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Bears nail down NFC North title

Bears Vikings Football

After a third straight season without a playoff berth, desperation was the operative mood in Chicago.  A series of swings and misses in connection with the effort to find a new offensive coordinator only made matters worse, before the team settled for Mike Martz, whose name appeared one spot higher on the list than leaving the position vacant.

But the Bears defied the critics and the odds with a strong start, they weathered the inevitable rough spots, and they rebounded from an ugly Week 14 loss at home to the Patriots with a 40-14 win over the Vikings on the frozen fake grass of TCF Bank Stadium.

It helped that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who surprisingly made the 298th regular-season start of his career, exited the game after having his head slammed against stuff that looked like a broad bed of unthawed broccoli.  Rookie Joe Webb simply wasn’t up to the task, and the Bears continued to pull away.

Along the way, Bears receiver Devin Hester set the career record for touchdown returns with a 64 yard punt return, a play that came only one drive after Hester came within less than 10 yards of taking a kickoff the distance.  He has 14 combined kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns in his five NFL seasons.

Despite the placement of 54 total points on the board, no quarterback threw for more than 200 yards, no running back rushed for more than 100 yards, and no receiver generated more than 100 receiving yards.

Still, the Bears have won the NFC North for the first time since their Super Bowl season of 2006, and they currently hold the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff field.

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50 Responses to “Bears nail down NFC North title”
  1. importantpftcomment says: Dec 21, 2010 12:14 AM

    Congrats to the Bears! I didn’t figure the Vikes had much of a chance with or without Favre playing.

  2. andyprough says: Dec 21, 2010 12:19 AM

    Time for a Super Bowl Shuffle video – where is the Fridge and McMahon when you need them?

  3. jjarvis says: Dec 21, 2010 12:20 AM

    Webb looked really bad. Could Daunte Culpepper have been worse?

  4. iabearsfan says: Dec 21, 2010 12:23 AM

    To all the doughters….. 2010 NFC North Champs. Nuff said.

  5. ghostpeppers says: Dec 21, 2010 12:26 AM

    NFC North Champs baby!!! And they knocked out Favre. Scooore!

  6. dvnelson72 says: Dec 21, 2010 12:26 AM

    “…broad bed of unthawed broccoli”

    A what?

  7. canadianvikingfaniii says: Dec 21, 2010 12:28 AM

    I felt disgusted watching another lackluster effort. The offence is really bad, but watching the defence hurts my insides even more. Ugh, amazing that Childress could ruin an organization so fast. It all starts with his belief Tarvaris could be a NFL starter. I like the guy, he is athletic, works hard and he tries his best but he just isn’t cut out for it.

    Will we ever find a QB? Get Greenway, AP, Rice signed. Find replacement fors Madieu ‘no tackle no cover’ Williams ( I cringe whenever I see him), Pat ‘no show’ Williams and Bryant ‘no block’ McKinnie. Sigh..

  8. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 21, 2010 12:30 AM

    I wonder what Favre’s weewee thinks about this.

  9. metalhead65 says: Dec 21, 2010 12:32 AM

    so are you ready to place hester in the top 10 return man list yet?that has to be one of the dumbest things you have ever said and that is saying alot.and by the way the bears were leading when favre went out so his absence had nothing to do with the bears dominating the game.

  10. SpartaChris says: Dec 21, 2010 12:32 AM

    Congrats to Chicago on their first division win in 4 years. See you in week 17!

  11. cubano76 says: Dec 21, 2010 12:41 AM

    And cue the Punter sucks, and cut the friggin punter comments.

  12. Deb says: Dec 21, 2010 12:47 AM

    @snarkygurl …

    Congrats on your division win. It’s been a pleasure to encounter a witty woman and kindred spirit. Too rare on these blogs :) Merry Christmas!

  13. thehatefulnerd says: Dec 21, 2010 12:58 AM

    The Bares were handed both Lions games by the referees, and everybody knows it. They were handed the Green Bay game by Mike “find a way to lose” McCarthy and James “butterfingers” Jones.
    They are who we thought they were.

  14. stanleyhalas says: Dec 21, 2010 1:00 AM

    wait a minute, isn’t jay cutler the worst QB in the league? and isn’t the O-line the worst in the league? And isn’t the run game the worst in the league? and aren’t the packers the team to beat in the north? What happened?

  15. didiwags says: Dec 21, 2010 1:14 AM

    Although I am a Vikings fan, we all knew the Bears would win. In the NFC North the torch kind of shuffles between the Bears, Vikes and Packers. This year the Bears got it!!

