Named Bears as a companion to baseball's Cubs, whom they shared Wrigley Field with at the time.
Marc Trestman 2013-
Soldier Field II 2003-
1920: On September 17th representatives of 13 Midwestern football teams meet at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio. The meeting is to form an organized league so that the area can have a champion as well as to help with ticket sales. The group decides to form the American Professional Football Association. All a team has to do to join is pay the $100 membership fee. George Halas who is a player-coach of the Decatur Staleys is among the driving forces of this meeting that would give birth to what is now the NFL. In the first year of the newly formed league the Decatur Staleys shutout 10 of their 13 opponents posting at 10-1-2 overall record. The team lost only once to the rival Chicago Cardinals 7-6. However, the team finishes second to the Akron Pros who finished 8-0-3. In the team's first year of existence each player was paid the staggering amount of $1,900 for the season.
1921: George Halas is given full control over the club by owner A.E. Staley, he is also given $5,000 to keep Staley the team name for one more year. However, Halas moves the team from the small suburban town of Decatur, Illinois to Chicago, and into Cubs Park. The team's first year in Chicago proves to be a successful one as the team finishes with a 9-1-1 record, and finishes in first to win the League's second Championship.
1922: After his deal with A.E. Staley expires, George Halas decides to rename the franchise the Chicago Bears, as a companion to baseball's Cubs whom they share a stadium with. The Bears again challenge for the league's title but come up a few games short with a 9-3 record. However, the biggest news comes when the Bears buy tackle Ed Healey's contract from the Rock Island Independents for $100-twice the going rate for a franchise that season.
1923: The Bears continue to be one of the premier teams of professional football as they post a solid record of 9-2-2. However, they would fall short of winning the league title again as the Canton Bulldogs finished in first place with an 11-0-1 record.
1924: The Bears continue to compete for the NFL Championship, but are forced to settle for second place again with a record of 6-1-4, as an early season loss 16-14 to the Cleveland Bulldogs proved to be the difference between first and second, as the NFL ruled their December 7th win over the Bulldogs was unofficial, because at the time the NFL season ended on November 30th.
1925: Professional Football is struggling teams are badly in the red, and folding, most in America view it beneath their dignity, and view pro-football players as people who can't find respectable work. College Football is the big sport at the time, games draw packed houses, while the same fans regard the colligate football player in the highest esteem. No player is held in higher esteem then Harold "Red" Grange from the University of Illinois. However, that view would be shattered and the sport of football was never the same again when Grange signed a $100,000 deal with the Bears on November 22nd upon the completion of Illinois season. To take advantage of the Red Grange signing, and to help save struggling teams through out the league George Halas plans a 17 game coast-to-coast barnstorming tour that would take place between November 26th and January 31st. The tour began inauspiciously on Thanksgiving at Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cardinals held the Galloping Ghost to just 36 yards in his professional debut, as the two windy city rivals battled to a 0-0 tie. However, the barnstorming trip had just begun the Bears would post an 11-4-2 record, on the grueling trip. However Grange would impress fans from New York to Los Angeles, and all points in between, as pro-football finally gained some legitimacy. However, the most important effect it had is that it saved the NFL and some of its cornerstone teams including the New York Giants.
1926: The Bears would lose their number one gate attraction Red Grange after just one season when Grange and Halas could not agree to a contract for the 1926 season. In truth Grange's agent C.C. Pyle had no intention of having him sign with the Bears, instead he formed his own team the New York Yankees in a rival league called the American Football League. Even with the absence of Grange the Bears managed to be successful finishing in second Place with a 12-1-3 record.
1927: After the rival AFL which hosted Red Grange's New York Yankees folded, the NFL grants the team entry into the league. In Grange's first meeting against the Bears his career would take a sudden turn as he suffered a career threatening knee injury. The Bears continue to be one of the strongest team's in the fledgling NFL as they finish in third place with a record of 9-3-2.
1928: The Bears suffer their worst season to date as they lose five games while finishing in the middle of the pack with a mediocre 7-5-1 record.
1929: After sitting out the 1928 season recovering from the knee injury Red Grange returns to the Chicago Bears. However, since most of his famous speed is gone Grange role is now more focused on the defensive side of the ball. However, despite the Galloping Ghost's return the Bears struggle to their first ever-losing season with a 4-9-2 record. Following the season Halas would retire as a player, and hire Ralph Jones to takes his place on the coaching reins.
1930: After the completion of a 9-4-1 season the Bears, and Chicago Cardinals face each other in an indoor exhibition game on December 15th at Chicago Stadium to aid the number of people left unemployed by the Great Depression. The Bears would go on to win the first indoor game, which was played on an 80-yard field by a score of 9-7.
1931: The Bears are anon factor in the race for the title again as they finish in third place with a mediocre 8-5 record.
1932: After the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans finish in a tie for first place a one game championship is scheduled for December 18th to decide the League's Champion. However, bad weather in Chicago forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium. The Bears would win the game, and the championship 9-0 before 11,198 fans inside Chicago Stadium on an 80-yard field. Leading the way was Bronko Nagurski who hit Red Grange with a two-yard touchdown pass. However, the season was not a financial success as the league, and team struggled with the Great Depression. Despite the Championship the team lost $18,000 prompting co-owner Dutch Sternaman to sell his share of the team to George Halas.
1933: To help control costs George Halas returns to the sideline as head coach replacing Ralph Jones. In Halas' return the Bears would post a 10-2-1 record to win the Western Division and earn a spot in the first ever NFL Championship Game. In the game the Bears would host the New York Giants at Wrigley Field on December 17th. The game would be a nail bitter all the way as Bears rookie kicker Jack Manders accounts for 11 points as the Bears take a 23-21 lead late into the 4th Quarter. In the game's waning moments, The Giants wingback Dale Burnett broke into the open with only Red Grange in his way to bar the winning touchdown. Complicating the issue was the fact that Giants center Mel Hein was trailing Burnett to await a lateral if Grange caught him. The Galloping Ghost reacted instantly, grabbing Burnett around the chest, smothering him high so that no lateral was possible. They were rolling to the ground when the gun sounded the ending the game, and allowing the Bears to win the NFL Championship.
1934: A classic is born on August 31st as 79,432 watch the NFL champion Bears held to a scoreless tie by the first College All-Star team in a game sponsored by Chicago Tribune Charities at Soldier Field.
1934: With Rookie Beattie Feathers rushing for the NFL's first 1,000-yard season the Bears finish the regular season undefeated at 13-0 to repeat as Western Division Champions, and earn a trip to the NFL Championship Game. The Championship turns out to be a rematch, from the year before as the Bears travel to New York to defend their Championship. The Bears take a 10-3 lead into halftime as both teams have trouble gaining their footing on an icy Polo Grounds Field. Coming out of halftime the Giants take the field wearing basketball shoes, and gain footing while the Bears continue to slip and slide. The Giants would go on to win what would be known as "The Sneakers Game" 30-13 to spoil the Bears perfect season.
1935: After nearly completing a perfect season the Bears nearly plummet all the way to last place in the Western Division as they finish tied for third place with the cross-town Cardinals with a disappointing record of 6-4-2.
1936: With a ferocious defense that allows a league low 94 points the Bears get back into the title race. However they will fall a few games short with a record of 9-3.
1937: The Bears finish with a 9-1-1 record and win the Western Division setting up a NFL Championship match-up at Wrigley Field against the Washington Redskins. In the Championship Game the Bears have trouble containing Redskins star Quarterback Sammy Baugh who completes 18 of 33 passes for 335 yards and three Toucdowns, as the Redskins stun the Bears 28-21 for the Championship.
