Chicago Bears: 2011 Regular Season

Bears fire Angelo; Lovie to remain coach

January, 3, 2012
1/03/12
9:38
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Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has been relieved of his duties, the team announced.

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Bears coach positively maddening

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
4:41
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In some ways you almost have to admire the half-crazed, half-full philosophy of Lovie Smith.

As the Chicago Bears coach put it Monday, “When you’re 7-8 and some disappointing things have happened during the course of the season, the only thing you can do is get to 8-8 . . . ”

He also ticked off the many other good things that happened with the Bears’ first victory in their last six games Sunday, like the offense getting to 2,000 rushing yards for the season; special teams reaching plus-40 net yards; Charles Tillman returning a team-record fifth career interception for a touchdown; and of course, the team extending its winning streak against the Minnesota Vikings to five games.

“All those things were important for our football team,” Smith said.

How can you not admire that sort of rationale?

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Bears receivers want Martz back

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
7:31
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The future of offensive coordinator Mike Martz remained one of the top storylines in the wake of the Chicago Bears' season-ending 17-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings, but it's clear the team's three top receivers want the assistant back in 2012.

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What did we learn? Cutler is that good

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
6:32
PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jay Cutler's Most Valuable Player campaign ended here, on the frozen carpet of Whatever You Want to Call It Field, in a game that should've been sponsored by a blindfold and a bottle of Old Grand Dad.

The Bears mercifully won their season-ender, 17-13, over the hapless Minnesota Vikings to end their season at 8-8. It was their first win without Cutler in six tries. It meant absolutely nothing except avoiding a losing record. It was nearly impossible to watch.

All I got out of it was closure and another reminder how much this team misses Cutler, who didn't make the trip.

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Video: Lovie on Bears' win

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
6:00
PM ET


Lovie Smith says he likes his team going forward, and expresses concern about Brian Urlacher's injury.

Lovie: McCown 'gave us a spark'

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
5:27
PM ET
[+] EnlargeJosh McCown
AP Photo/Jim MoneJosh McCown completed 15 of 25 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Vikings on Sunday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh McCown wasn't guaranteed a roster spot next season by Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, but the veteran made a case the last two weeks that he should be considered for a spot on the 2012 depth chart at the quarterback position.

Although McCown finished the season with a passer rating of 68.3 in two starts, he breathed some life into an offense that stalled badly after Jay Cutler suffered a broken right thumb on Nov. 20.

"I definitely think he can hold his head up," Smith said. "He came here and helped our football team. He gave us a spark, energy, and he did not hurt his chances at all by what he has done during his brief time with us."

While the coaches and front office have the final say, starting center and team captain Roberto Garza believes McCown accomplished enough in limited time to earn a place on the team in 2012.

"He brings a lot of energy and experience in there," Garza said. "I think he did a great job and deserves to be around."

McCown threw for just 160 yards in the Bears' 17-13 victory over the Vikings, but he did toss a 22-yard touchdown to Roy Williams and showcased his ability to scramble when he ran 28 yards to pick up a key first down in the first half.

"It feels great, it feels really, really cool [to get the win]," McCown said. "For me, I'm just so thankful to go to battle with these guys. What a great group of guys. It's just an honor to play for the coaches and to play for the guys who were on the field today."

The Bears could certainly pursue a higher-profile No. 2 quarterback such as Kyle Orton in the offseason, but McCown appears to have a legitimate shot to somehow be in the mix when the team opens training camp next summer.

Video: Bears 17, Vikings 13

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
4:59
PM ET


Alex Loeb and Cris Carter break down the Bears finishing at .500 with a win over the Vikings on Sunday.

Report card: Bears-Vikings

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
4:46
PM ET

Check out our Bears Center for a complete recap of the Bears' 17-13 victory over the Vikings and grades in six key areas of the game.


Urlacher leaves game with knee injury

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
3:48
PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher left Sunday's 17-13 win against the Minnesota Vikings with a left knee injury.

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Performance Rating: Bears-Vikings

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
3:45
PM ET

How would you rate the Bears in their Week 17 victory over the Vikings? Weigh in and track the approval ratings of Lovie Smith, the quarterbacks and more throughout the season with our weekly Bears Performance Rating.

