead of the traditional one in the backfield. Luckman's success at the quarterback position for the Bears has not been matched, as he still holds club records for passing.
After declining throughout the 1950s, the team rebounded in 1963 to capture their 8th NFL Championship, which would be their last until 1985. The late 1960s and early 1970s produced notable players like Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, and Brian Piccolo, who died of Embryonal carcinoma in 1970. The American television network ABC aired a movie about Piccolo in 1971 entitled Brian's Song, starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams in the roles of Piccolo and Sayers respectively; Jack Warden won an Emmy Award for his performance as Halas. The movie was later released for theater screenings after first being shown on television.
Halas retired as coach in 1967 and spent the rest of his days in the front office. He became the only person to be involved with the NFL throughout the first 60 years of its existence. He was also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's first induction class in 1963. As the only living founder of the NFL at the February 1970 merger between the NFL and the American Football League, the owners honored Halas by electing him the first President of the National Football Conference, a position that he held until his death in 1983. In his honor, the NFL named the National Football Conference Championship trophy as the George Halas Memorial Trophy.
After the merger, the Bears finished the 1970 season with a last-place finish in the division, a repeat of their placing in the 1969 season. In 1975, the Bears drafted Walter Payton from Jackson State University with their first pick. He won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in the 1977–78 season. Payton would go on to eclipse Jim Brown's NFL career rushing record in 1984 before retiring in 1987, and would hold the mark until 2002, when Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys surpassed it. Payton's career and great personality would capture the hearts of Bear fans, who called him "Sweetness". He died from a rare liver cancer in 1999 at the age of 45.
From 1977 through 1985 the club's official cheerleaders were the Honey Bears, who were hired by then-General Manager Jim Finks. They cheered at all Bears home games and performed at halftime. The idea of a cheerleading squad was thought up by Halas, who called them "dancing girls." and said that the Honey Bears would be around as long as he was alive. After his death in 1983, his heirs in the McCaskey family decided to end their relationship with the Honey Bears, declining to renew their contract following the Bears' championship season of 1985.
On November 1, 1983, a day after the death of George Halas, his oldest daughter, Virginia McCaskey, took over as the majority owner of the team. Her husband, Ed McCaskey, succeeded her father as the Chairman of the Board. Their son Michael became the third president in team history. Mrs. McCaskey holds the honorary title of "secretary of the board of directors", but the 82–year–old matriarch has been called the glue that holds the franchise together. Mrs. McCaskey's reign as the owner of the Bears was not planned, as her father originally earmarked her brother, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr. as the heir apparent to the franchise. However, he died of a massive heart attack in 1979. Her impact on the team is well-noted as her own family has dubbed her "The First Lady of Sports", and the Chicago Sun-Times has listed her as one of Chicago's most powerful women.
Mike Ditka, a tight end for the Bears from 1961 to 1966, was hired to coach the team in 1982. In the 1985 season the fire in the Bears–Packers rivalry was relit when Ditka used 350–plus pound lineman "Refrigerator" Perry as a truly "wide" receiver in a touchdown play at Lambeau Field, flagrantly taunting the Packers. The Bears won their ninth NFL Championship, first since the AFL-NFL merger, in Super Bowl XX after the 1985 season in which they dominated the NFL with their then-revolutionary 46 defense and a cast of characters that recorded the novelty rap song "The Super Bowl Shuffle". The season was notable in that the Bears had only one loss, the "unlucky 13th" game of the season, a Monday night affair in which they were defeated by the Miami Dolphins. At the time, much was made of the fact that the 1972 Dolphins were the only franchise in history to have had an undefeated season and post-season. The Dolphins came close to setting up a rematch in the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. "The Super Bowl Shuffle" was videotaped the day after that Monday night loss in Miami.
After the 1985 Championship season, the Bears remained competitive throughout the 1980s but failed to return to the Super Bowl under Mike Ditka. Since the firing of Ditka at the end of the 1992 season, the Bears have made the playoffs five times under three different head coaches: Dave Wannstedt from 1993 through 1998, Dick Jauron from 1999 through 2003, and current head coach, Lovie Smith. Before the Bears hired Jauron in January 1999, Dave McGinnis (Arizona's defensive coordinator, and a former Bears assistant under Ditka and Wannstedt) backed out of taking the head coaching position. The Bears scheduled a press conference to announce the hiring before McGinnis agreed to contract terms. Soon after Jauron's hiring, Mrs. McCaskey fired her son Michael as president, replacing him with Ted Phillips and promoting Michael to chairman of the board. McCaskey's reign as president has been viewed as a "disaster". Phillips, the current Bears president, became the first man outside of the Halas-McCaskey family to run the team.
Lovie Smith, hired on January 15, 2004, is the third and current (as of 2009) post-Ditka head coach. Joining the Bears as a rookie head coach, Smith brought the highly successful Tampa 2 defensive scheme with him to Chicago. Before his second season with the Bears, the team rehired their former offensive coordinator and then Illinois head coach Ron Turner to improve the Bears' struggling offense. In 2005, the Bears won their division and reached the playoffs for the first time in four years. Their previous playoff berth was earned by winning the NFC Central in 2001. The Bears improved upon their success the following season, by clinching their second consecutive NFC North title during week thirteen of the 2006 season, winning their first playoff game since 1995, and earning a trip to Super Bowl XLI. However, they fell short of the championship, losing 29–17 to the Indianapolis Colts. Following the 2006 season, the club decided to give Lovie Smith a contract extension through 2011, at roughly $5 million per year. This comes a season after being the lowest paid head coach in the National Football League.