1938: After losing in the NFL Championship the Bears take a step backward and finish third place in the Western Division with a disappointing record of 6-5.
1939: After a mediocre season the Bears become a force in the Western Division. However, two costly losses to the Green Bay Packers would cost them the division title as they are forced to settle for second place with an 8-3 record.
1940: The Bears return to the top of the Western Division with an 8-3 record earning them a trip to the NFL Championship Game in Washington against the Redskins, who beat them in Chicago for the Championship three years earlier. To help beat the Redskins George Halas develops a new game plan for the offense introducing the T-formation. The move works better the expected as the Redskins are confused by the alignment, and fall behind early. The Bears would keep rolling up the points and would walk away with a 73-0 victory, which still stands today as the biggest rout in NFL history.
1941: The Chicago Bears and rival Green Bay Packers battle all season for the Western Division Title. The two teams split their regular season match-ups, which turn out to be each teams only loss. Since both team finish at 10-1 a playoff game is required to determine who advances to the NFL Championship Game. Prior to the rubber match being played a plan is devised for the game to go to sudden death overtime in the event of a tie. The sudden death format is not needed as the Bears win 33-14 in the game at Wrigley Field, but the plan formulates the Overtime that would be used in future years. After dispatching the Packers the Bears went on to win their second Consecutive NFL Championship with a 37-9 rout of the Giants.
1942: The Bears get off to a 5-0 start before Head Coach George Halas departs for the US Navy. With Halas gone two men Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos fill his shoes on the sidelines. Even in Halas' absence the Bears can't be beat as the team goes on to win its final six games to finish 11-0, and advance to their third straight NFL Championship Game. In the Championship the Bears return to the scene of their 73-0 victory for a rematch with the Redskins. However, this time the Redskins are not confused, and stun the Bears 14-6 to spoil their undefeated the regular season.
1943: The Bears continue to dominate the NFL's Western Division, as they win their 4th straight Division Title with an 8-1-1 record. The highlight of the season is on November 14th when Quarterback Sid Luckman scorches the New York Giants for 433 yards and seven Touchdowns. it is the first ever 400 yard passing game in NFL history. In the NFL Championship at Wrigley Field the Bears blast the Redskins 41-21 before 34,320 fans. Sid Luckman throws five TD passes. While Bronko Nagurski scores his last Bear Touchdown, a three yard run.
1944: The Bears reign of four NFL Championship Game Appearances comes to an end as they finish in second place with a record of 6-3-1.
1945: The Bears stumble out of the gate losing their first five games and never recover, finishing in fourth place with a horrible record of 3-7.
1946: After two sub-par seasons George Halas returns to the Bears, as the NFL gets back the players who were serving in the armed forces during World War II. The Bears are able to find their old magic again completing an 8-2-1 season to return to the top of the Western Division. In the NFL Championship Game in New York the Bears whip the Giants 24-14 before a record NFL title crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds. After opening with a 21-yard Touchdown pass to Ken Kavanaugh, Sid Luckman gets the winning score on a 19-yard bootleg.
1947: The Bears get off to a shaky start by dropping their first two games. However they would quickly run off an eight game winning streak to get back into the race for first place. After losing to the Los Angeles Rams 17-14 in the next to last game of the season, the Bears and Chicago Cardinals were matched up in the final game of the season, with the division title on the line. Despite hosting the game at Wrigley Field the Cardinals would stun the Bears 30-21 as they went on to win the NFL Championship.
1948: For the second season in a row the Bears put together a solid season but wind up in second Place behind their windy city rival the Cardinals. This year is particularly heart breaking as the Bears complete a 10-2 season, but lose a key game down the stretch to the Cardinals.
1949: The Bears continue to be one of the best teams in the NFL. However, they would fall one game short of making the Championship game again despite a solid record of 9-3.
1950: The Bears begin the 50's in style by finishing 9-3, which was good enough to earn them a tie for the Western Division with Rams. However the Bears are unable to contain the Rams offense in a 24-14 loss in Los Angels, as the Rams advance to the NFL Championship Game.
1951: The Bears get off to another strong star winning five of their first six games. However, they would fade in the second half of the season winning just two of their final six games as they finished in fourth place with a record of 7-5.
1952: The Bears defense struggles all season as they allow a gaudy 326 points while finishing in fifth place with a record of 5-7.
1953: With most of their stars of the 40's retired the Bears finish 3-8-1, and for the first time in their history post back-to-back losing season.
1954: After two straight losing seasons the Bears get back into the playoff picture by posting a solid record of 8-4 while finishing in second place.
1955: After a second consecutive second Place 8-4 season Head Coach George Halas retires for the third time, replacing himself with Paddy Driscoll.
1956: In Paddy Driscoll's first season as Head Coach the Bears put together a solid 9-2-1 season to beat out the Detroit Lions by a half of game for the Western Division Championship. However, the Bears are no match for the Giants in the NFL Championship, as the Bears fall in a 47-7 rout in New York.
1957: After a disappointing 5-7 season Paddy Driscoll is fired, as George Halas decides to return to the sidelines for the 1958 season.
1958: In George Halas's return to the sidelines the Bears rebound off a disappointing losing season and challenge for the Western Division all season before falling one game short with a record of 8-4.
1959: The Bears close out the 50's with two consecutive 8-4 finishes that is only good enough for second place. It marks the first time that the Bears do not win a Championship during a decade.
1960: The Bears become the only show in town as the rival Cardinals move to St. Louis. However, their first year as the only team in Chicago ends in disappointment as they finish in fifth place with a disappointing 5-6-1 record.
1961: The Bears rebound off a losing season to finish in fourth place with a record of 8-6 as Rookie Tight End Mike Ditka makes an instant impact by collecting 1,076 receiving yards and 12 Touchdowns, while winning the Rookie of the Year.
1962: For the second straight season the Bears have a rookie that makes an immediate impact as Ron Bull wins the Rookie of the Year as the Bears finish in third place with a solid 9-5 record.
1963: The Bears break the Green Bay Packers three year strangle hold on the Western Division with an 11-1-2 record. In the NFL Championship Game at Wrigley Field the Bears battle the New York Giants in front of 45,801 fans on a bone-chilling afternoon. The Bears would win 14-10 as Bill Wade scores both Bears Touchdowns. However, the star of the game is the Bears defense that intercepts Giants Quarterback Y.A. Tittle five times.
1964: The Bears follow up their NFL Championship with a disappointing 5-9 season. Following the season George Halas is determined to improve to the team through the draft, and select Running Back Gayle Sayers, and Linebacker Dick Butkus in the first Round to improve both sides of the ball.
1965: In his first season Gayle Sayers burst right on to the scene winning the NFL Rookie of the Year, while establishing a new NFL record with 22 Touchdowns during the season. The record season, and his entire career would be highlighted by a 6 Touchdown performance against the Snag Francisco 49ers on December 12th at Wrigley Field. With the help of Sayers the Bears would go on to finish in third place with a 9-4-1 record.
1966: Gayle Sayers continues to dominate setting a then record of 2,440 All Purpose Yards. However, the Bears struggle to win games, and finish with a 5-7-2 season.
1967: After 47 years in which he coached 40 seasons, George Halas retires for the final time with a then NFL record 324 coaching wins. In his final season at the helm Halas leads the Bears to a 7-6-1 record.
1968: In Jim Dooley's first season at Head Coach the Bears finish with a mediocre 7-7 record. However, the season takes a devastating turn for the worse when Running Back Sayers suffers a career threatening knee injury in the season's ninth week.
