2014 Chicago Bears season

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2014 Chicago Bears season
Chicago Bears logo.svg
Head coach Marc Trestman
(2nd season)
General manager Phil Emery
(Since 2012)
Owner The McCaskey Family
(Since 1983)
Home field Soldier Field
(Since 1971)
Local radio WBBM · WCFS · WLEY · WSCR
Results
Record 1–1
Timeline
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< 2013 2015 >

The 2014 Chicago Bears season is the franchise's 95th season in the National Football League, as well as the second under head coach Marc Trestman.

Offseason[edit]

Organizational changes[edit]

After the defense set franchise worsts in points (678), total yards (6,313) and rushing yards (2,583) allowed, defensive line coach Mike Phair and linebackers coach Tim Tibesar were fired by the team on January 12. Head coach Marc Trestman stated, "We need to improve in all areas defensively and that will be a focal point for us this offseason. The process starts with me as the head coach. Our search for a defensive line and linebackers coach has begun and we will be looking for the best candidates whose experience can bring the most out of our veteran and young players in both areas."[1] On January 22, Houston Texans linebacker coach Reggie Herring was hired to take Tibesar's place, while former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and Connecticut Huskies head coach Paul Pasqualoni became the defensive line coach.[2] On January 25, assistant defensive line coach Michael Sinclair was replaced by Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt.[3] On February 12, assistant offensive line coach Pat Meyer was promoted to offensive line, while martial arts expert Joe Kim was hired as assistant strength/skill development coach.[4]

On February 7, assistant head athletic trainer/director of rehabilitation Bobby Slater joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 15 years of service with the Bears.[5]

Roster changes[edit]

Position Player Free agency
tag
Date signed 2014 team
QB Jay Cutler UFA January 2[6] Chicago Bears
QB Josh McCown UFA March 12[7] Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Jordan Palmer UFA March 9[8] Chicago Bears
C Roberto Garza UFA February 27[9] Chicago Bears
OG Matt Slauson UFA January 2[10] Chicago Bears
OG Taylor Boggs ERFA February 24[11] Chicago Bears
OT Eben Britton UFA April 3[12] Chicago Bears
OT Jonathan Scott UFA
TE Dante Rosario UFA February 27[13] Chicago Bears
DT Henry Melton UFA March 18[14] Dallas Cowboys
DT Landon Cohen UFA
DT Nate Collins UFA March 9[8] Chicago Bears
DT Jeremiah Ratliff UFA March 5[15] Chicago Bears
DE Corey Wootton UFA March 20[16] Minnesota Vikings
DE Cheta Ozougwu ERFA May 18[17] New Orleans Saints
LB James Anderson UFA June 4[18] New England Patriots
LB D. J. Williams UFA March 11[19] Chicago Bears
LB Blake Costanzo UFA June 3[20] San Francisco 49ers
CB Charles Tillman UFA March 14[21] Chicago Bears
CB Tim Jennings UFA January 2[10] Chicago Bears
CB Zack Bowman UFA March 31[22] New York Giants
CB Kelvin Hayden UFA February 28[23] Chicago Bears
CB Derrick Martin UFA February 24[11] Chicago Bears
CB Sherrick McManis UFA March 19[24] Chicago Bears
S Major Wright UFA April 4[25] Tampa Bay Buccaneers
S Craig Steltz UFA March 18[26] Chicago Bears
S Anthony Walters RFA May 14[27] Arizona Cardinals
ST Devin Hester UFA March 20[28] Atlanta Falcons
ST Patrick Mannelly UFA June 20[29] Retired
RFA: Restricted free agent, UFA: Unrestricted free agent, ERFA: Exclusive rights free agent

The Bears enter the offseason with 27 players set to become free agents, 17 of whom are on defense,[30] with safety Anthony Walters being a restricted free agent, while guard Taylor Boggs and defensive lineman Cheta Ozougwu are exclusive rights free agents.[31] CBS Sports writer Joel Corry projects the Bears salary cap to be $41,632,799, with an adjusted cap of $128,013,800, which ranks fourth in the league, behind the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders.[32] By February 22, the Bears' salary cap was approximately $2.7 million.[30]

Acquisitions[edit]