On April 2, 2009, the Bears made one of the biggest trades in franchise history, acquiring Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler and a 5th round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft from the Denver Broncos in exchange for quarterback Kyle Orton, the Bears' 1st and 3rd round selections in the 2009 NFL Draft and the Bears' 1st round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The club has played in over a thousand games since becoming a charter member of the NFL in 1920. Through the 2008 season, they lead the NFL in overall franchise wins with 702 and have an overall record of 702–515–42 (going 686–498–42 during the regular season and 16–17 in the playoffs).. On December 7, 2008 the Bears recorded franchise win number 700 in a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
During the 2009 NFL draft, the bears selected Jarron Gilbert out of San Jose State. He was chosen 68th overall in the third round, but was Chicago's first pick of the 2009 draft due to the Jay Cutler trade.
Virginia McCaskey, her children, and grandchildren control 80% of the team, and Mrs. McCaskey votes her children's stock as well as her own. Patrick Ryan, executive chairman of Aon Corp., and Aon director Andrew McKenna own 19.7% of the club. In a Crain's Chicago Business article, one businessman described his wishes for the team to maximize its potential. There have been rumors that the McCaskey family might split up over the team.
In 2008, Forbes magazine reported that the Chicago Bears franchise is worth $1.1 billion, making it the ninth richest franchise in the NFL. Chicago is the National Football League's second largest market. The team has major sponsorship deals with Chase, Miller Brewing Company, Cadillac, United Airlines, Motorola, U.S. Cellular and Coca-Cola. The team was the first in the NFL to have a presenting sponsor, with the 2004 season advertised as "Bears Football presented by BankOne (now Chase)". Additionally, the Bears have an agreement with WFLD-TV (the FOX affiliate in Chicago) to broadcast pre-season football games.
The club's first logo was introduced in the early 1950s as a black bear on top of a football. They kept this until 1962, when the Bears trademark 'C' logo was first introduced.
The change in their logo from the black bear was due to the addition of logos on helmets, which pro football teams started adding in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike some NFL franchises that have had many different looks over time, the Bears have kept the wishbone 'C' for over 40 years.
In 1974, the team decided to keep the same white 'C' logo but to change the color of it from white to orange with a white trim. This is the current logo; however, the club has since introduced alternative logos, including a black bear inside of the orange wishbone 'C', introduced in 1995, and an orange bear head, introduced in 1999.
In 1920 the team introduced uniforms containing brown and blue stripes. In the 1930s, the franchise's uniform underwent substantial alterations. By 1933 the Bears donned all-orange jerseys with navy numbers and matching black helmets. In 1936, they modified this design into "an early version of psychedelia" by adding three orange stripes to their helmets, changing the color of the jerseys from orange to white, complementing the new white jerseys with fourteen navy and orange alternating stripes on the sleeves, and introducing socks with a similar striped pattern extending from ankle to knee. Because of poor response from the fans and the media, this design lasted only one season.
By 1949, the team was wearing the familiar navy blue shirts with white, rounded numbers. In 1956, the team added "TV numbers" to the sleeves. The Bears 'C' logo first appeared on the helmets in 1962. The logo changed from white to a white-bordered orange logo eleven years later, and has remained unchanged ever since. The Bears added the initials GSH to the left sleeve of their jerseys in 1984 in memory of George Halas.
For decades, the team was known as the only NFL team to wear jersey numbers that were not the traditional block-style numbers. Although a handful of other NFL teams and the Houston Oilers during their early AFL days experimented with rounder jersey numbers, by the mid-1960s the Bears were the only team left to continue wearing rounded jersey numbers. Since the mid-1990s, however, several teams have shifted away from the block numbers in favor of numbers that match a specific team font (e.g. Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, etc...) or in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, match the jersey number font with the helmet numbers while otherwise leaving the jersey design alone.
Other variations to the Bears uniforms over the years include the addition of navy blue pants as a part of the road kit in 1984. During the 1994 season, the Bears – with most of the other NFL franchises – introduced throwback uniforms to be worn in the honor of the NFL's 75th Anniversary. These uniforms with brown and blue stripes resemble the original Bears uniforms worn in the 1920s. On October 7, 2002 the Bears wore navy blue pants with their navy blue home jerseys for the first time, and lost at home to Green Bay before a national Monday Night Football audience. The Bears did not wear the all-blue combination again until the 2006 regular season finale against the Packers, also a loss, on December 31.
On November 13, 2005 and October 29, 2006 (both times in games against the San Francisco 49ers), the Bears introduced an orange alternate home jersey. The orange swaps roles with the navy blue on this alternate jersey, as it becomes the dominant color while the navy complements. The orange jerseys were worn again on October 19, 2008 at home against the Minnesota Vikings in a 48-41 victory.
The Bears previously wore orange jerseys as part of a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. Their uniforms, especially for their classic look, have been cited as one of the best in the league.
Before the introduction of Staley Da Bear, the club had two unofficial mascots named "Rocky" and "Bearman". "Rocky" was a man who donned a "1" Bears jersey, carried a megaphone, and started chants all over Soldier Field during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. There is no known source of who "Rocky" was, except that he disappeared from Soldier Field in the early 1990s and presumably lived in Northwest Indiana. Don Wachter, also known as "Bearman", is a season ticket holder who decided in 1995 that he could also assist the team by cheerleading. The club allowed him to run across the field with a large Bears flag during player introductions and each team score. In 1996, he donned his "costume" of face paint, bear head and arms, and a number 46 jersey. "Bearman" was forced to stop wearing his costume with the introduction of Staley Da Bear in 2003; however, in 2005 Wachter was allowed in costume again.
Soldier Field, located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, is the current home to the Bears. The Bears moved into Soldier Field in 1971 after outgrowing Wrigley Field, the team's home for 50 years, and Northwestern University's residential neighbors objected to their playing at Dyche Stadium, now called Ryan Field. After the AFL-NFL Merger, the newly merged league wanted their teams to play in stadiums that could hold at least 50,000 fans. Even with the portable bleachers that the team brought into Wrigley, the stadium could still only hold 46,000. The stadium's playing turf was changed from astroturf to natural grass in time for the start of the 1988 season. The stadium was the site of the infamous Fog Bowl playoff game between the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.