  16. pftrumors says: Dec 21, 2010 1:20 AM

    Lurking below the radar. The Bears have quietly put together a decent season. Bravo, Chicago.

  17. mnmaverick says: Dec 21, 2010 1:43 AM

    I don’t think the Bears can beat the Giants Saints, or Falcons in the playoffs.

    The Vikings are a disgrace this year so beating them is nothing to rave about.

  18. dirksimmons says: Dec 21, 2010 2:02 AM

    Haha, Hester is despicable. What a resickulous individual. Why do they kick to him? Why?? I really don’t get it…

  19. jfibertkc says: Dec 21, 2010 3:11 AM

    Yeah…whoever thought the vikings had a chance…wow.

  20. 8man says: Dec 21, 2010 6:51 AM

    And now that Giants-Packers game is big. Really big.

  21. iluvwikileaks says: Dec 21, 2010 6:56 AM

    All night, I kept wondering when ESPN and John Gruden was finally going to take their nose out of Brett Favre’s @$$.

  22. 4dabears says: Dec 21, 2010 7:28 AM

    Hmmm, don’t see any comments from the loud-mouthed Vikings fans I saw before the game started. Oops

  23. kenhawk says: Dec 21, 2010 8:09 AM

    Go Bears. Good game Vikes. See you next year.

    “It was a great opening drive,” Favre said. “I probably should’ve went straight up the tunnel after that. But again — you’ve got to try sometimes.”

    Spoken like a true leader.

  24. Rex Grossman says: Dec 21, 2010 8:21 AM

    NFC north champs + Rex grossman domination += sweet weekend of football!

    Too bad “the ultimate warrior” couldn’t go out in style!

  25. 4sacroc says: Dec 21, 2010 8:39 AM

    Gotta credit the Bears. They have shown up and made plays.

    How about those Vikings, though.

    Blech.

    They’re basement-bound for the next few years with that sorry bunch.

    Another franchise that got Favre’d.

    Step aside Viking fan. Lion fan is passing you on the left.

    Leslie Frazier: Thanks for playing. Good luck in your next gig. Wherever that may be.

  26. pastabelly says: Dec 21, 2010 8:44 AM

    I saw the Bears a week ago at home against New England. They just are not that good of a football team.

  27. bcmcknight77 says: Dec 21, 2010 9:04 AM

    You should post about how the crowd booed the punter all night for kicking away from Hester. Be careful what you wish for….

  28. jimmysee says: Dec 21, 2010 9:04 AM

    Bear down Bears!

  29. ditkaditkaditka says: Dec 21, 2010 9:19 AM

    lolz at the haters. Where are all of the Jay Cutler nay sayers? Luck schmuck, 10-4 and the first team in the NFL to lock up their division, a division w/ 2 pre-season Superbowl darlings. 7-0 in division, beat GB and they’ll be the first NFC north/central team to sweep since 1987.

    GB sour grapes taste like sweaty cheese, how about you beat a 3rd string Lions QB before crying the Bears were lucky to do the same. Oh wait, I forgot, you almost beat the Patriots. Almost counts for 3 wins in Wisconsin, like graduating from 8th grade makes you a scholar.

  30. dukemarc says: Dec 21, 2010 9:42 AM

    wait a minute, isn’t jay cutler the worst QB in the league? and isn’t the O-line the worst in the league? And isn’t the run game the worst in the league? and aren’t the packers the team to beat in the north? What happened?
    ______________________

    You’ll find out in two weeks when your Bears get beat down at Lambeau and then a week later in your house. We saw how good the Bears were against Playoff level competition last week. Playing against yet another 3rd string QB, doesn’t impress anyone other than a FIB.

  31. doug1grohlin says: Dec 21, 2010 10:11 AM

    #
    dukemarc says: Dec 21, 2010 9:42 AM

    wait a minute, isn’t jay cutler the worst QB in the league? and isn’t the O-line the worst in the league? And isn’t the run game the worst in the league? and aren’t the packers the team to beat in the north? What happened?
    ______________________

    You’ll find out in two weeks when your Bears get beat down at Lambeau and then a week later in your house. We saw how good the Bears were against Playoff level competition last week. Playing against yet another 3rd string QB, doesn’t impress anyone other than a FIB.
    ______________________________
    Oh, that same two weeks where your season will end?

  32. rjhubbard says: Dec 21, 2010 10:14 AM

    1st off: Week one against the Lions to me was definitely a catch. Bad rule but the correct call.

    The 2nd Lions game was not the refs “handing” the Bears the game. Even if Suh was not given that penalty it would have still been 2nd & 2 from the 22 yard line. Not to mention that the Lions went for it 4&1 and could not convert! 3rd string QB or not….and might I add Peppers is the one that took Stafford out in week 1.