1969: After Sayers injury back up Running Back Brian Piccolo did not want to get the job because of an injury. Piccolo, who was a popular figure for years in the Chicago area, was roomed with Sayers for a few years on road trips. This feat was unique in the fact it was one of the first black-white parings in NFL history. During the entire off-season Piccolo pushed Sayers to get his knee back into football playing shape. Thanks to the workouts Sayers was back, and Piccolo was back on the bench when the season started. Sayers would go on to rush for 1,000 yards, and would earn NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Despite Sayers comeback, the Bears would finish with a franchise worse 1-13 record. However the worse news came when Brian Piccolo started expiring breathing problems, a hospital physical would later reveal the worst fears Lung Cancer. On June 16, 1970 just seven months after being diagnosed Brian Piccolo loses his battle with Lung Cancer at the age of 26. The Bears would go on to establish the Piccolo fund which raises money through various events annual for cancer research. In November of 1971 TV Movie entitled "Brian's Song" airs on ABC. The move that stars James Caan as Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers details the friendship between the two Bears Running Backs. The tearjerker would go on to become one of the most beloved sports movies of all time.
1970: The 70's begin with the end of an era for the Chicago Bears. Wrigley Field, the Bears Cave for nearly 50 years is now too small to be used for professional football. The sport, which began in the gutter, was now surpassing baseball as America's Number one Sport, and bigger venues were needed. On December 13th the Bears would win their final game at Wrigley by trouncing the hated Green Bay Packers 35-1, as the Bears finish in 3rd place in the NFC Central with a record of 6-8.
1971: The Bears new home is another classic in itself Soldier Field. Soldier Field built as a memorial for soldiers in World War I hosted many of Chicago's great sports events including Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tuney in 1927, and various classic college football games over the years. In their first home game at Soldier Field on the September 19th the Bears would emerge victorious defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-15. However, the Bears would not find much success completing their second consecutive 6-8 season leading to the dismissal of head coach Jim Dooley.
1972: The Bears continue to struggle as the finish in last place under new Coach Abe Gibron with a terrible record of 4-9-1.
1973: The Bears finish in last place again with a horrible record of 3-11 as the Bears are limited to just 195 total points on the entire season.
1974: The Bears finish in last place again with a record of 4-10 as Coach Abe Gibron after three consecutive last place seasons in which the team's combined record was 11-30-1. Gibron's tenure, which was marked by failure, would have only one last reminder that may have typified the Bears play during that era. It was not courtesy a great play or a great moment, but by the NFL Films video "Football Follies". Gibron who was miced up during a game kept singing, "Joy to the World" by 3-Dog Night, and at times seemed disinterested in the game.
1975: Rebuilding the Bears fell to General Manager Jim Finks who brought in former Jack Pardee to lead the Bears on the sidelines. It marked the first time someone not associated with Bears was hired as head coach. However the most significant move was the drafting of RB Walter Payton in the first round. Despite the changes the Bears would still finish in Last Place with a 4-10, but a winning foundation was forming.
1976: The Bears end a string of seven straight losing seasons by posting a record of 7-7 as the Bears finish in second place. Helping to lead the Bears is Running Back Walter Payton who rushes for 1,390 yards while scoring 13 Touchdowns.
1977: In his third season Running Back Walter Payton has a breakout season rushing for a team record 1,852 yards highlighted by a single game performance of 275 yards on November 20th. The 275 yards would establish a single game record that would stand nearly 23 years. Payton would go on to capture both Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP honors. Thanks to Payton the ears would win their final six games to finish with a 9-5 record that was good enough for the NFC's Wild Card spot. However, the Bears would be sorely overmatched in their first playoff game in 14 years, as the eventual Super Bowl Champion Cowboys stomped the Bears 37-7 in Dallas.
1978: After the completion of the 1977 season Coach Jack Pardee leaves the Bears to take over the coaching reins for the Washington Redskins. To replace Pardee the Bears would hire Minnesota Vikings Defensive coordinator Neil Armstrong. Armstrong's first season at the helm of the Bears would prove to be a disappointment as the team finished with a 7-9 record.
1979: December 16th goes down as one of the most bittersweet days in Bears history, as the Bears earn a playoff spot on the final day of the season with a 42-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the news was tempered when team president George "Mugs" Halas Jr. dies of a massive heart attack at the age of 54. Mugs the son of the legendary Bears founder had served in the front office since 1953. The Bears would go on to face the Eagles in the Wild Card Game at Philadelphia a week later. The Bears would hold a 17-10 lead in the 3rd Quarter only to see the Eagles soar past them and on to the next round with a 27-17 victory.
1980: The Bears finish with a disappointing 7-9 record, but the season is full of highlights. On October 6th Walter Payton breaks the Bears all-time franchise rushing total by eclipsing Gayle Sayer's 9,462 career total. The second highlight comes on Thanksgiving in Detroit when David Williams takes the overtime kickoff 95 yards for a Touchdown setting an NFL record for the fastest end to an Overtime. The final highlight comes on December 7th when the Bears rip the Green Bay Packers 61-7.
1981: Bears Head Coach Neil Armstrong is fired after a Last Place 6-10 season. The Bears would hire legendary Bears Tight End Mike Ditka.
1982: Mike Ditka's first season as Head Coach of the Bears is interrupted as a players strike shortens the season to nine games, and changes the NFL playoff format to allow eight teams in. However, the Bears would not make the postseason finishing with a 3-6 record.
1983: In the midst of an 8-8 season, that lands Bears in third place, George Halas the man who founded the Bears, and helped form and save the NFL in the 1920's dies of heart attack at the age of 88 on October 31st. Halas who was better known as "Papa Bear" lived a very rich life prior to starting his pro football career Halas had played baseball for the New York Yankees, only to be replaced by Babe Ruth in 1920. Halas was then hired by A.E. Staley to build the football team, and represent the team in the meeting that formed the NFL. One year later Halas was given the team, and moved them to Chicago. Halas would then turn the Bears into one of the premier sports franchise in the world after his signing of Red Grange in 1925. Halas would coach the Bears on and off until 1967 along the way setting the all time victories record at 324, a record that would stand into 1993.
1984: On October 7th Walter Payton ran past Jim Brown's all time NFL rushing record to become the NFL's all-time leading ground gainer. The Bears would go on to finish with a 10-6 record to win their first division title in 21 years. However, a struggle down the stretch would cost them a home playoff game. In the Divisional Playoffs the Bars would end the Redskins quest for a third straight Super Bowl with a 23-19 win in Washington. The Bears would go on to advance to the NFC Championship in San Francisco where the 49ers would shut the Bears down 23-0 on their way to a Super Bowl Championship.