In 2002, the stadium was closed and rebuilt with only the exterior wall of the stadium being preserved. It was closed on Sunday, January 20, 2002, a day after the Bears lost in the playoffs. It reopened on September 27, 2003 after a complete rebuild (the second in the stadium's history). Many fans refer to the rebuilt stadium as "New Soldier Field". During the 2002 season, the Bears played their home games at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign, where they went 3-5.
Many critics have negative views of the new stadium. They believe that its current structure has made it more of an eyesore than a landmark; some have dubbed it the "Mistake on the Lake". Soldier Field was stripped of its National Historic Landmark designation on February 17, 2006.
In the 2005 season, the Bears won the NFC North Division and the No. 2 Seed in the NFC Playoffs, entitling them to play at least one home game in the postseason. The team hosted (and lost) their divisional round match on January 15, 2006 against the Carolina Panthers. This was the first playoff game at Soldier Field since the stadium reopened.
The stadium's end zones and midfield were not painted until the 1982 season. The design sported on the field included the bolded word "Chicago" in both end zones. In 1983, the end zone design returned, with the addition of a large wishbone "C" Bears logo painted at midfield. These field markings remained unchanged until the 1996 season. In 1996 the midfield wishbone "C" was changed to a large blue Bears head, and the end zone design were painted with "Bears" in cursive. This new design remained until the 1999 season, at which point the artwork was returned to the classic "Chicago" and the "C". In the new Soldier Field, the artwork was tweaked to where one end zone had the word "Chicago" bolded and the other had "Bears".
While the Super Bowl XX Champion Bears were a fixture of mainstream American pop culture in the 1980s, the Bears made a prior mark with the 1971 American TV movie Brian's Song starring Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers and James Caan as Brian Piccolo. The film told of how Piccolo helped Sayers recover from a devastating knee injury to return to his status as one of the league's best players, and how Sayers in turn helped the Piccolo family through Brian's fatal illness. A 2001 remake of the movie for ABC starred Sean Maher as Piccolo and Mekhi Phifer as Sayers.
The 1985 team is also remembered for recording the song "The Super Bowl Shuffle", which reached number forty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The music video for the song depicts the team rapping that they are "not here to start no trouble" but instead "just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle". The team took a risk by recording and releasing the song before the playoffs had even begun, but were able to avoid embarrassment by going on to win Super Bowl XX by a then-record margin of 46-10. That game was one of the most watched television events in history according to the Nielsen Ratings system; the game had a rating of 48.3, ranking it seventh in all-time television history.
In addition to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" rap song, the Bears' success in the 1980s – and especially the personality of head coach Mike Ditka – inspired a recurring sketch on the American sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live, called "Bill Swerski's Superfans". The sketch featured Cheers co-star George Wendt, a Chicago native, as host of a radio talk-show (similar in tone to WGN radio's "The Sportswriters"), with co-panelists Carl Wollarski (Robert Smigel), Pat Arnold (Mike Myers) and Todd O'Connor (Chris Farley). To hear them tell it, "Da Bears" and Coach Ditka could do no wrong. The sketch stopped after Ditka was fired in 1993. The sketch usually showed the panelists drinking lots of beer and eating lots of Polish sausage, and often featured Todd getting so agitated about what was happening with the Bears that he suffered a heart attack, but quickly recovered (through self-administered CPR). The sketch also features the cast predicting unrealistic blowout victories for Bears games. A significantly overweight Farley died in 1997 from a drug overdose exacerbated by arteriosclerosis, and Da Super Fan sketch has not been brought back by SNL, with the exception of a single appearance by Horatio Sanz as a Super Fan for the Cubs on Weekend Update in 2003. Outside of SNL, George Wendt reprised his role of Swerski in the opening promo of Super Bowl XL on ABC.
On TV shows based in Chicago such as Still Standing, According to Jim and The Bernie Mac Show, the main characters are all Bears fans, and have worn Bears' jerseys and t-shirts on some occasions. Some episodes even show them watching Bears games.
Ditka's success and popularity in Chicago has led him to land analyst roles on various American football pregame shows. Ditka worked for both the NFL on NBC and CBS's The NFL Today, and he currently works on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and provides Friday night analysis on the Bears on CBS 2 Chicago, the CBS Chicago affiliate, called "2 on Football" with CBS 2 Sports Director Mark Malone. He is also the color analyst for all local broadcasts of Bears preseason games. Ditka also co-starred himself alongside actor Will Ferrell in the 2005 comedy film Kicking & Screaming.
Also, Ditka, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, William "Refrigerator" Perry and Brian Urlacher are among Bears figures known for their appearances in TV commercials. Urlacher, whose jersey was among the league's best-selling in 2002, was featured on Nike commercials with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
Bill George and Doug Buffone hold the record for the most seasons in a Bears uniform with 14. George did it between the 1952 and 1965 seasons and Buffone during the 1966 through 1979 seasons. On the other hand, Steve McMichael holds the record for most consecutive games played by a Bear with 191; he accomplished the feat from 1981 to 1993. In second place is Payton, who played 186 games from 1975 to 1987 at running back, a position considered to be conducive to injury, only missing one game in a span of 13 seasons.
Placekicker Kevin Butler holds the club record for scoring the most points in his ten-year Bear career. He scored 1,116 points as the Bears kicker from 1985 to 1995. He is followed in distant second place by Payton, with 750 points. Payton holds the team record for career rushing yards with 16,726. That was an NFL record until Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys broke it in 2002. Neal Anderson, who played from 1986 to 1993, is the closest to Payton's record with 6,166 yards. Mark Bortz holds the record for most Bear playoff appearances, with 13 between 1983 and 1994, and is followed by Kevin Butler, Dennis Gentry, Dan Hampton, Jay Hilgenberg, Steve McMichael, Ron Rivera, Mike Singletary, and Keith Van Horne, who have each played in 12 playoff games.