The first acquisition of 2014 occurred on February 17, when defensive end Austen Lane was signed.[33] The following day, cornerback Derricus Purdy was signed.[34] On March 6, the Bears signed defensive end Trevor Scott.[35] On March 11, the first day of free agency, the Bears signed defensive lineman Lamarr Houston,[36] safety Ryan Mundy[37] and linebacker Jordan Senn.[38] On March 12, the Bears signed cornerback M. D. Jennings.[39] On March 13, defensive end and wide receiver Willie Young and Domenik Hixon, respectively, were signed.[40] Five days later, former Bears defensive end Israel Idonije[41] and safety Danny McCray were signed.[26] On March 26, the Bears signed Minnesota Vikings star defensive end Jared Allen.[42] On April 6, center Brian de la Puente was signed.[43] The following day, Chicago signed former Canadian Football League long snapper Chad Rempel.[44] Washington Redskins receiver Josh Bellamy was acquired via waivers by the Bears,[45] and tight end Matt Mulligan was signed,[46] both on April 8. Thirteen days later, wide receiver Josh Morgan was signed,[47] followed by running back Shaun Draughn three days after.[48] On June 3, receivers Armanti Edwards and Michael Spurlock were signed,[49] and two weeks later, Chicago signed quarterback Jimmy Clausen.[50] On June 19, defensive lineman Jamil Merrell and linebacker Conor O'Neill, both being undrafted free agents, were signed.[51] Four days later, five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson and tight end Jeron Mastrud were acquired,[52] and were the final acquisitions by the Bears prior to Training Camp.

Departures[edit]

On March 5, the first departure of the year was punter Adam Podlesh.[53] Five days later, running back Michael Bush was waived.[54] Eleven days after signing, tight end Dante Rosario was released on March 10.[55] On March 11, defensive end Julius Peppers was released after the Bears were unable to trade him.[56] He later signed a deal with the Green Bay Packers.[57] On March 18, receiver Earl Bennett was waived after refusing to have his salary reduced.[58] On April 15, the Bears released defensive end Cheta Ozougwu.[59] On June 3, linebacker Tana Patrick was waived.[49] On June 19, quarterback Jerrod Johnson, tight end Fendi Onobun, defensive lineman Israel Idonije and safety Sean Cattouse were waived.[51]

On March 12, unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh McCown signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[7] Six days later, defensive end Henry Melton joined the Dallas Cowboys.[14] On March 20, special teamer Devin Hester and defensive lineman Corey Wootton were signed by the Atlanta Falcons[28] and Vikings,[16] respectively. Cornerback Zack Bowman joined the New York Giants on March 31.[22] On April 4, safety Major Wright was signed by Tampa Bay.[25] In May, Anthony Walters signed with the Arizona Cardinals[27] and Ozougwu joined the New Orleans Saints[17] on May 14 and 18, respectively From June 3-4, linebacker Blake Costanzo was signed by the San Francisco 49ers,[20] followed by James Anderson with the New England Patriots.[18] On June 20, long snapper Patrick Mannelly retired after 16 seasons in the NFL, all with the Bears.[29]

2014 draft class[edit]

Main article: 2014 NFL Draft

The Bears did not receive any compensatory picks for the draft.[60] Profootballtalk.com's Michael David Smith wrote Chicago needed to draft players at four positions for the first round: defensive back, with first-round possibilities including Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Justin Gilbert; linebacker, such as C. J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier; defensive tackle, like Aaron Donald. Additionally, Smith wrote the Bears could target a running back or quarterback with mid- to late-round draft picks, such as De'Anthony Thomas and James White, and Tom Savage, respectively.[61]

With the 14th pick in the draft, the Bears selected Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, who recorded 173 tackles, 4.5 sacks, six interceptions and 21 deflections during his college career.[62] In round two, with the 51st pick, LSU defensive lineman Ego Ferguson was drafted; Ferguson had started only one full season in 2013, recording a sack, but had his season end due to an injury, which had prevented him from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.[63] In the following round, Chicago drafted defensive tackle Will Sutton of Arizona State with the 82nd pick; Sutton recorded 20.5 sacks in his college career, while leading the Pac-12 Conference with 10.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss in 2012.[64] The Bears held two fourth-rounders: the 117 and 131, the latter being acquired after a trade with the Denver Broncos. The former was used on Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey, the school's career-leading rusher,[65] and was considered as the best running back available by numerous experts.[66] The 131st pick was used on Minnesota safety Brock Vereen.[67] As a result of the trade with Denver, the Bears did not have a fifth-rounder. In the sixth round, with the 183rd pick, San Jose State quarterback David Fales was drafted, who holds every passing record in school history.[68] The next round, with the 191st pick, Miami punter Pat O'Donnell was drafted; O'Donnell led the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranked second in the nation in punting average with 47.1 yards.[69] The Bears' final pick, the 191st pick in the seventh round, was Boise State offensive lineman Charles Leno, Jr., who started 36 consecutive games since 2011.[70]