1985: The term "Monsters of the Midway" never meant more in 1985. As a line in their famous music video says "we're not there to cause no trouble we're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle." The Bears were not only dominant but they were cocky, and unbeatable. The Bears would march through their first 12 opponents with no problem rushing out to a 12-0 record. Along the way the Bears became a national obsession thanks in part to a music video entitled "The Super Bowl Shuffle" which they recorded before the season was even over. Several Bears drew hefty endorsement contracts including the Bears hefty rookie William "The Refrigerator" Perry. By December the question was no longer will the Bears win the Super Bowl, but can they go undefeated in the process? That answer would come on December 2nd when the Miami Dolphins, who were defending their legacy as the only undefeated team to win a Super Bowl, trounced the Bears 38-24. However the setback would only be a minor one as the Bears went on to finish with a 15-1 season. After their incredible 15-1 season the Bears would host their first home playoff game in 22 years in the Divisional Round against the New York Giants. The game would end up being no contest as the Bears completely shut down the Giants on a bitterly cold and windy afternoon 21-0. The Bears would then go on to face the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game. This game too would be no contest as the Bears shut out the Rams 24-0 in front of a sold out Soldier Field to earn a trip to their first ever Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XX: After shutting out their first two opponents 45-0 the Bears were enormous Super Bowl favorites. In fact the only danger the Bears were in was could they stay out of trouble. Quarterback Jim McMahon would get in to some hot water with comments about New Orleans women, while the NFL was cracking down on his trademark message headbands. In a moment of levity McMahon would brush off the controversy by mooning a group of reporters. The Super Bowl was complete circus atmosphere, and the nation craved more as record number of viewers tuned into watch. The Bears would get off to a shaky start falling behind the New England Patriots 3-0. The Bears were in danger of falling further behind when Walter Payton fumbled in Bears territory, but the Pats were unable to capitalize missing a short Field Goal. The Bears would then not look back scoring the next 46 points in a relentless beating of the AFC Champions. Topping things off the Bears allowed William "The Refrigerator" Perry to score a Touchdown to continue the humiliation of the Patriots. The Bears would go on to win 46-10 setting records for points, and winning margin while Defensive End Richard Dent was named the game's MVP.
1986: The Bears defense is even stronger coming off the Super Bowl establishing a new NFL record low for 187 points allowed as the Bears finish with another NFC Central title and an impressive 14-2 record. However, an injury to Quarterback Jim McMahon hurt the offense, what is worse is that injury came via a cheap shot form a Green Bay Packers defender Charles Martin, who threw him down after he raised his arms for a Touchdown. If the Bears were going to repeat they were going to have to do it with Doug Flutie at Quarterback. However, Flutie's inexperience wore on Coach Mike Ditka's patience leading him to even slap the Quarterback across the facemask over an interception. Nonetheless the Bears entered the playoffs anticipating a NFC Championship showdown with New York Giants. However, the Bears would not get past the Washington Redskins who stunned 27-13 in front of a sold out Soldier Field.
1987: In a season marred by a month long player's strike that included the use of replacement players for three games the Bears continue to dominate the "Black and Blue Division" winning their fourth straight NFC Central title. However, the year would be rest remembered for an end of an era as the player they called "Sweetness" retired after his 13 season. In his great career Walter Payton rushed for an all-time career record 16,726 yards. The Bears would earn a Divisional Playoff rematch with Redskins at Solider Field. The Bears would jump out to a 14-0 lead only to see the Redskins storm back and take a 21-17 lead late the game. With time winding down on the Bears season, and Payton's career the Bears need to get into the endzone. On a 4th down play the ball wound up in the hands of Payton who tried to extend he Bears season and his career. However, Sweetness was shoved out of bounds a few years short of the first down marker allowing the Redskins to get the ball and kneel down the rest of the game. Walter Payton would head to sidelines and would watch the rest of the game through his tears.
1988: With Walter Payton retired the Bears do not miss a beat winning their fifth straight division title with a 12-4 record, also earning home field advantage through out the playoffs in the process. In a reimbursable Divisional Playoffs game on New Year's Eve the Bears would face the Philadelphia Eagles, and former defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan in a game would forever become known as the "Fog Bowl." Late in the 2nd Quarter a fog began to roll in off Lake Michigan by the start of the 3rd Quarter Soldier Field was immersed in thick fog that made viewing the game virtually impossible. The Bears would emerge from the fog with a 20-12. The Bears would go on to lose in the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field 28-3 to the eventual Super Bowl Champion 49ers.
1989: The Bears would deal away Quarterback Jim McMahon to the San Diego Chargers in a stunning draft day trade. The deal came as McMahon fell out of favor with Mike Ditka, and the Bears management over his wild ways. The deal cleared the way for Mike Tomzack to take over the starting job, a job he was used to over the last few season as McMahon regularly missed games due to injury. However, Tomzack and the Bears would experience frustration as a losing streak saw the Bears fall out of 1st place and into a disappointing 6-10 season.
1990: Coach Mike Ditka would earn legendary status when he comes back to coach just ten days after a midseason heart attack. The Bears would also recover in 1990 bouncing back from a 6-10 season to finish in 1st Place with an 11-5 record. However, the Bears as the third seed would be forced to play in a wild card game to get to the Divisional Playoffs. In the Wild Card Round the Bears would completely suit down the New Orleans Saints 16-6 to advance to a Divisional Playoff showdown at the Meadowlands against the Giants. The Bears would end up getting trounced 31-3 to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Giants 31-3.
1991: The Bears finish with a strong 11-5 record, as Mike Ditka earns his 100th career coaching win. However, the Bears are unable to win the division and make the playoffs as a Wild Card. In the Wild Card Round the Bears, would be upset by the Dallas Cowboys, 17-13, at Soldier Field.
1992: The season would mark the end of an era in Chicago as Mike Singletary the two Defensive Player of the Year and leader of the Bears defense retires, and Coach Mike Ditka is fired after a disappointing 5-11 season.
1993: The Bears complete a 7-9 season in Dave Wanstedt's first season as Head Coach. The season also sees the Bears play their 1,000th franchise game a 6-0 win against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on October 3rd.
1994: The Bears put together a 9-7 season earning a trip to the playoffs as Wild Card. In the Wild Card round the Bears would stun the NFC Champion Vikings with a 35-18 win in Minnesota. The Bears would go on to lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion 49ers 44-15 in San Francisco.
1995: The Bears put together another 9-7 season but miss out on the playoffs as the Atlanta Falcons get in thanks to a tiebreaker.
1996: The Bears continue to muddle in the middle of the back as they take a step backward finishing in third place with a disappointing record of 7-9.
1997: The Bears stumble out of the gate losing their first seven games on their way to a disappointing 4-12 season. The only notable accomplishment is that the Bears collect their 600th franchise win on November 23rd with a 13-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1998: The Bears complete another terrible 4-12 season, which leads to the dismissal of Coach Dave Wannstedt. The resulting fiasco which involved a press conference where no coach was introduced, and the hiring of Dick Jauron leads to the ouster of President Michael McCaskey, and the grandson of George Halas. McCaskey's firing was at the hands of his mother Virginia, who felt that the team was going in the wrong direction.
1999: The Bears continue to struggle under new head coach Dick Jauron completing a 6-10 season. The season is also marked by sadness as the Bears family loses Walter Payton who dies at the age of 45 on November 1st. The Bears would go on to rename their indoor practice facility in his honor.
2000: Another awful 5-11season is highlighted by the play of Rookie Linebacker Brian Urlacher the Bears first round of pick out of New Mexico. Urlacher draws comparisons to Dick Butkus as he earns NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
2001: Not much was expected form the Bears going into their final year at Soldier Field before renovation. However, the Bears were a young exciting team built on a strong defense. After losing their first game the Bears won their next four games and were in first place in the NFC Central. The next two games would become the stuff of legends a furious 4th quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers was capped by a Mike Brown interception return for a Touchdown in Overtime. A week later against the Cleveland Browns the Bears trailed by 14 points under two minutes to play a Touchdown and a recovered onside kick set up an incredible game tying Hail Mary which sent the game to Overtime, where Brown repeated his feat of a week earlier to get the Bears to 6-1. The Bears would only lose two more games the rest of the way, good enough to win their first division title in 12 years with a 13-3 record, as exciting Running Back Anthony Thomas earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and Dick Jauron earned coach of the year. However, the magic ride would end quickly in the playoffs, as the Bears lost 33-19 to the more experienced Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.