The 1940 Chicago Bears team holds the record for the biggest margin of victory in an NFL game (playoff or regular season) with a 73–0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. The largest home victory for the Bears came in a 61–7 result against the Green Bay Packers in 1980. The largest defeat in club history was a 52–0 loss against the Baltimore Colts in 1964. The club recorded undefeated regular seasons in 1934 and 1942, but (unlike the 1972 Dolphins) did not win the championship game in either season. In 1934, the club completed a 13–0 record but were defeated by the New York Giants, and in 1942 the club completed an 11–0 record but were defeated by the Redskins. Had the Bears won either championship, the club would have completed a championship three-peat – a feat completed only by the Packers (twice), although no team has done it since the AFL-NFL merger. Halas holds the team record for coaching the most seasons with 40 and for having the most career victories of 324. Halas' victories record stood until Don Shula surpassed Halas in 1993. Ditka is the closest Bears coach to Halas, with 112 career victories. No other Bears coach has recorded over 100 victories with the team.
During the 2006 season, return specialist Devin Hester set several kick return records. He had six touchdown returns, setting a record for most returns in a single season. In 2007, he recorded another six touchdown season from returns. One of the most notable of these returns came on November 12, 2006, when he returned a missed field goal for a 108-yard touchdown. The record tied teammate Nathan Vasher's previous record, which was set almost a year earlier. Additionally, Hester set a Super Bowl record by becoming the first person to return an opening kick of a Super Bowl for a touchdown.
Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.
In the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Bears are have the most enshrined primary members with twenty-six, however the club also have had five Hall of Famers spend a minor portion of their career with the franchise. George Halas, Bronko Nagurski, and Red Grange were a part of the original class of inductees in 1963, while defensive end Dan Hampton, the most recent Bear inducted, was a part of the Class of 2002.
The Bears have retired thirteen uniform numbers, which is the most in the NFL, and ranks third behind the basketball Boston Celtics (21) and baseball New York Yankees (16) for the most in North American professional sports.
As of December 30, 2007. Only regular season and postseason games are counted.
2007 Chicago Bears season
The 2007 Chicago Bears season was the team's 88th regular season in the National Football League. The season officially began on September 9, 2007 against the San Diego Chargers, and concluded on December 30 against the New Orleans Saints. The Bears entered the 2007 season as the National Football Conference Champions and had hopes of returning to the Super Bowl, but instead finished the season with a disappointing 7-9 record.
One of the biggest stories in the Bears’ off-season was Tank Johnson’s jail sentence. In December 2006, Johnson came under increased scrutiny after police entered his house in Gurnee, Illinois, and found several guns and weapon paraphernalia. The situation was further complicated when Johnson’s friend, William Posey, was murdered the following evening while defending Johnson at a nightclub. On March 15, 2007, a judge in Skokie, Illinois sentenced Johnson to a 120 days in jail and fined him $2,500 dollars. He was released from jail on May 13, 2007, due to good behavior. Johnson also faced an additional eight game suspension from the NFL. The league ultimately suspended Johnson for half of the regular season on June 4. Despite vowing the amend his ways, Johnson was pulled over for speeding in Arizona, and was later given a blood test after an officer suspected he was driving under the influence. The incident prompted the Bears to waive Johnson on June 25. Johnson was replaced by Darwin Walker.
Additionally, controversy ensued between the Bears’ management and Lance Briggs. Only weeks after losing Super Bowl XLI, the Bears placed a franchise tag worth nearly $7.2 million dollars on the Pro Bowl caliber linebacker, keeping him with the team for another year. Briggs became unhappy with the action and voiced his anger on The Mike North Morning Show. He even went as far to claim he no longer wanted to be a member of the Bears, a statement he later reiterated nationally on FoxSports.com. Despite Briggs' remarks, the Bears stated that they planned to keep him with the organization for the 2007 season. The Washington Redskins offered to exchange first round draft picks with the Bears in exchange for Briggs. Angelo deferred the offer on April 3, but later stated they were interested in negotiating another deal the following day. Briggs came to terms with the Bears on July 25, and accepted the 7.2 million dollar contract.
The Bears resigned Ruben Brown, the team's last remaining free agent from the previous season, to a year extension for an undisclosed amount of money. Amidst these significant changes, Jerry Angelo, the team's general manager, stated, "I know on the outside it looks like we want to dismantle the team. It has nothing to do with that. We want to keep this the best possible football team that we can. And that's what we're trying to do.", while addressing the media in March. By the end of May, the Bears had lost ten members of their 2006 roster.
The team has resigned Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman to multi-year contracts. The team traded one of their draft picks for to the Buffalo Bills for Darwin Walker, who will replace Tank Johnson. The Bears traded safety Chris Harris to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick in 2008. Dante Wesley was also traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for a seventh round pick.
The Bears’ coaching staff also saw significant changes during the off season. The team did not re-sign defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, whose contract expired at the end of the 2006 season. He was replaced by linebackers coach Bob Babich, who had followed head coach Lovie Smith from the St. Louis Rams. Eventually, five assistant coaches, including quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, would leave the Bears for other teams. The team worked out a contract extension with Lovie Smith, which extended his contract for four years to 2011. Smith will make a total of $22 million dollars during the course of the deal. Jerry Angelo, the team’s general manager, also signed a six-year deal on the same day. The Bears billed Pep Hamilton of the San Francisco 49ers as their new quarterback coach, and Charles London of Duke University as the team’s offensive quality control coach.