Analysts gave above average grades for the draft class. James Neveau of WMAQ-TV graded the offensive selections as an "A", considering Carey as the "best value pick" by the Bears. On defense and special teams, Neveau gave the picks a "B+", praising Sutton's selection, but doubted the decision to take Ferguson in the second round.[66] NFL.com's Bucky Brooks wrote Carey was the biggest steal of the draft among NFC North draft picks, ultimately giving the Bears' class a "B".[71] Foxsports.com, who gave the Bears a "B", praised Carey, while stating that despite playing well in 2012, Sutton had been too heavy in 2013, and must be "at the right playing weight in 2014 to make a difference in the big leagues".[72] Chris Burke and Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated considered the Sutton and Carey selections as "a win for the team's Southwest area scout"; the two gave the class an "A-".[73] ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. awarded the class a "B", believing the team performed well in focusing on team needs, and stating he is fine with Fuller's selection, as Gilbert is not "superior to Fuller", though Clinton-Dix would've been a good selection; Todd McShay, another ESPN analyst, considered Vereen as the best NFC North selection.[74]

All eight rookies were signed to four-year deals. Two days after the draft, on May 12, Vereen and Fales were signed.[75] Ferguson, Carey, Fales, O'Donnell, and Leno were signed the following day,[76] followed by Fuller the next day,[77] and concluded with Sutton on May 15. The Bears were the first team to sign a draftee in 2014, and the first to complete signing their class.[78]

After the draft, the Bears signed nine undrafted free agents: quarterback Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, who was listed as a running back; defensive tackles Brandon Dunn (Louisville) and Lee Pegues (East Carolina); guards Ryan Groy (Wisconsin) and James Dunbar (TCU); tackle Cody Booth (Temple); and linebackers Tana Patrick (Alabama), Christian Jones (Florida State) and Devekeyan Lattimore (USF).[79]

2014 Chicago Bears draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 14 Kyle Fuller  Cornerback Virginia Tech
2 51 Ego Ferguson  Defensive tackle LSU
3 82 Will Sutton  Defensive tackle Arizona State
4 117 Ka'Deem Carey  Running Back Arizona
4 131 Brock Vereen  Safety Minnesota from Denver
6 183 David Fales  Quarterback San Jose State
6 191 Pat O'Donnell  Punter Miami
7 246 Charles Leno, Jr.  Offensive tackle Boise State from Denver
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career
Notes

Offseason activities[edit]

The Bears began their offseason program on April 22,[83] with a mandatory minicamp ending the program from June 17-19.[84]

Rookie Minicamp[edit]

The Bears began rookie minicamp on May 16, which lasted for three days, in the Walter Payton Center.[85] Asides from the eight drafted rookies, the undrafted rookies signed after the draft, and 2013 rookies, 38 players were present for tryouts, including four Illinois-born players.[86] At the end of the camp, punter Drew Butler was waived,[87] while tryout players Senorise Perry, a running back from Louisville, and North Texas safety Marcus Trice were signed.[88]

Training Camp[edit]

Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois began on July 24, with the first practice the following day.[89] The first two practices were held without pads; additional practices were held on July 27 and 28, and from July 30-August 1.[90]

Kyle Long missed the seven practices due to a viral infection.[91] Chris Conte and Craig Steltz did not participate on the first day due to a shoulder and groin injury, respectively; both were later placed on the active physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list.[92] The second day's practice featured Tim Jennings and Willie Young having quadriceps injuries, the latter participating, but leaving prior to the end.[93] The next day, Jennings and Young returned, but the former left after the first play. Terrence Toliver didn't play due to a toe injury.[94] Alshon Jeffery, Toliver, Conte, and Steltz skipped July 28 practice, Jeffery due to a sore foot. After a day off on July 29,[95] Jeffery returned, while Jennings participated in individual drills.[96] During the day, Eben Britton suffered a torn hamstring during a one-on-one drill with Jeremiah Ratliff.[97] Despite being cleared to return, Long did not practice until Family Fest.[98] Roberto Garza skipped the August 1 practice for "personal reasons".[99]

The annual Family Fest at Soldier Field was held on August 2 in front of 27,000 spectators. Long made his return at the event, along with Garza, while Shaun Draughn was not present for personal issues. Jared Allen and Ratliff were excused.[99] Later practices were held in Bourbonnais from August 4-6, with the first preseason game on the following day. On August 4, Jeffery, Britton, Conte, Steltz, and Draughn did not practice, while Lance Briggs bruised a knee;[100] the first major injury of Training Camp was Marquess Wilson's broken clavicle.[101] During the session, a fight between Martellus Bennett and Kyle Fuller occurred: while attempting to force Bennett to fumble, Fuller grabbed Bennett's shoulder pad, pulling him down. In retaliation, Bennett body-slammed Fuller, causing Lamarr Houston, Matt Forte and Zach Miller, along with offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer to intervene. Head coach Marc Trestman would end the practice earlier than scheduled. The next day, Bennett was indefinitely suspended by the team.[102] August 5's practice featured Britton, Briggs, Allen, and Draughn being absent, while Jordan Mills injured his foot prior to the end of the workout.[103] On August 6, Long, Isaiah Frey, Mills, Britton, Jennings, Steltz, Conte, and Allen did not practice.[104] The final practices would be held from August 10 to 12.[90] Bennett was reinstated and practiced on August 10,[105] while Steltz and Conte returned to practice.[106] However, Mills, Britton, Chris Williams, Frey, and Brian de la Puente did not practice.[107] The five, Wilson, and Briggs did not work out the next day, with Briggs being given a day off.[108] August 12's practice had Williams, Britton, Mills, Wilson, Frey, Dante Rosario, Tillman, and Ratliff out.[109]