    The Packers outright LOST to the Bears …. 17 penalties that were a result of their inability to block Peppers , thus false start after false start.

    You only play who is on the schedule and should not have to apologize for it…..you don’t choose your opponents like non-conference NCAA teams. ~fin~

  33. philtration says: Dec 21, 2010 10:16 AM

    #
    dukemarc says: Dec 21, 2010 9:42 AM

    You’ll find out in two weeks when your Bears get beat down at Lambeau and then a week later in your house. We saw how good the Bears were against Playoff level competition last week. Playing against yet another 3rd string QB, doesn’t impress anyone other than a FIB.
    ====================================

    You know whats less impressive than beating a team with a 3rd string QB?
    Losing to one.

    Right Packer fans?

  34. 4sacroc says: Dec 21, 2010 10:16 AM

    Can we all agree on this people?

    The Vikings are the new Lions!

    Ain’t it grand!

  35. purpleguy says: Dec 21, 2010 10:18 AM

    All Viking fans expected the offense to stink without our 2 starting guards, our starting RB, and eventually our QB; however, the defenders aren’t injured, and their collective performance was pathetic. Our safeties are terrible, the LBs played their worst game of the year, and while the Bears defenders seemed able to get to the QB or penetrate to stop the run, our D-linemen were nowhere to be seen. They’re going to be the reason Frasier doesn’t get the head coaching job, but maybe that’s deserved, since it’s his defense.

  36. coleton1 says: Dec 21, 2010 10:20 AM

    stanleyhalas says:
    Dec 21, 2010 1:00 AM
    wait a minute, isn’t jay cutler the worst QB in the league? and isn’t the O-line the worst in the league? And isn’t the run game the worst in the league? and aren’t the packers the team to beat in the north? What happened?

    All the games missed by injurys. You need not worry though. The Bears are only keeping the seat warm till next year when the REAL Packers show up!!!

  37. philtration says: Dec 21, 2010 10:33 AM

    10-4 and the first team to clinch their division this season and it is all just luck…
    Beat the “experts” preseason favorites in Dallas, Green Bay and Minnesota (twice) and then beat the media’s current wet dream in Philadelphia but it is all just luck…
    Have a chance at a bye week and a home game in the playoffs and it is all just luck…

    Who really gives a damn what you idiots think?
    Enjoy watching the Bears in the playoffs while your teams are out golfing.

  38. dvdman123 says: Dec 21, 2010 10:35 AM

    There is something about Jay Cutler that makes me believe he won’t ever take the Da Bears to the promise land. He reminds a lot of Jake Plummer and Jeff George….not good if I’m a Bears fan.

  39. polegojim says: Dec 21, 2010 10:59 AM

    CUTLER NAYSAYER HERE

    I really enjoy football seasons when the Bears are good… and congrats for winning the title.

    That said Bears Fans, make NO mistake that Cutler has a couple outstanding games in him per year MAX. See his seasons in Denver, greatness to garbage on 60 seconds flat.

    What you’ll see next is a few average games, then he’ll collapse into a Cutleresqe melt-down. He is who we all think he is.

    Da Bears need a true quality QB

  40. polegojim says: Dec 21, 2010 11:00 AM

    PS – With Stafford or now with Stanton, the Lions are now better than the Bears.

  41. bgoochy says: Dec 21, 2010 11:18 AM

    Get all your gloating out of your system now, Bears fans. They’re a first round and done team, bank it.

  42. snarkygurl says: Dec 21, 2010 11:25 AM

    Deb says:
    Dec 21, 2010 12:47 AM
    @snarkygurl …

    Congrats on your division win. It’s been a pleasure to encounter a witty woman and kindred spirit. Too rare on these blogs Merry Christmas!
    ===============
    Thanks Deb! I’m enjoying the early Christmas gift, but we’ve got a long way to go until we hoist that trophy in February. Your Steelers are on track too – good luck!

    Merry Christmas to a kindred spirit!! :-)

  43. snarkygurl says: Dec 21, 2010 11:35 AM

    bcmcknight77 says:
    Dec 21, 2010 9:04 AM
    You should post about how the crowd booed the punter all night for kicking away from Hester. Be careful what you wish for….
    =====================
    Exactly – how crazy were those boos? My b/f is a NY Giants fan and he kept screaming “No! You WANT him to kick away!!” LOL

  44. iwishiwasindc says: Dec 21, 2010 12:30 PM

    Hey, football gals. I’m another…lifelong ‘Skins fan who was the designated son and sports buddy who grew up hearing Dad yell “Gd Sonny Jergenson!” or the offender of the moment. He died 6 mo before our 1st SB win. I have now raised another generation of ‘Skins fans and while we are suffering now…but never giving up, we applaud and watch other teams’ success…we are true NFL fans and don’t need to insult other peeps’ favs to feel good about ourselves! Love seeing the Saints, Bears, resurgent Raiders, Hawks, Rams, Lions….there IS always nest year, but we root for good teams when ours suck!