Going into the 2007 NFL Draft, the Bears did not reveal which prospects they were interested in, but stated that they entered the draft looking for the “best athlete available”. As the loser of the previous Super Bowl, the Bears entered the 2007 NFL Draft ostensibly with the thirty-first selection in each of the seven rounds of the draft. However, as a result of trading activity, both before and during the draft, the Bears ended up with nine picks instead of seven, and only five of those nine were in the 31st position.
The team used their 31st overall selection to draft Greg Olsen to solidify their tight end position. They later traded their second round, 37th overall selection to the San Diego Chargers, in exchange for the team’s second (62), third (93), fifth (167) and next year's third selection. Next, Dan Bazuin was selected to further bolster the Bears’ defensive line, while Chicago native Garrett Wolfe was selected in the third round following Thomas Jones’ departure. The team spent their other third-round pick to acquire linebacker Michael Okwo. The bears drafted Offensive guard Josh Beekman in the fourth round, and then selected two defensive backs, Kevin Payne and Corey Graham in the fourth round. Lastly, the team drafted offensive tackle Aaron Brant and cornerback Trumaine McBride in the seventh round.
Following the Draft, the Bears signed several undrafted free agents. Most notably, the team acquired Chris Leak, who had previously led the Florida Gators to a BCS National Championship title, and Dave Ball, who broke Jerry Rice’s Division I-AA record with 58 career touchdowns. The team acquired six other rookie free agents to reinforce other positions. An additional six undrafted rookies were recruited following the team's rookie mini-camp to fill various needs in their team's depth chart. The Bears became the first team in the League to sign all of their draft picks when they came to terms with Dan Bazuin on July 25.
Though the team started conditioning for the upcoming season as early as February, the Bears had scheduled several training camps between the 2007 NFL Draft, and the first game of the 2007 preseason. The first mini-camp for first year players was held less than a week after the Draft so that coaches could further evaluate the talent of rookie players. Next, the team had a mandatory mini-camp, which started on May 18, 2007. During the Bears' first mini-camp, Tommie Harris, Dusty Dvoracek, and Mike Brown returned to practice after missing portions of the 2006 season. Additionally, the team converted Devin Hester to wide receiver in hopes of using his play-making ability on offense as well as special teams.
The Bears held training camp from July 27 to August 18 at Olivet Nazarene University.
The team won their first preseason game against the Houston Texans by a score of 20-19. The game was highlighted by a staunch performance from their three quarterbacks. Rex Grossman completed eight of ten passes for fifty yards, while his back, Brian Griese, went six for seven with seventy-two yards and one touchdown and interception. However, third-string quarterback Kyle Orton played in integral part in their victory. Orton, who played nearly two quarters, completed sixteen of twenty-five passes for 151 yards and single touchdown. At one point, he had completed twelve consecutive passes. Running back Josh Allen and Orton got the Bears to the Texan's twenty-nine yard line, where Robbie Gould kicked the game's winning field goal. While the team's defense and offense performed productively, their special teams unit drew skepticism after allowing the Texans to produce several large kick returns. Dave Toub, the Bears' special team coach, blamed the problems on a lack of experience and poor tackling, which have since been properly addressed.
The following week, the Bears faced the Indianapolis Colts for Super Bowl XLI rematch. Although the game took place during prime-time, the they would treat the game as if it were any other preseason game. Regardless, the Bears won by a score of 27-24, but not without controversy. Grossman, making his homecoming to Indiana, struggled throughout the night. He fumbled the ball three times (though only turning it over once), and threw an interception. Despite completing the night by completing nine of eleven passes for fifty-nine yards and one rushing touchdown, Grossman’s struggles became the focus of the night. Griese, however, threw ten completions on thirteen attempts with one touchdown. The Bears defense was able to record three interceptions, while the special teams unit was able to force a fumble on a return. Return specialists Devin Hester and Danieal Manning also performed productively as kick returners.
The Bears trumped their third opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, by a score of 31-28. Grossman opened the game with a forty-yard pass to Bernard Berrian. He went on to throw two touchdowns, but also threw an interception to Walt Harris, who returned the pick for a touchdown. Benson continued to struggle, and only averaged less than a yard on each carry. Nevertheless, the team’s first string defense held the 49ers offense to only six points, and caused two turnovers. The Bears’ special team’s unit, who lost Hester to an injury in the first quarter, was plagued with fumbles, missed-snaps, inaccurate field goals. The 49ers, who had fallen behind by thirty-one points before the second half, mounted a fifteen-point rally in the fourth quarter. Their second string quarterback, Trent Dilfer completed nine of twelve passes for two touchdowns, en route to earning a perfect quarterback rating (158.3) for the night.
The team suffered their lost their Preseason finale to the Cleveland Browns, 19-9. Grossman, and most of the team’s starters saw limited action during the night. Instead, the team turned to Orton and Chris Leak to lead their offense. The Browns initially struggled, but used their special teams unit to score twelve points in the first half. Their second string rookie quarterback, Brady Quinn allowed the Browns to score their first offensive points of the night. The Bears quarterback, Kyle Orton, lead the game in passing, but failed to engineer a touchdown drive. The Bears turned to their fourth-string quarterback, Chris Leak, to finish the game. While Leak threw the Bears’ lone passing touchdown of the night, much of the night’s praise went to David Ball and Mike Hass, who both made difficult catches. The Bears finished the preseason with a 3-1 record. However, the team's top three draft picks, Greg Olsen, Dan Bazuin, and Michael Okwo sustained injuries. While Banzuin and Okwo were lost for the season, the team was optimistic that Olsen may play in the season's opener.