On July 25, offensive lineman Dylan Gandy was signed, while Jamil Merrell was waived.[110] James Dunbar was released two days later.[111] On July 29, receiver Dale Moss was signed.[96] Two days later, Toliver was released via an injury settlement, while offensive linemen Graham Pocic[98] and Dennis Roland were signed.[112] On August 6, Greg Herd was signed, while Conor O'Neil was released.[104]

Preseason[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Schedule[edit]

The Bears' preseason opponents were announced on April 9, 2014. The Bears began the preseason at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, who had hampered the Bears' playoff chances in 2013 after a 54–11 win. The next two games would be away games against the Jacksonville Jaguars on ESPN, followed by the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.[124] The Bears would end the preseason against frequent opponent Cleveland Browns, marking the eleventh consecutive preseason closer between the two teams.[125]

Week Date Kickoff (CDT) Opponent Results Game site TV NFL.com
GameBook
NFL.com
Recap
Final score Team record
1 August 8 7:00 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles W 34–28 1–0 Soldier Field WFLD GameBook Recap
2 August 14 7:00 p.m. Jacksonville Jaguars W 20–19 2–0 Soldier Field ESPN/WLS GameBook Recap
3 August 22 9:00 p.m. at Seattle Seahawks L 6–34 2–1 CenturyLink Field WFLD/NFLN GameBook Recap
4 August 28 7:00 p.m. at Cleveland Browns L 13–33 2–2 FirstEnergy Stadium WFLD GameBook Recap

Game summaries[edit]

In the preseason opener against the Eagles, Craig Steltz, Tim Jennings, Isaiah Frey, Chris Conte, Eben Britton, Jordan Mills, Jared Allen, Kyle Long, and Martellus Bennett did not participate.[126] On the Eagles' first possession, Nick Foles was pressured by Willie Young and Lamarr Houston into having a pass intercepted by Ryan Mundy. However, Robbie Gould's 41-yard field goal was blocked by Damion Square.[127] On Chicago's next drive, the offense traveled 69 yards, culminating in Jay Cutler's ten-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller.[128] Foles, who had thrown only two interceptions in 2012,[129] would be intercepted again after his pass intended for Zach Ertz was intercepted by Sherrick McManis.[128] In the second quarter, Matthew Tucker's 4-yard and 1-yard touchdown runs gave the Eagles the 14–7 lead. Jordan Palmer threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Miller, but Josh Huff would return the following kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown to end the first half with the Eagles leading 21–14. In the third quarter, Khaseem Greene forced Tucker to fumble, with the Bears scoring on Gould's 26-yard field goal. Matt Barkley then threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to David Fluellen to increase the lead to 28–17, but the margin would be shortened with Jimmy Clausen's 73-yard touchdown pass to Chris Williams; the Bears would fail to score on the two-point conversion after Clausen's pass was batted.[127] Chicago would claim the lead after Clausen's 22-yard touchdown pass to Michael Spurlock, followed by Dante Rosario scoring on the two-point conversion to make the score 31–28.[128] In the fourth quarter, David Fales threw a 41-yard pass to Josh Bellamy, but the drive ended after his pass for Bellamy was intercepted by Jaylen Watkins.[127] The Bears would begin rushing to spend time, going 73 yards[130] before Gould kicked a 25-yard field goal, the final points of the game.[127]

Against Jacksonville, Marquess Wilson, Steltz, Isaiah Frey, Conte, Britton, Brian de la Puente, Mills, Williams, Rosario and Young were scratched from the game-day roster.[131] The Jaguars scored first, off Josh Scobee's two field goals of 49 and 25 yards.[132] On the latter play's ensuing kickoff, Eric Weems fumbled, and the ball was recovered by Will Blackmon;[133] Jacksonville would capitalize on the recovery, with Chad Henne's six-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee.[132] In the second quarter, the Bears scored their first points of the game with Cutler's four-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall. Scobee would kick a 43-yard field goal, the last score of the half.[132] The Bears' first drive of the second half ended with Clausen being intercepted by Josh Evans. Jacksonville would convert the takeaway into Kasey Redfern's 29-yard field goal,[133] the lone score of the third quarter.[132] On Chicago's first drive of the fourth quarter, Ka'Deem Carey scored on a one-yard run.[133] With 50 seconds left in the game, Senorise Perry scored on a five-yard run, but failed the two-point conversion, making the score 20–19.[133] With 27 seconds remaining, C. J. Wilson intercepted Stephen Morris to clinch the victory.[134]