  45. packrulzm says: Dec 21, 2010 1:04 PM

    Congrats to the Bears and their fans. I enjoyed watching you beat the Vikings and knock Brent out of the game. As a Packer fan, I’ll not be making any excuses for my team. Horrible Special teams, clock management and play calling have doomed us this year. Good to see a REAL rival win the division. Good luck in the playoffs!

  46. piccolo41 says: Dec 21, 2010 1:28 PM

    I admit I never picked the Bears to make the playoffs let alone win the NFC North. That said, to me it was still a win “by default” (I’ll take it) but we’ll find out over the next three games (including first playoff) who they really are. How bad do they want the 2nd seed?

    Viking fans, hang in there. Tough year with all the crap surrounding your ball club (lost Rice, Chilly, Moss here today gone tomorrow, Favre, stadium collapse, Chilly … oh, I said that already). Yikes, Vikes.

    The upside is you know you’ve got another back in Gerhart. That kid is tough as nails. You’ve got young receivers and DB’s coming back from injury next year. Bring in a strong vet QB leader to teach Webb. If Stafford can stay upright the NFC North will be a blast next year!

    And Pack fans, I do hope you beat NYG this week. Nothing would be better than seeing two NFC North’ers square off in the playoffs! That and the Giants put a spanking on our OL ;)

    Pic

  47. shaggytoodle says: Dec 21, 2010 2:15 PM

    canadianvikingfaniii says:
    Dec 21, 2010 12:28 AM
    I felt disgusted watching another lackluster effort. The offence is really bad, but watching the defence hurts my insides even more. Ugh, amazing that Childress could ruin an organization so fast. It all starts with his belief Tarvaris could be a NFL starter. I like the guy, he is athletic, works hard and he tries his best but he just isn’t cut out for it.

    Will we ever find a QB? Get Greenway, AP, Rice signed. Find replacement fors Madieu ‘no tackle no cover’ Williams ( I cringe whenever I see him), Pat ‘no show’ Williams and Bryant ‘no block’ McKinnie. Sigh..
    ___________________________

    I think Chilly had some to do with it, but he has been gone for a month so I really think the bulk of the blame is on, Brett ‘I’m too good for training camp’ Favre. When things went south there was a schism, mostly because the Vikings were overrated and when things went south cuz they didn’t hav there first 3 games against teams that draft in the top 7 like last year.

  48. pervyharvin says: Dec 21, 2010 5:31 PM

    philtration says:Who really gives a damn what you idiots think?
    Enjoy watching the Bears in the playoffs while your teams are out golfing.
    ======================================
    I would piss into a fan all day then watch your Bears in the playoffs! Cutler is a puke and your team is boring. Congrats on beating our B team! I’ll be watching Vick and Ryan take their teams to the NFCCG.

  49. urlacherbacker says: Dec 21, 2010 6:07 PM

    pervyharvin says:
    “I would piss into a fan all day then watch your Bears in the playoffs! Cutler is a puke and your team is boring. Congrats on beating our B team! I’ll be watching Vick and Ryan take their teams to the NFCCG.”

    Oh how cute. The little pretend Minnesota fan who was thumping his chest all of the preaseason about his Vikings has jumped ship to the Falcons. Its been a real pleasure adding two humiliating losses to that joke of a team you guys fielded this year. Remember how we were all supposed to piss down our legs when R Moss came back to town? As an arrogant loud mouth Vikings fan you deserve everything you got this year. We knew you were nothing but a fair weather fan anyway. Just change your colors and keep running your mouth, its the only thing you and ‘your’ team are successful at.

  50. pervyharvin says: Dec 21, 2010 6:30 PM

    urlacherbacker says:We knew you were nothing but a fair weather fan anyway. Just change your colors and keep running your mouth, its the only thing you and ‘your’ team are successful at.
    ======================================
    Listen buttercup, I been a fan since 1975, no fair weather here. I don’t give a rats ass about the Falcons. I just know football. I actually can’t stand all other teams. Vikings are all that matters. Falcons with home field will make the SB. Book it…

    oh yah, Urlacher isn’t half the man Favre is. Is he your man crush?

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