The National Football League determined the Bears' opponents long before the start of the 2007 NFL season. Their season opener, which was determined on March 26, 2007, will be an away game against the San Diego Chargers. The league released the remainder of the team's schedule on April 11, 2007, and stated the team will play five prime time games. The Bears will face the members of the NFC East, AFC West, and their peers from the NFC North. They will also have rematches with two of last year'splayoff opponents, the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
The Bears traveled to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium to start the 2007 season. They initially succeeded at containing LaDainian Tomlinson, the League’s reigning MVP, but received little support from Rex Grossman and Cedric Benson. The Chargers drove into Bears’ territory on their second drive, but came up empty after Alex Brown blocked a thirty-three yard field goal. Mike Brown thwarted another Charger’s drive by intercepting Philip Rivers, which was eventually followed by a twenty-seven yard field goal. However Grossman drove the team into field goal position, only to throw an interception (the result of a miscue between him and Bernard Berrian) deep within Chargers’ territory.
However, the Bears blew their shutout in the third quarter. After a punt return mishap, the Chargers capitalized on great field position and drove into Bears’ territory. Tomlinson threw a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to cap off the drive. On the Bears’ following drive, Adrian Peterson fumbled a carry, and which eventually allowed Tomlinson to score a rushing touchdown. The Bears failed to cover Antonio Gates, who collected 107 yards for the afternoon. In addition to the loss, the Bears were forced to cope with the season ending injuries to Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek.
After their season opening loss to the Chargers, the Bears rebounded by winning their home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bernard Berrian fumbled on the team’s opening drive, but a staunch defensive effort held the Chiefs at bay, and eventually allowed the Bears to engineer a successful drive. John St. Clair, a reserve offensive tackle, scored the Bears’ first offensive touchdown of the season from a one-yard pass from Rex Grossman. The team forced the Chiefs to punt on their next drive, which was returned for a touchdown by Devin Hester.The Chiefs managed to score their first points of the game after Damon Huard threw a sixteen yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe.
During halftime, the Bears received the Pro Team Community Award for their charity efforts. The Bears’ defense held the Chiefs to only three more points, after forcing pivotal turnovers in two red zone situations and also a blocked field goal attempt. Pro Bowlers Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Tommie Harris each recorded sacks, and forced Larry Johnson and Huard to leave the game with injuries. Cedric Benson recorded his first one hundred yard rushing game. With 20-10 win, the Bears advanced to 1-1 record.
The Bears returned home to play a Sunday night match with the Dallas Cowboys. The game was close early as the Bears' Robbie Gould and the Cowboys' Nick Folk each hit field goals respectively to make it a 3-3 tie at halftime. The Cowboys took the opening drive of the third quarter and ended it with a Tony Romo to Jason Witten touchdown pass. The Bears responded on the ensuing drive with a Cedric Benson goal line plunge. The Cowboys struck again before the end of the third quarter, Romo connecting on his second touchdown pass, this time to running back Marion Barber. Folk converted a 44 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, and on the next play from scrimmage, Bears quarterback Rex Grossman threw a costly interception to Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry, who ran it back for the score. With the lead in hand, the Cowboys proceeded to kill the clock, which they did effectively with Barber, who capped the scoring with a one yard touchdown run. Barber ended the night with over 100 yards rushing, and Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens caught eight passes for 145 yards. The Cowboys improved to 3-0, while the Bears dropped to 1-2.
Following the aftermath of the team’s loss to Dallas, the Bears turned to Brian Griese replace Rex Grossman. The change came in an attempt to protect the ball, and reduce turnovers. Nonetheless, the turnovers continued to haunt the team en route to 37-27 loss against the Detroit Lions. The Lions took a first quarter lead by blocking a Robbie Gould field-goal attempt, and then using the field position to score a field goal. The Bears’ offense struggled to move the ball in the first quarter, and but began to pick up momentum in the second quarter. Griese threw a fifteen-yard touchdown to Muhsin Muhammad, but also threw two interceptions in two red zone visits.
Jon Kitna and the Lion’s top tier passing offense managed to exploit the Bears’ injury depleted secondary. He managed to throw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, to keep the Bears’ four points behind the Lions. Griese threw an interception to Keith Smith, who returned it for a touchdown. However, Devin Hester responded by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. The Lions established their running game later, and allowed Kevin Jones to score a rushing touchdown, sending the Lions up by ten again. Griese led the Bears downfield on the subsequent drive. After several unusual penalties and mishaps, the Griese threw a touchdown to Desmond Clark. Now trailing by three points, the Gould attempted by an onside kick, but it was recovered and returned by Casey FitzSimmons, sealing the Bears’ loss.
Griese completed thirty-four of fifty-two passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in his first start as a Bear. The team’s running game mustered a combined total of sixty-nine yards; ousted by the Lions’ ninety-five yards. Both defenses unleashed equal punishment on their opposing quarterbacks, combining for a total of twelve quarterback sacks. The Lions’ victory snapped their four game losing streak against the Bears.
The Bears played the Green Bay Packers, their long time rivals, during week five. The game was a must-win situation for the Bears, who needed a win to preserve any chance of winning the division. The Packers entered the game with a 4-0 record, but were forced to suffer their first lost of the season at the hands of a staunch Bears defense. The Packers were able to take a quick lead as DeShawn Wynn rushed for over sixty yards and scored a touchdown on the team’s opening drive. Cedric Benson responded by scoring a rushing touchdown, but the Packers broke the tie when Brett Favre threw a touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.
The Packers’ offense drove into Bears territory several times during the second quarter, but Charles Tillman forced two fumbles. The two turnovers allowed the Bears to hold the Packers at bay, and keep hold their deficit to ten points. However, Brian Urlacher provided the game’s biggest turnover, when he intercepted Favre at the Packers’ fifteen yard line. The turnover allowed Brian Griese to throw a touchdown to Greg Olsen. Later, Charles Woodson fumbled whilst returning a punt, which allowed Robbie Gould to kick a game-tying field goal. The Bears defense prevented the Packers from scoring again. With two minutes left on the game clock, the Bears offense seemingly moved the ball in hopes of setting up a Gould field goal. However, Griese threw a play-action touchdown pass to Desmond Clark, and gave the Bears a seven-point lead.