Wilson, Kyle Fuller, Frey, Britton, de la Puente, Mills, Allen, and Williams were inactive in Seattle.[135] The Seahawks scored touchdowns on their first four drives:[136] Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson's seven-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter and Wilson's touchdown passes to Jermaine Kearse and Christine Michael of seven- and 29 yards, respectively, in the second quarter. For the Bears' four first quarter drives, three ended in punts; on the team's final possession of the second quarter, Cutler's 23-yard touchdown pass to Bennett was nullified when Bennett was downed at the one-yard line. Cutler would throw a two-yard touchdown pass to Rosario, but a pass interference call on Marshall overturned the play; Cutler would be intercepted by Jeremy Lane; the Seahawks would convert the turnover into a Steven Hauschka 59-yard field goal to give the Seahawks a 31–0 lead.[137] On Seattle's first drive of the second half, they failed to score for the first time of the game when Hauschka's 53-yard field goal hit the left upright; Gould would also miss a field goal, missing a 43-yarder wide right.[138] Hauschka would record the only score of the third quarter, with a 38-yard field goal.[139] In the final quarter, the Bears would reach the Seahawks' red zone, where Gould scored on a 30-yard kick. On Seattle's ensuing play, Terrelle Pryor was intercepted by C. J. Wilson, leading to a Gould 38-yard field goal to make the final score 34–6.[137]

Visiting the Browns, the Bears sat their starters,[140] having only 35 of 75 players participating,[141] while the Browns kept their starters in the game.[142] After the Bears scored on the opening drive off Gould's 39-yard field goal, the Browns took the lead off Ben Tate's one-yard touchdown run; Gould would eventually miss a 52-yarder wide right. On Cleveland's next drive, Terrance West fumbled, allowing M. D. Jennings to recover.[143] Early in the second quarter, Fales threw a pass to Santonio Holmes, who escaped Justin Gilbert to score on the 32-yard play.[144] The Bears scored again via Gould's 23-yard field goal, but the Browns took the 14–13 lead with Johnny Manziel's one-yard touchdown pass to Jim Dray. The Browns extended the lead on their final drive with Billy Cundiff's 22-yard field goal. On Cleveland's first drive of the third quarter, Cundiff scored on a 37-yarder, followed by 47- and 29-yard kicks to increase the margin by 13 points. In the fourth quarter, Fales would be intercepted by Robert Nelson. The Browns scored the final score of the game with Isaiah Crowell's 48-yard field goal, making the final score 33–13.[143]

Regular season[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Buildup[edit]

Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson of ESPN made predictions regarding how the season goes for the Bears, believing the team will go 10–6 and 11–5, respectively.[153]

John McMullen of The Miami Herald assigned grades for each position group but the quarterbacks entering the season, the highest being a B+ for the wide receivers and offensive line, while the lowest being a C+ for the linebackers and special teams. McMullen stated Jay Cutler's extension was "a prudent move", and while he "might not be in the Manning-Brady-Rodgers class but is on the tier below". Regarding the running backs, McMullen wrote that while Matt Forte is one of the top running backs, there is not an impressive depth behind him, while the wide receiving corps may be "the best in the business", but Marquess Wilson's injury led to a lack of depth; behind tight end Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller's injury led to Dante Rosario and Matthew Mulligan serving as backups, the former having "decent hands but just average speed", while the latter having "bounced around". The offensive line was considered the "most improved in 2013", with all five starters returning, while the defensive line has been refurbished with Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston's signings. For the linebackers, Lance Briggs and D. J. Williams would return as starters, while Shea McClellin, who had converted to linebacker, being written by McMullen as a move that "has a chance if defensive coordinator Mel Tucker lets McClellin go straight ahead as a disruptor and not expect the former Boise State star to play in space.[154]

The Bears will not have team captains for 2014, breaking a seven-year trend. Head coach Marc Trestman stated he intends to select captains weekly.[155]

Schedule[edit]