2002: With Soldier Field undergoing a major renovation the Bears were forced to play their home games at the University of Illinois in Champaign, which was over 136 miles away from Chicago. The Bears would get off to a solid start by rallying in the 4th Quarter to win their first two games. However, the Bears would suffer a rash of injuries to every position as the wear and tear of having to travel for each game caught up with them quickly as the Bears endured a frustrating eight game losing streak. The Bears would not recover, as they finished in third place in the NFC North with a terrible record of 4-12.
2003: The Bears season got off to a rough start as they were humiliated in their two first games on the road. Following an early bye week the Bears returned home to Chicago and a brand new version of Soldier Field which had been completely refurbished. In their first game at Soldier Field II the Bears would host the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. However with it would come more disappointment as they are beaten 38-23. A week later the Bears would get their first win at new Soldier Field as they rallied with 18 points in the 4th Quarter to stun the Oakland Raiders 24-21. However the struggles would continue as the Bears lost their next 2 games as starting QB Kordell Stewart is benched. With Chris Chandler under center the Bears fare slightly better winning 2 straight home games against the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers to improve to 3-5. After 2 straight losses Stewart would return to the field leading the Bears to a comeback win over the Denver Broncos in Week 12, and would look sharp starting the following week in a win over the lowly Arizona Cardinals. However with an eye to the future the Bears would start rookie Rex Grossman in the final 3 games. Grossman would look sharp leading the Bears to two wins, as the Bears finished with a 7-9 record by winning four of their last six games overall. However, it would not be enough to save Coach Dick Jauron's job as he replaced by Lovie Smith following the season.
2004: Under new Coach Lovie Smith the season would get off to a disappointing start as the Bears lost at home to the Detroit Lions 20-16. However, a week later they would rebound with a satisfying 21-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on the road. In Week 3 the Bears would battle the Minnesota Vikings close all day on the road, but the game would be lost 26-22 as Quarterback Rex Grossman suffered a season ending knee injury. The rest of the way the Bears would have to scramble as they could not find a starting Quarterback trying out Criag Krenzle, Jonathan Quinn, and Chad Hutchinson along the way as they stumbled their way to a last place 5-11 season.
2005: The Bears began the season with many unanswered questions on offense as Quarterback Rex Grossman started the season on the bench with another injury forcing the Bears to start rookie Kyle Orton. In Week 1 the offense would manage just seven points spoiling a great day from the defense as they were beaten by the Washington Redskins 9-7. A week later in their home opener they relied on their running game as Thomas Jones rushed for 139 yards and two Touchdowns, while the defense played big again with a Mike Brown interception return as the Bears slammed the Detroit Lions 38-6. The Bears offense would sputter the next two weeks as the Bears dropped to 1-3. However, despite their lackluster offense the defense led by Linebacker Brian Urlacher would begin to resemble the old monsters of the midway as the Bears started winning games on the backs of their defense, which did not allow more than 17 points for the next eight weeks putting up numbers like their great Super Bowl XX Championship Team which was honored all season. After the Bears winning streak ended with a 21-9 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Kyle Orton was benched in favor or Rex Grossman who led the way in the Bears next two wins as they went on to capture their 20th Division Championship in team history at 11-5, with Brian Urlacher being named Defensive Player of the Year and Lovie Smith being named NFL Coach of the Year. After a bye in the first week of the playoffs the Bears faced the Carolina Panthers with a trip to the NFC Championship Game on the line. During the regular season the Bears completely shut down the Panthers in a 13-3 win. However, the Panthers would show early that it would not be as easy this time as Steve Smith scored on a 55-yard Touchdown catch just 55 seconds into the game. The Panthers would eventually take a 13-0 lead before the Bears finally broke through late in the 2nd Quarter. However, the usual Bears tough defense looked vulnerable all day as the Panthers made it 16-7 with a 37-yard Field Goal as the first half ended. The Bears would get with in two points on a one yard Touchdown catch by Desmond Clark, but the Panthers would answer again. The same pattern would repeat in the 4th Quarter as the Bears could not get over the hump, losing 29-21.
2006: With Rex Grossman healthy and ready to go the Bears appeared to have their situation at Quarterback settled as they began the season on a roll winning their first game 26-0 over the Green Bay Packers on the road. The Bears would dominate again the following week as they hammered the Detroit Lions 34-7 in their home opener. After a comeback win over the Minnesota Vikings the Bears made a primetime statement hammering the Seattle Seahawks 37-6 on Sunday Night Football. After a dominant 40-7 win over the Buffalo Bills improved them to 5-0, the Bears appeared to be heading to their first loss as they trailed the Arizona Cardinals 23-3 in the 3rd Quarter of a Monday Night Game on the road, as Grossman struggled badly with four interceptions. However, late in the 3rd Quarter the game would turn when Mike Brown recovered a Matt Leinart fumble for a Touchdown. In the 4th Quarter the Bears defense would strike again, as Charles Tillman returned an Edgerrin James 40 yards with five minutes left to make the score 23-17. After the Bears defense stopped the Cardinals cold, the Bears special teams gave them a lead as Rookie return man Devin Hester returned a punt 83-yards for a Touchdown as the Bears improved to 6-0 with a 24-23 win. It would be much easier the following week as the Bears jumped out to a 41-0 halftime lead, and cruised to a 41-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The Bears best start since 1985 would come to an end as the Miami Dolphins who came into Chicago with a 1-6 record stunned the Bears intercepting Rex Grossman three times, returning one for a Touchdown in a 31-13 win. The Bears would recover winning the next two games in the Meadowlands against New York Giants and New York Jets. However, despite their 9-1 record concerns over Quarterback began to swirl as Rex Grossman continued to struggle in the Bears 10-0 win over the Jets. A week later in New England the Bears defense was unable to save them from a loss as Grossman was picked off three times in a frustrating 17-13 loss to the Patriots. Grossman' struggles continued the following week as the Bears returned home to face the Vikings as he was picked off three times, and had a mere 34 yards passing. However with a Devin Hester Punt Return, and a Ricky Manning Jr. Interception return the Bears would win 23-13. Hester would star again the following week as he returned two kickoff over 90-yards for a Touchdown, setting a rookie record with TD returns, as the Bears went on to finish the season with a 13-3 record. Despite having the best record in the NFC fans were concerned over the play of Rex Grossman, who ended the season with a mediocre Quarterback rating of 73.2. In the playoffs the Bears faced off against the Seahawks for the second time, only this time it was not as easy, as the defending NFC Champions gave the Bears all they could handle and more taking a 24-21 lead to the 4th Quarter. With their season on the line the Bears needed a clutch 41-yard Field Goal by Robbie Gould to force overtime. In Overtime the Bears defense held the Seahawks, as Gould played hero again with a game winning 49-yard Field Goal to send the Bears to their first NFC Championship Game since 1988. Facing destiny's darlings the New Orleans Saints the Bears took an early lead on a three Robbie Gould Field Goals. After extending the lead to 16-0 late in the second quarter, the Bears defense was stunned as the Saints marched quickly up the field to cut the lead to 16-7 at halftime. The Saints would cut the lead further on an 88-yard catch and run to Running Back Reggie Bush. However, the Bears defense would take over the rest of the way, forcing a penalty in the endzone that resulted in a safety and gave control of the game back to the Bears. As the snow got heavier in the 4th Quarter the Bears pulled away scoring 21 points to advance to Super Bowl XLI with a 39-14 win.