Third quarter: Bears 14, Vikings 13

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
2:24
PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago Bears generated another takeaway with a Tim Jennings interception, but the score remained 14-13 after three quarters.

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen made the most significant impact of the quarter by sacking Josh McCown twice. Through three quarters, Allen has registered 3 1/2 sacks to raise his season total to 22, which is just half a sack shy of the NFL record 22 1/2 sacks set by Michael Strahan.

Allen’s consistent abuse of Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb has played a role in the Vikings racking up five sacks through three quarters.

Jennings picked off Webb on a pass to Percy Harvin that bounced off the receiver’s hands to give the Bears possession at their own 43. But a 10-yard sack of McCown by Kevin Williams on third down forced the Bears to punt.

For the game, the Bears are 2 of 8 on third-down conversions, and have just six first downs on the day. It appears the offense hasn’t been able to develop any kind of rhythm because the club has been dominated in time of possession 25:23 to 19:37.

Second quarter: Bears 14, Vikings 13

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
1:40
PM ET
Brian UrlacherAP Photo/Jim MoneThe Bears' Brian Urlacher and Israel Idonije tackle the Vikings' Toby Gerhart in the first half on Sunday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After a lethargic opening quarter, the Chicago Bears scored 14 straight second-quarter points in just over a minute and lead the Vikings 14-13 at halftime.

Bears veteran quarterback Josh McCown pumped some life into the lifeless club when he engineered an eight-play, 90-yard drive he capped off with a 22-yard scoring strike to a wide open Roy Williams.

Then on Minnesota's ensuing drive, Charles Tillman intercepted a Christian Ponder pass that bounced off the hands of Vikings running back Toby Gerhart and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. It was Tillman's fifth career pick six which is a new franchise record, breaking the old mark he shared with Mike Brown and Bennie McRae.

The Vikings closed to margin to 14-13 when Joe Webb, in at quarterback for the injured Christian Ponder, orchestrated an impressive drive that ended with Ryan Longwell kicking a 26-yard field goal.

Longwell had a field goal attempt blocked by Bears defensive end Julius Peppers earlier in the second quarter.

McCown finished the first half with 60 yards passing and was sacked three times.

Vikings receiver Percy Harvin has a game-high seven receptions for 75 yards. Former Bears wideout Devin Aromashodu caught a pair of Webb passes for 38 yards on Minnesota's final scoring drive of the half.

First quarter: Vikings 10, Bears 0

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
12:51
PM ET
Josh McCownBruce Kluckhohn/US PresswireJosh McCown got off to an unproductive first quarter in his second Bears start.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Call Chicago’s matchup with the Vikings an envelope, because it appears the club has mailed in the season finale; falling behind 10-0 after the first quarter because of two turnovers.

Earl Bennett and Kahlil Bell fumbled away two Bears possessions and paved the way for Minnnesota’s 10 points.

Bell’s fumble late in the quarter on a strip from E.J. Henderson was recovered by Jamarca Sanford, giving the Vikings possession at the Chicago 18. Three plays later, Percy Harvin scored on a 5-yard run up the middle at the 3:42 mark that made the score 10-0.

Before that, the Vikings capitalized on another Chicago turnover. Bennett fumbled at the end of an 8-yard completion from Josh McCown. Officials originally ruled Bennett down, but Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier challenged the call and received a reversal, which put the Vikings on the Chicago 49 at the 12:31 mark.

Toby Gerhart busted a 24-yard run on the very next play. But the Bears weathered the early onslaught, stalling Minnesota’s drive at the Chicago 8, forcing it to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell with 8:53 remaining in the quarter.

Bears put Nate Enderle on inactive list

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
11:07
AM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago Bears fans clamoring to see rookie Nate Enderle make his NFL debut will be kept waiting.

Enderle is inactive Sunday versus the Minnesota Vikings, which means Caleb Hanie is the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Josh McCown.

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Gameday chat: Bears at Vikings LIVE!

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
10:00
AM ET


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