The schedule was announced on April 23.[156] ESPN ranked the Bears' schedule as the 15th strongest in the league, with opponents having a combined winning percentage of .496.[157] The Bears will open the season with six away games from weeks 2-10,[158] due to three conflicting events in the Chicago area: week 2 is unavailable due to a NASCAR race and PGA golf tournament, week 6 due to the Chicago Marathon utilizing Soldier Field as a start/finish line, and week 9 due to a rugby union game at Soldier Field on Saturday night. To resolve the situation regarding week 9, league schedulers created a bye week for the Bears.[159] The Bears will also play five prime time games, the most allowed by the league scheduling,[159] and a Thanksgiving Day game during the season.[160] Although CBS, which airs AFC games against the Lions on Thanksgiving, held the rights to the game for 2014, the league's new "crossflexing" policy, which allows CBS and Fox to switch seven games, permitted the Bears to play Detroit.[158]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site TV NFL.com
GameBook
NFL.com
Recap
Final score Team record
1 September 7 12:00 p.m. Buffalo Bills L 20–23 (OT) 0–1 Soldier Field Fox Gamebook Recap
2 September 14 7:30 p.m. at San Francisco 49ers W 28–20 1–1 Levi's Stadium NBC Gamebook Recap
3 September 22 7:30 p.m. at New York Jets MetLife Stadium ESPN[A]
4 September 28 12:00 p.m. Green Bay Packers Soldier Field Fox
5 October 5 12:00 p.m. at Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium Fox
6 October 12 12:00 p.m. at Atlanta Falcons Georgia Dome Fox
7 October 19 12:00 p.m. Miami Dolphins Soldier Field CBS
8 October 26 12:00 p.m. at New England Patriots Gillette Stadium Fox
9 Bye
10 November 9 7:30 p.m. at Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field NBC
11 November 16 12:00 p.m. Minnesota Vikings Soldier Field Fox
12 November 23 12:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Soldier Field Fox
13 November 27 11:30 a.m. at Detroit Lions Ford Field CBS
14 December 4 7:25 p.m. Dallas Cowboys Soldier Field NFLN
15 December 15 7:30 p.m. New Orleans Saints Soldier Field ESPN
16 December 21 12:00 p.m. Detroit Lions Soldier Field Fox
17 December 28 12:00 p.m. at Minnesota Vikings TCF Bank Stadium Fox
Notes: All times are Central. Intra-division opponents are in bold text. Networks and times for Sunday games from Weeks 5–17 are subject to change as a result of flexible scheduling.[161]
Legend
 #  Games played with color uniforms.
 #  Games played with white uniforms.
 #  Games played with 1940s throwback uniforms.[162]
 –  Light green background indicates a victory.
 –  Light red background indicates a loss.

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. Buffalo Bills[edit]

Week One: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears – Game summary
1 2 3 4 OT Total
Bills 7 10 0 3 3 23
Bears 7 0 10 3 0 20

at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • BUF Dan Carpenter 50 yard field goal, 8:07 (BUF 10–7). Drive: 6 plays, 14 yards, 3:23
  • BUF: C. J. Spiller 7 yard pass from E. J. Manuel, Dan Carpenter XP good, 5:30 (BUF 17–7). Drive: 1 play, 7 yards, 0:06
Third quarter
  • CHI: Robbie Gould 41 yard field goal, 9:34 (BUF 17–10). Drive: 11 plays, 57 yards, 5:26
  • CHI: Brandon Marshall 11 yard pass from Jay Cutler, Robbie Gould XP good, 2:30 (TIE 17–17). Drive: 5 plays, 56 yards, 2:30
Fourth quarter
  • BUF: Dan Carpenter 33 yard field goal, 4:02 (BUF 20–17). Drive: 8 plays, 37 yards, 3:50
  • CHI: Robbie Gould 37 yard field goal, 0:30 (TIE 20–20). Drive: 12 plays, 61 yards, 3:32
Overtime
  • BUF: Dan Carpenter 27 yard field goal, 9:46 (BUF 23–20). Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards, 3:34
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers
Top tacklers
The Bears will play all of their home games at Soldier Field