Super Bowl XLI: During Super Bowl week Lovie Smith and his mentor Tony Dungy Coach of the Indianapolis Colts were the talk of Super Bowl week in Miami as each were the first black head coach in Super Bowl history. When the game began it started with a bang for the Bears as Devin Hester returned the opening kick 92 yards for a Touchdown. The Colts would cut the lead to 7-6 on a 53-yard pass by Peyton Manning that saw the PAT botched in the rain. The rain would play further havoc moments later as Gabe Reid fumbled a squib kick. However, the Bears would quickly recover forcing Manning to fumble on the first play from scrimmage. The Bears then used a big run by Thomas Jones to set up a second Touchdown as they ended the first quarter with a 14-6 lead. It would be all down hill the rest of the way for the Bears as the Colts took control of the game with ten unaswered points in the 2nd Quarter. With the rain continuing to fall the Bears offense looked water logged as the Colts extended the lead to 22-14. The Bears would final get back on the board with a 44-yard Field Goal by Robbie Gould at the end of the 3rd Quarter. However, a 56-yard interception return by Kelvin Hayden sealed the Bears fate as the Colts won Super Bowl XLI 29-17.
2007: Coming off their loss in Super Bowl XLI, the Bears hoped they could improve their offense and continue to step forward, as Cedric Benson was given the starting running back job, after the departure of Thomas Jones to the New York Jets. However, in the opener the offense continued to struggle as the Bears were beaten by the San Diego Chargers 14-3. In their home opener the Bears offense led by Quarterback Rex Grossman, who was booed by the Soldier Field faithful continued to struggle. However, thanks to a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown by Devin Hester the Bears were able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 20-10. After Grossman played poorly in a 34-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, he would be benched in favor of Brian Griese. However, Griese did not play any better as he was picked off three times in his first start as the Bears were beaten by the Detroit Lions 37-27. Griese would rebound to win the following game as the Bears defense smothered the Green Bay Packers, forcing five turnovers in a 27-20 primetime win in Lambeau Field. However, a week later the defense would struggle as Minnesota Vikings rookie Running Back Adrian Peterson rushed for 224 yards with three touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Bears 34-31. In danger of slipping to 2-5, the Bears lead by Brian Griese drove the field 97 yards to stun the Philadelphia Eagles 19-16, on a pass to Mushin Muhammad with nine seconds left. A week later in Soldier Field it would be a different story as Griese was picked off four times as the Bears were stunned by the Lions again 16-7. Griese continued to struggle the following week against the Oakland Raiders before leaving with a shoulder injury. Coming off the bench would be Rex Grossman who gave the Bears the lead on a 59-yard bomb to Bernard Berrian as the Bears scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes for a 17-6 win. Grossman would get the starting job back, as the Bears continued to struggle losing to the Seattle Seahawks 30-23. The offense continued to struggle and the defense continued to live up to expectations as the Bears hosted the Denver Broncos. However, thanks to Devin Hester the Bears were able to win in overtime 37-34, as the Bears return specialist scored a kick off return, and a punt return touchdown, while totaling a record 232 return yards. Entering December at 5-6, the Bears still had an outside chance at the playoffs, but from scrimmage the Bears continued to struggle on both sides of the ball as they dropped three straight games and faded out of the playoff picture. With Kyle Orton getting the starting Quarterback job in the final games of the year the Bears would close the season with two straight wins, as they posted a disappointing 7-9 record.
2008: Coming of a 7-9 season the Bears hoped they could return to the Super Bowl, as they faced the Indianapolis Colts for the first time since losing the big game 19 months earlier. With a solid defensive effort the Bears shutdown the Colts and spoiled the opener at Lucas Oil Field with a 29-13 Sunday Night win. However, the Bears suffered disappointing three point losses in their next two games, including a 27-27 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home opener in which they held a 24-14 lead in the 4th Quarter. In consistency would mark the season for the Bears as they held a 6-6 record heading into the final month of the season. The Bears would make a late push for the playoffs with three straight wins, winning two straight in overtime, as they entered the final week of the season with the playoffs still in reach. However, a disappointing 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans ended the Bears season at 9-7. Following the season in an attempt to solve the Bears Quarterback issues, the team would trade Kyle Orton along with two first round draft picks to the Denver Broncos for Pro Bowl Quarterback Jay Cutler.
2009: Jay Cutler made his Bears debut in a Sunday Night Game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The game would be close throughout but it would be the interception that would spoil the night for the Bears, as Cutler was picked off four times in a 21-15 loss. The loss would prove costly as Brian Urlacher suffered a season ending wrist injury. Jay Cutler would avoid the big mistake a week later, as the Bears hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in their home opener. After tying the game 14-14 on a seven yard pass from Cutler to Johnny Knox, the Bears would win the game 17-14 thanks to a 44 yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 15 seconds left. The Bears would also win their next two games to enter the bye week with a record of 3-1. Playing on Sunday Night again after the bye, the Bears often shot themselves in the foot, with three failed trips in the redzone during a 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. A week later the Bears would be haunted by an old teammate as Cedric Benson ran for a career high 189 yards, as the Cincinnati Bengals hammered the Chicago Bears 45-10. The Bears would recover to beat the Cleveland Browns a week later, but the Bears struggles would continue as they lost four straight games and six of their next seven games, while never factoring in the playoff chase. One of the biggest disappointments was the play of Jay Cutler, whose season was plagued with interceptions, throwing a 26, while collecting 27 touchdown passes. The Bears would close the season with two straight divisional wins highlighted by a 36-30 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings as Jay Cutler connected with Devin Aromashodu on a 39 yard touchdown pass to end a Monday Night thriller. The two wins would not salvage the season as the Bears posted a disappointing record of 7-9.
2010: Coming off a disappointing season, the Bears looked to improve their defense by adding Free Agent Sackmaster Julius Peppers from the Carolina Panthers. However, their offensive line continued to be a weak spot as Quarterback Jay Cutler continued to take a lot of hits and sacks on offense in Coordinator Mike Martz's system. In the season opener it appeared the Bears were on the way to a disappointing loss at Soldier Field when Calvin Johnson scored a later Touchdown to give the Detroit Lions a lead. However, up on further review the catch in the back of the endzone was ruled incomplete as the Bears escaped with a 19-14 win. In Week 2, the Bears battled the Dallas Cowboys in a back forth tilt that saw Jay Cutler play one of his best games since joining the Bears, passing for 277 yards with three passes as the Bears stunned the Cowboys 27-20. The Bears would improve to 3-0 a week later with a Monday Night win over the rival Green Bay Packers as Robbie Gould kicked a 19 yard field goal with four seconds left in a thrilling 20-17 win at Soldier Field. Things would get a tougher a week later as the Bears suffered a 17-3 loss to the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. Quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a concussion in the game as he was sacked nine times before exiting in the early part of the 3rd Quarter. Despite playing without Jay Cutler, and back up Todd Collins throwing four interceptions, the Bears would rebound to beat the Carolina Panthers 23-6, as Matt Forte had a strong game with 166 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Returning to Soldier Field in Week 6, Jay Cutler returned and suffered another beating as the Bears were stunned 23-20 by the Seattle Seahawks. The Bears would lose again at home the following week to the Washington Redskins 17-14. After entering the bye week with a 4-3 record, the Bears looked to get back on track as they faced the Buffalo Bills in Toronto. Trailing in the 4th Quarter the Bears would take the lead as Earl Bennett caught a two yard TD pass from Jay Cutler, who then hit Matt Forte for a successful two point attempt to give the Bears a 22-19 win. The win was just the remedy the Bears needed as they won five straight games, highlighted by a 31-26 thriller against the Philadelphia Eagles that saw Jay Cutler pass for 247 yards with four touchdowns. The streak would end with a lackluster 36-7 loss in the snow at Soldier Field as the New England Patriots spoiled the Bears 25th anniversary party for the 1985 Bears. The Bears would rebound to hammer the Minnesota Vikings 40-14 in a game played at the University of Minnesota, after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed. In the game Devin Hester set a new NFL record with 14 return touchdowns, taking a punt back 64 yards in the 3rd Quarter. The win also clinched a NFC North Division title for the Bears. A week later they would clinch a first round bye by beating the New York Jets 38-34, as Jay Cutler had another solid game with three touchdown passes. In the season finale the Bears faced the Packers at Lambeau Field, with the chance to knock their rivals out of the playoffs with a win. The game was a defensive struggle as both sides only managed a field goal in the first three quarters. The Packers would final find the endzone in the 4th Quarter as Aaron Rodgers hit Donald Lee on a one yard pass. The Bears would not be able to respond, losing 10-3 as they finished the season with a solid record of 11-5.