Favre tried to lead the Packers down field again, but threw an interception to rookie Brandon McGowan in the end zone. The pick sealed a Bears victory, allowed the team to progress to 2-3. Al Michaels named Tillman as the ‘Horse Trailer Player of the Game’ for forcing two pivotal fumbles.
Following their victory against the Packers, the Bears returned home to play the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears’ return specialist Devin Hester allowed the Bears to take a lead by returning a punt 89 yards for a touchdown. However, Tarvaris Jackson tied the game by throwing a 60 yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson. Brian Griese threw a 39 yard touchdown to Bernard Berrian that helped the Bears regain the lead, but Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson helped the Vikings gain control of the game by scoring rushing touchdowns of 67, 73, and 35 respectively. With roughly two and a half minutes left on the clock, Griese threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad and later an 81 yard touchdown pass to Hester. The two touchdowns tied the game, but Ryan Longwell kicked a 55 yard field goal in the game’s final seconds. With the loss, the Bears dropped to 2-4.
The Eagles fell to the Chicago Bears in the closing seconds of the game. The first three quarters were essentially a battle of field goals. David Akers successfully converted all three of his first half field goal attempts, the longest from 37 yards out. Robbie Gould was one for two, and the score was 9-3 Philadelphia at halftime. The Bears took the ball to the Eagles' one-yard line on their first drive of the third quarter, but settled for a field goal. Gould connected for two more field goals early in the fourth quarter to tie the game, then put the Bears ahead 12-9. On their ensuing possession, Donovan McNabb guided the Eagles down the field and fired a touchdown pass to tight end Matt Schobel, putting Philadelphia back on top 16-12 with less than five minutes to play. The Eagles forced a three and out, but their offense could not kill the clock. Chicago got the ball back with less than two minutes left and Brian Griese, with his headset broken, commanded his own drive, marching his team down the field, completing the winning touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad with nine seconds remaining. The Eagles fell short on their final opportunity, as the Bears improved to 3-4 with the win.
Coming off a last-second road win over the Eagles, the Bears went home for Week 8, donned their alternate uniforms, and played an NFC North rematch with the Detroit Lions. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago trailed as Lions kicker Jason Hanson got a 26-yard field goal, while RB Kevin Jones got a 4-yard TD run. Afterwards, Hanson increased Detroit's lead with a 52-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Bears managed to get on the board with QB Brian Griese completing a 20-yard TD pass to rookie TE Greg Olsen for the only score of the period. Unfortunately, the Lions sealed Chicago's doom as Hanson nailed a 20-yard field goal, while Detroit's defense held its ground and managed to get the season-sweep.
With the loss, the Bears entered their bye week at 3-5.
Coming off their bye week, the Bears flew to McAfee Coliseum for a Week 10 interconference duel with the Oakland Raiders. In the first quarter, Chicago trailed early as Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski managed to get a 37-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Bears tied the game as kicker Robbie Gould kicked a 32-yard field goal for the only score of the period. However, during the period, starting QB Brian Griese (10/14 for 97 yards) would have to leave the game as his left shoulder was injured during a sack. It would mark the return of QB Rex Grossman.
After a scoreless third quarter, Oakland regained the lead in the fourth quarter with Janikowski nailing a 52-yard field goal. Fortunately, Chicago took the lead for good as Grossman completed a 59-yard TD pass to WR Bernard Berrian, along with RB Cedric Benson getting a 3-yard TD run.
With the win, not only did the Bears improve to 4-5, but it also marked their first road win against the Raiders since 1987 when playing in Los Angeles and first at Oakland since 1981. The Bears did beat them at Soldier Field in 2003 24-21.
Coming off their road win over the Raiders, the Bears flew to Qwest Field for a Week 11 duel with the Seattle Seahawks, in the rematch of last year's NFC divisional game (which took place in Chicago). For QB Rex Grossman, he would be making his first start since Week 3.
In the first quarter, Chicago took the early lead with RB Cedric Benson getting a 43-yard TD run, while kicker Robbie Gould managed to get a 31-yard field goal. The Seahawks would reply with QB Matt Hasselbeck completing a 19-yard TD pass to WR D.J. Hackett. In the second quarter, Seattle took the lead with RB Maurice Morris getting a 19-yard TD run. The Bears would regain the lead as RB Adrian Peterson managed to get a 5-yard TD run. The Seahawks would tie the game prior to halftime as kicker Josh Brown managed to get a 40-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Seattle retook the lead as Hasselbeck completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Chicago tried to come back as Gould kicked a 47-yard field goal. However, the Seahawks pulled away with Brown kicking a 23-yard and a 46-yard field goal. The Bears' final response would be Gould nailing a 48-yard field goal.
With the loss, Chicago fell to 4-6.
For Rex Grossman first starting appearance in eight weeks, he went 24/37 for 266 yards.
For Bernard Berrian, in his last 3 games against the Seahawks, he has a combined 315 receiving yards.
Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Seahawks, the Bears went home for a Week 12 interconference duel with the Denver Broncos. In the first quarter, Chicago got the early lead as kicker Robbie Gould managed to get a 24-yard field goal. The Broncos would tie the game as kicker Jason Elam managed to get a 23-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Denver took the lead as RB Andre Hall got a 16-yard TD run. Afterwards, the Bears responded with Gould kicking a 44-yard field goal. The Broncos would end the half with Elam kicking a 22-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Bears tied the game with WR/KR/PR Devin Hester returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. Denver would respond with FB Cecil Sapp getting a 5-yard TD run, but afterwards, Hester went right back to work for Chicago as he returned the following kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Afterwards, the Broncos replied with QB Jay Cutler completing a 68-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall. In the fourth quarter, Denver increased its lead with Cutler completing a 14-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler. Afterwards, the Bears tied the game with RB Adrian Peterson getting a 4-yard TD run, along with QB Rex Grossman completing a 3-yard TD pass to WR Bernard Berrian. In overtime, Chicago came out on top as Gould nailed the game-winning 39-yard field goal.