The Bears opened the season at home against the Buffalo Bills, who recorded a record of 6–10 in 2013.[163] Entering the game, the Bears were 54–35–5 in season openers, the most wins of any team, including four straight wins, the most in the NFC and second-most in the NFL behind the New England Patriots.[164] The Bears were 7–4 against the Bills, with their last meeting being a 22–19 victory in Toronto in 2010,[163] while winning 40–7 in the last game between the two at Soldier Field;[165] the Bears had won all five meetings between the two in Chicago.[164] When comparing the two teams in 2013 statistically, the Bears had the advantage in three offensive categories (points scored, total offense, and passing offense), while the Bills had the second-best rushing offense, compared to the Bears' 16th-ranked rushing game. On defense, the Bears were outmatched in all three categories (total defense, rushing defense, and passing defense), but are one spot higher than Buffalo in turnover ratio (+5 to +3). Scout.com's Jeremy Stoltz writes that one of the players the Bears must contain is the defensive tackle duo of Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus, who had a combined 139 total tackles, 18.0 sacks and two forced fumbles during 2013. While the Bears' offensive line boasted the fourth-least sacks, none of the five starters played in the preseason. As a result, to combat the rush, the Bears need Jay Cutler to release the ball quickly. For the Bears' defense, Stoltz stated all the Bears needed to do was stop Buffalo's running backs Fred Jackson and C. J. Spiller, as the Bills had the second-best rushing attack in the league.[164] The Bears were favored to win by seven points, the third-largest spread of the week.[163] Matt Forté, Charles Tillman, and Robbie Gould were the captains for the game.[166] David Fales, Kelvin Hayden, Tony Fiammetta, Khaseem Greene, Charles Leno, Jr., David Bass and Cornelius Washington were inactive for the game.[167]

The Bears won the coin toss, and elected to kick. After Buffalo punted, Chicago scored on Cutler's 12-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett, which the Bills retaliated with E. J. Manuel's two-yard touchdown run. On the Bears' first drive of the second quarter, Brandon Marshall fumbled, with linebacker Preston Brown recovering; the Bills would score on Dan Carpenter's 50-yard field goal.[168] Afterwards, Cutler was intercepted by former Bear Corey Graham after Bennett did not "turn to look for the ball in time",[169] with the Bills again capitalizing on the takeaway, with Manuel's seven-yard touchdown pass to Spiller, and the half ended with Buffalo leading 17–7.[170] On the Bears' first possession of the third quarter, Gould kicked a five-yard field goal, and on the Bills' first drive of the half,[168] Chris Conte read a pass intended for Marquise Goodwin, stepping in front of the pass to intercept the ball.[171] On Chicago's ensuing drive, the offense rallied to tie the score on Cutler's 11-yard touchdown pass to Marshall. In the fourth quarter, the Bears drove from their own six-yard line to reach the Buffalo 34,[168] but Cutler's forced pass intended for Bennett was intercepted by Kyle Williams;[170] Carpenter would kick a 33-yard field goal, which the Bears responded with Gould's 37-yarder. The Bills would kneel to end regulation with a 20–20 score. After the Bears went three-and-out, the Bills started on their own 22-yard line, but drove to the Bears' 39.[168] On the next play, Jackson found a hole in the line of scrimmage, getting past Lance Briggs. Conte reached Jackson at the 20-yard line, but was stiff-armed; Conte attempted to tackle again, but was knocked down, with Jackson being pushed out of bounds at the one-yard line.[171] Two plays later, Carpenter kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal.[168]

Four of the Bears' offensive starters suffered injuries during the game: Roberto Garza (right ankle) and Matt Slauson (left ankle) did not play after the first half, Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) departed in the third quarter, while Marshall (right ankle) was hurt after being tackled.[169] Conte received scrutiny after the game for failing to tackle Jackson, but defended himself by saying, "It was a play where it’s the end of the game - I've got to get the ball out or something. If I hit him, it's a field goal no matter what, so I've got to try and get the ball out. It’s a desperation play where I've got to try and punch the ball or something."[171]

Week 2: at San Francisco 49ers[edit]

Week Two: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 7 0 21 28
49ers 10 7 3 0 20

at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California

Game information
First quarter
  • SF – Michael Crabtree 3 yard pass from Colin Kaepernick, Phil Dawson XP good, 12:42 (SF 7–0). Drive: 3 plays, 8 yards, 0:34
  • SF – Phil Dawson 27 yard field goal, 2:48 (SF 10–0). Drive: 14 plays, 72 yards, 7:44
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • SF – Phil Dawson 24 yard field goal, 5:56 (SF 20–7). Drive: 14 plays, 84 yards, 9:04
Fourth quarter
  • CHI – Brandon Marshall 5 yard pass from Jay Cutler, Robbie Gould XP good, 13:35 (SF 20–14). Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards, 7:21
  • CHI – Martellus Bennett 3 yard pass from Jay Cutler, Robbie Gould XP good, 13:14 (CHI 21–20). Drive: 1 play, 3 yards, 0:03
  • CHI – Brandon Marshall 3 yard pass from Jay Cutler, Robbie Gould XP good, 6:55 (CHI 28–20). Drive: 4 plays, 42 yards, 8:05
Top passers
Top rushers
  • CHI – Jay Cutler, 5 carries, 25 yards
  • SF – Colin Kaepernick, 9 carries, 66 yards
Top receivers
Top tacklers
The game was the first regular season game for Levi's Stadium, located in Santa Clara, California