2010 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Bears faced the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round. The Seahawks had reached the playoffs despite a 7-9 record and stunned the defending Champion New Orleans Saints a week earlier. Though the Bears did not need to be reminded the Seahawks were tough, as they lost to them at Soldier Field earlier in the season. Things would be different this time around, as the Bears jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, highlighted by Gregg Olsen's 58 yard Touchdown reception. The Bears would eventually grow the lead to 28-0 in the 3rd Quarter, as Jay Cutler scored two rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks would score three touchdowns in the 4th Quarter, but Cutler added a 39 yard TD pass to Kellen Davis. The Bears would go on to host the NFC Championship Game, as the Green Bay Packers upset the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons to reach the title game. In 90 years as the NFL oldest rivalry no previous Bears-Packers game meant as much as the winner would advance to Super Bowl XLV. Like their regular season ending game, this game was predicated on defense. However, the Packers managed two touchdowns before halftime. Things looked bleak as the second half began with QB Jay Cutler on the bench with a leg injury. After Todd Collins struggled the Bears turned to third string QB Caleb Hanie in the 4th Quarter. The move seemed to revive the Bears, as Hanie led a Touchdown drive capped by a one yard Chester Taylor run to cut the deficit to 14-7. After stopping the Packers, the Bears got the ball back only to find themselves down two scores again as B.J. Raji deflected and caught a Hanie pass and rumbled 18 yards for a Touchdown. Caleb Hanie would not be deterred as he quickly rebounded and drove the Bears down the field again, connecting with Earl Bennett on a 35 yard Touchdown pass. Down 21-14 Hanie and the Bears would get one chance to drive down the field after stopping the Packers on offense. However, it was not meant to be as Hanie was intercepted by Sam Shields on the Green Bay 29 yard line as the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas.
2011: After their disappointing loss in the NFC Championship to the rival Green Bay Packers, the Bears found themselves with an unhappy team as the season began. Fans did not like Quarterback Jay Cutler leaving the title game with an injury. Some fans wanted to see more of Caleb Hanie after he nearly led a historic comeback. The other unhappy camper was Running Back Matt Forte, who wanted a long term guaranteed deal. However, due to new rules after the lockout Forte was unable to holdout, giving the Bears a full team as the season began against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field. Things looked good at the start as the Bears won the opener 30-13, with Cutler passing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. However, a week later the Bears would take a step back as they lost to the New Orleans Saints on the road 30-13, with Jay Cutler being battered for six sacks. Against the Packers in a rematch of the NFC Championship, the Bears would experience more frustration losing 27-17 at Soldier Field. The Bears appeared to get within three points in the fourth quarter but a trick play that resulted in an 89 yard punt by Johnny Knox was nullified by a holding call against Corey Graham. The Bears would bounce back a week later, thanks to a breakout performance from Matt Forte who rushed for 205 yards with a touchdown as the Bears beat the Carolina Panthers 34-29. Also helping the cause a 69 yard punt return for a touchdown by Devin Hester, which set the all-time record for punts returned for a touchdown. Facing the Detroit Lions in a Monday Night Game at Ford Field, the Bears offense was driven mad by the fired up crown in Detroit as they comitted nine false start penalties and dropped to 2-3 with a 24-13 loss. The Bears would recover with a Sunday Night pounding of the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, winning 39-10. In the game, the Bears played well in all areas of the game, as Julius Peppers who had a pair of sacks, while Devin Hester returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Hester also had a 48 yard Touchdown catch from Jay Cutler. The next week the Bears would go international as they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London. The Bears defense would intercept Josh Freeman four times, as Matt Forte rushed for 145 yards with a touchdown. Following the bye week, the Bears would engage in a back a forth battle with the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. Trailing 24-20 in the fourth quarter, the Bears would win the Monday Night Game 30-24, as Jay Cutler connected with Earl Bennett to put the Bears up for good. Coming home the Bears would get a fourth straight win, as they beat the Lions 37-13, while picking off Matthew Stafford four times. The Bears would take two of those interceptions back for touchdowns as Major Wright and Charles Tillman each had touchdown returns in the third quarter to put the game away. The game also saw Devin Hester return a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and an ugly brawl between the two division rivals. A week later the Bears would improve to 7-3 with a 31-20 win over the San Diego Chargers. However, in the fourth quarter Jay Cutler who had a strong game with 286 passing yards suffered a broken thumb and would be lost for the season. In Caleb Hanie's first NFL start the Bears winning streak came to an end, with a 25-20 loss on the road against the Oakland Raiders. Hanie struggled early in the game, throwing three interceptions. Hanie would recover and was on his way to leading the Bears back, but a critical intentional grounding ended the Bears attempt for a game winning drive. The following week the Bears got more bad injury news as Matt Forte suffered a season ending knee injury. They would also lose the game of back up quarterbacks against the Kansas City Chiefs 10-3, as Tyler Palko' 38 yard pass at the end of the first half ended up in the hands of Dexter McCluster after being batted down by Brian Urlacher and Chris Conte. A week later the Bears would see a 10-0 lead late against the Denver Broncos on the road in the fourth quarter evaporate, as Marion Barber III accidentally went out of bounds when the Bears were trying to run out the clock. Barber, would also fumble in overtime as the Broncos charged back to win the game 13-10. The Bears season would continue its nosedive as they dropped to 7-7 with a 38-14 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In the game, the Bears would be bitten by the injury bug again, as Wide Receiver Johnny Knox was bent back awkwardly by Anthony Hargrove, trying to recover his own fumble. Knox, who lay on the ground more than ten minutes suffered a broken back and required emergency surgery to stabilize his vertebra. When the injury occurred the Bears had a 14-7 lead, but after the injury they were outscored 31-0. With Josh McCown starting for an ineffective Caleb Hanie on Christmas Night, the Bears hoped they could set their season right. However, Aaron Rodgers had five touchdown passes as they Bears dropped their fifth starting and lost in Lambeau Field 35-21. The Bears would get more bad injury news in their final game of the season as Brian Urlacher suffered a knee injury. However, the Bears would manage to win the game against the Vikings 17-13 to finish the season with a record of 8-8.