With the win, the Bears improved to 5-6.
For Devin Hester, he became the 5th player since 1970 to return a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in the same game.
Coming off their overtime win over the Broncos, the Bears stayed at home for a Week 13 intraconference duel with the New York Giants. In the first quarter, Chicago struck first with QB Rex Grossman completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Desmond Clark for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Giants got on the board with RB Derrick Ward. Afterwards, the Bears ended the half with kicker Robbie Gould getting a 35-yard and a 46-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Chicago increased its lead with Gould nailing a 41-yard field goal for the only score of the period. However, in the fourth quarter, New York took the lead with QB Eli Manning completing a 6-yard TD pass to WR Amani Toomer, along with RB Reuben Droughns. The Bears did have one final attempt, but it ended with a thud.
With the loss, Chicago fell to 5-7.
Hoping to rebound from their rebound from their home loss to the Giants (along with keeping any hope of a playoff spot alive), the Bears flew to FedEx Field for a Thursday Night intraconference throwdown with the Washington Redskins. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago trailed as Redskins QB Todd Collins completed a 21-yard TD pass to TE Todd Yoder for the only score of the second quarter.
In the third quarter, the Bears continued to trail as Washington continued its night with FB Mike Sellers getting a 1-yard TD run. Afterwards, Chicago would get on the board with kicker Robbie Gould getting a 30-yard field goal, while QB Brian Griese completed a 17-yard TD pass to WR Bernard Berrian. In the fourth quarter, the Redskins replied with kicker Shaun Suisham getting a 23-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Bears responded with Gould kicking a 22-yard field goal. Later, Washington struck big as Collins completed a 16-yard TD pass to RB Ladell Betts. Chicago would draw closer as Gould nailed a 21-yard field goal. However, a failed onside kick sealed their doom.
With the loss, the Bears fell to 5-8.
Starting QB Rex Grossman (2 of 6 for 14 yards) left the game in the first quarter with a left knee injury.
Trying to snap a two-game skid, the Bears flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 15 Monday night NFC North rematch with the Minnesota Vikings. In the first quarter, Chicago struck first as kicker Robbie Gould managed to get a 29-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Vikings tied the game with kicker Ryan Longwell getting a 42-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Bears would take the halftime lead as Gould kicked a 47-yard field goal and FB Jason McKie managed to get a 1-yard TD run.
In the third quarter, Minnesota started to creep closer as RB Adrian Peterson got a 1-yard TD run (with a failed PAT) for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings took the lead with Peterson getting an 8-yard TD run. Chicago tried to rally, but Minnesota's defense was too much.
With their third-straight loss, not only did the Bears fall to 5-9, but it also knocked them out of playoff contention.
On a positive note, LB Brian Urlacher had a good day with 4 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception. It was also the first time since 2004 that Urlacher had a sack and an interception in the same game.
The Bears went into Week 16 knowing that any chance of a Playoff berth was over, but still had the chance to end the season on a high with their rivals the Green Bay Packers traveling to Soldier Field. The game was a must-win for the Packers if they wanted to have any chance of getting the No. 1 seed and gain home field advantage in the playoffs.
On a bone-chilling 16 degree afternoon in Chicago, reserve RB Adrian Peterson ran for 102 yards from 30 attempts including and 8-yard run for a TD (only the second 100 yard game of his career and his first since 2005) whilst Garrett Wolfe also gained a valuable 67 all-purpose yards from the RB position. However it was the Chicago special teams that really excelled in this game.
Despite Green Bay previously going 12 years (929 punts) without a blocked punt, the Bears managed to block Jon Ryan twice on a slippery afternoon. In the second quarter Darrell McClover got his hand onto a Ryan punt but more damaging was Charles Tillman's charge down midway through the third quarter which allowed Corey Graham to pick up the football and run in 7 yards for a TD to put the Bears 28-7 up.
Kyle Orton, Lovie Smith's third choice QB, was steady enough, going 8-for-14 for 101 yards including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Clark in the third quarter. It was also a good day for LB Brian Urlacher who ran home an 85-yard interception early in the fourth quarter, the first of his career. Alex Brown, starting for the injured Mark Anderson, also got an interception which set up Clark's Touchdown.
In the end it was a fairly comfortable win for the Bears who ran out 35-7 victors which meant that they completed the double over their arch rivals having previously beating them at Lambeau Field in Week 5 27-20. Also, these 35 points were their most against Green Bay since a 61-7 win on Dec. 7, 1980.
1932 Chicago Bears season
The 1932 Chicago Bears season was their 13th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 7-1-6 record under third year head coach Ralph Jones. The season started strangely with three consecutive 0-0 ties. After a 0-2 loss to the Packers, the Bears had scored zero points in four games. After that, the offense got on track and the defense stayed incredibly stingy. The Bears were undefeated in their last nine "regular season" games (there was no established playoff system), with six wins, four by shutout, and three ties. The team that gave the Bears the most trouble were the Portsmouth Spartans. The club tied with the Spartans with identical 6-1 records (ties did not count then), so a playoff game was set up to determine a winner. The Bears defeated the Spartans, 9-0 in the first ever NFL playoff game, which oddly enough was played in Chicago Stadium because it was too cold to play at Wrigley Field. For the year, the powerful tandem of Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski again paced the Bears as Grange scored 7 touchdowns and Nagurski ran for 4 and also passed for 3 more. Keith Molesworth also contributed with 3 touchdowns on his own while passing for 3 more. Luke Johnsos had probably his finest season, catching two touchdown passes and scoring twice on defense as well. Coach Ralph Jones also found a reliable kicker in Paul "Tiny" Engebretson.