2012: Following a disappointing season, there was a sense that Coach Lovie Smith was on the hot seat, as the Bears had a new General Manager Phil Emery who replaced Jerry Angelo. The season started well for the Bears, as they beat the Indianapolis Colts 41-27, as the Bears defense intercepted Rookie Quarterback Andrew Luck three times. Four days later it was Bears single caller Jay Cutler that had problems with interceptions as he was picked off four times, during a 23-10 Thursday Night loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Looking to bounce back the Bears defense put up a big effort against the St. Louis Rams, as they sacked Sam Bradford six times, while Major Wright sealed the 20-6 win with a 45 yard interception return for a Touchdown. A week later on Monday Night Football the Bears defense picked off Tony Romo five times, with Charles Tillman returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and Lance Briggs returning another 74 yards as the Bears crushed the Dallas Cowboys 34-18. A week later Tillman and Briggs would return Interceptions for touchdowns again as the Bears improved to 4-1 with a 41-3 humiliation of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Back home and on Monday Night Football a week later, the Bears came 36 seconds away from a shutout before the Detroit Lions finally found the endzone, as the Bears won again 13-7. Things would be much tougher the following week as the Carolina Panthers held a 19-7 lead at the end of the 3rd Quarter. However, the game changed with seven minutes left, as the Bears scored two touchdowns as Jay Cutler hocked up with Kellen Davis after taking advantage of a poor punt from Brad Nortman. On the next play from scrimmage the Bears got another pick-6 as Tim Jennings returned an interception 25 yards for a Touchdown to give the Bears a 20-19 lead. The Bears attempt to build a three point lead would fail, as Cutler had his two point attempt picked off in the endzone. The Panthers would regain the lead with a Justin Medlock Field Goal. However, for tenth time in three years Robbie Gould would win the game as time expired hitting a 41 yard Field Goal. A week later the Bears would not a comeback, as they jumped out to a 28-2 lead over the Tennessee Titans and did not look back, winning the game 51-20. Once again, the Bears got a score on defense as Corey Wootton scored from five yards out after herrick McManis blocked Brett Kern's punt, while Brian Urlacher had a 46 yard interception return for a TD. The Bears became the first team in league history to score a touchdown pass, a touchdown run, an interception returned for a touchdown, and a kick/punt blocked for a score in a quarter. With a record of 7-1 the Bears hosted the 7-1 Houston Texans in a highly anticipated Sunday Night showdown. The Bears took an early blow as QB Jay Cutler suffered a concussion in the first half. With Jason Campbell playing the rest of the game they could not get their offense on track as they lost the game 13-6. Facing the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night a week later Campbell struggled again as the Bears had no answers for Colin Kaerpernick who was making his first start and led the Niners 32-7 win. Cutler would return the following week and guide the Bears to a 28-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears would suffer another setback the following week as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime 23-17. Brian Urlacher who forced a fumble early in the game suffered a season ending hamstring injury. Without their defensive leader, the Bears would lose their next two games to the Vikings and Packers, as their once assured playoff spot became tenuous at best. The Bears would close the season with road wins over the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions to finish the season with a record of 10-6. However, it was not good enough for the postseason as divisional losses cost them in the tiebreaker with the Vikings. The end of the season would also be the end for Coach Lovie Smith, while Brian Urlacher would end up retiring after being unable to land a new contract.
First Game Played October 3, 1920
Halas Hall at Conway Park
1000 Football Drive
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Phone: (847) 295-6600
George Halas 1920-1929
Ralph Jones 1930-1932
George Halas 1933-1942
Hunk Anderson/Luke Johnsos 1942-1945
George Halas 1946-1955
Paddy Driscoll 1956-1957
George Halas 1958-1967
Jim Dooley 1968-1971
Abe Gibron 1972-1974
Jack Pardee 1975-1977
Neill Armstrong 1978-1981
Mike Ditka 1982-1992
Dave Wannstedt 1993-1998
Dick Jauron 1999-2003
Lovie Smith 2004-2012
Marc Trestman 2013-Present
Staley Field 1920
Wrigley Field 1921-1970*
Soldier Field 1971-2001
Memorial Stadium 2002
Soldier Field II 2003-Present
*-Known as Cubs Park 1921-1925
Super Bowl Champions: (1)
NFL Champions (pre 1966): (8)
1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963
Super Bowls Appearances: (2)
XX (1985), XLI (2006)
NFL Championship Games (Pre-1966): (10)
1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1956, 1963
NFL/NFC Championship Games: (5)
1984, 1985, 1988, 2006, 2010
Division Champions: (22)
1921, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1956, 1963, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010
Playoff Appearences: (25)
1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1950, 1956, 1963, 1977, 1979, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010
Record in Playoff Games:
Hall of Famers: (32)
Doug Atkins WR 1955-1966
Dick Butkus LB 1965-1973
George Blanda QB/PK 1949-1958
Guy Chambers E 1920-1921
George Connor T 1948-1955
Jimmy Conzelman RB 1920
Richard Dent DE 1983-1993, 1995
Mike Ditka TE 1961-1966
Paddy Driscoll RB 1920, 1926-1929
Jim Finks GM 1974-1983
Danny Fortmann G 1936-1943
Bill George G/LB 1952-1965
Red Grange RB 1925, 1929-1934
George Halas Coach 1920-29, 33-42, 46-55, 58-67; Owner 1920-83 Dan Hampton DE 1979-1990
Ed Healey T 1922-1927
Bill Hewitt E 1932-1936
Stan Jones T 1954-1965
Walt Kiesling G 1934
Bobby Layne QB 1948
Sid Luckman QB 1939-1950
Link Lyman T 1926-28, 30-31,33-34
George McAfee RB 1940-41, 45-50
George Musso G 1933-1944
Bronko Nagurski FB 1930-37, 43
Allan Page DT 1978-1981
Walter Payton RB 1975-1987
Gale Sayers RB 1965-1971
Mike Singletary LB 1981-1992
George Trafton C 1920-1932
Bulldog Turner C 1940-1952
Retired Numbers: (14)
3 Bronko Nagurski FB 1930-37, 43
5 George McAfee RB 40-41, 45-50
7 George Halas End 1920-1929
28 Willie Galimore RB 1957-1963
34 Walter Payton RB 1975-1987
40 Gale Sayers RB 1965-1971
41 Brian Piccolo RB 1966-1969
42 Sid Luckman QB 1939-1950
51 Dick Butkus LB 1965-1973
56 Bill Hewitt End 1932-1936
61 Bill George G/LB 1952-1965
66 Bulldog Turner C 1940-1952
77 Red Grange RB 1925, 29-34
89 Mike Ditka TE 1961-1966
Pro Bowl MVP: (4)
1953 Doug Atkins WR
1967 Gayle Sayers RB
1970 Gayle Syaers RB
1978 Walter Payton RB
Coach of the Year: (4)
1963 George Halas
1985 Mike Dikta
2001 Dick Jauron
2005 Lovie Smith
Defensive Rookie of the Year: (3)
1973 Wally Chambers DT
1990 Mark Carrier S
2000 Brian Urlacher LB
Offensive Rookie of the Year: (4)
1961 Mike Dikta TE
1962 Ron Bull RB
1965 Gayle Sayers RB
2001 Anthony Thomas RB
Defensive Player of the Year: (2)
1985 Mike Singletary LB
1988 Mike Singletary LB
2005 Brian Urlacher LB
Offensive Player of the Year: (1)
1977 Walter Payton RB
NFL MVP: (2)
1943 Sid Luckman QB
1977 Walter Payton RB
Super Bowl MVP: (1)
XX Richard Dent DE (1985)
Staley Da Bear
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Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, and Zach Zaidman
Decatur Staleys 1920
Chicago Staleys 1921
Chicago Bears 1922-Present
©MMXIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Chicago Bears or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on November 30, 2001. Last updated on September 27, 2013 at 12:00 am ET.
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