In the previous meeting between Chicago and San Francisco at Candlestick Park in 2012, the 49ers won 32–7. Entering the game, the 49ers led the all-time series 32–29–1; while the Bears had won five of the last eight meetings between the two since 2001,[172] they had lost all eight road games against the 49ers since 1985.[173] Comparing the two teams' week one rankings, the Bears had more total and passing yards than the 49ers, 427–319 and 341–192, respectively, while the 49ers had more rushing yards (127–86). Defensively, the 49ers allowed more yards (382–360) and allowed two more sacks than the Bears in week one.[174] WBBM-TV writer Jeff Joniak stated the Bears' offense had a chance to utilize their running backs, as the 49ers had allowed the Dallas Cowboys to record 100 rushing yards in week one, the first time in 18 games, and with linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith inactive, the Bears had the chance to attack on the ground. For the Bears' passing game, recording short passes was important, while stating playing against the 49ers' defense "requires patience", with Vic Fangio utilizing zone defense blitzes.[175] Additionally, Jay Cutler had struggled against the 49ers during his career, being 0–2, with one touchdown, six interceptions, and a 59.2 passer rating.[176] On defense, the Bears had to contain Colin Kaepernick, who had thrown for two touchdowns the previous week and recorded his fourth-best passer rating (125.5),[176] and in his first career start, had guided the 49ers to the victory over the Bears in 2012.The Bears also faced a challenge in 49ers' running backs Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde, the former having become the 29th player to record 10,000 career rushing yards the previous week,[172] and the latter averaged 7.1 yards and scored a touchdown.[176] Against San Francisco's receivers, while Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree were not fast, their physicality allows them to make blocks and "bully defensive backs".[175] The 49ers were favorites to win, with every ESPN analyst but former Bears head coach Mike Ditka to predict a 49ers victory.[177] Jermon Bushrod, Lamarr Houston, and Sherrick McManis served as team captains.[178]

The 49ers won the coin toss, and decided to kick.[179] On the Bears' first drive, Pat O'Donnell's punt was blocked by Aaron Lynch, and the 49ers scored on Kaepernick's three-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree, the first score in Levi's Stadium history after the play stood via review.[180] On the 49ers' next drive, Kaepernick was intercepted by Charles Tillman, but was overturned; Phil Dawson would kick a 27-yard field goal, the final score of the first quarter. On San Francisco's second drive of the second quarter, Kaepernick's pass for Boldin would be intercepted by a diving Chris Conte,[181] though the Bears failed to take advantage, being forced to punt. Gore would then score on a 54-yard run, which was nullified by a holding call on Boldin, and two plays later, Kaepernick was stripped by Jared Allen, and the ball was recovered by Danny McCray, but the Bears would again be forced to punt. The 49ers extended the lead by ten points on Gore's eight-yard touchdown run,[179] but the Bears managed to score for the first time in the half on Cutler's 17-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall, who caught the pass with one hand.[182] In the second half, the 49ers scored on Dawson's 24-yard kick, culminating a drive that took 9:04. On the Bears' next drive, Cutler threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Marshall, narrowing the score to 20–14.[179] On the first play of San Francisco's next drive, Kaepernick's pass for Crabtree was pulled away by Kyle Fuller,[183] with the Bears scoring on the first play with Cutler's three-yard touchdown to Martellus Bennett to give the Bears the 21–20 lead.[179] Kaepernick was intercepted again by Fuller on the next drive after Fuller reached his pass intended for Derek Carrier,[183] the Bears converting the pick into a Cutler three-yard touchdown to Marshall. On San Francisco's final drive, the offense reached Chicago's 17-yard line, but on 4th down, Kaepernick's pass to Crabtree fell incomplete, with Cutler kneeling twice to end the game.[179]

The game featured 26 penalties, 10 by the Bears for 58 yards, and 16 by the 49ers for 118 yards.[184] Late in the second quarter, Cutler, who had completed only 8 of 18 passes for 38 yards, was hit by Quinton Dial, and after the hit, Cutler completed 15 of 16 passes for 138 yards and four touchdowns.[185] Fuller became the first rookie in Bears history to record two interceptions in a game since Chris Harris against the Green Bay Packers in 2005.[184]

Week 3: at New York Jets[edit]

Week Three: Chicago Bears at New York Jets – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 14 3 0 0 17
Jets 3 10 0 0 13

at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
Top passers
  • CHI –
  • NYJ –
Top rushers
  • CHI –
  • NYJ –
Top receivers
  • CHI –
  • NYJ –
Top tacklers
  • CHI –
  • NYJ –

Standings[edit]

NFC North
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Detroit Lions 2 1 0 .667 1–0 2–1 61 45 W1
Chicago Bears 1 1 0 .500 0–0 1–0 48 43 W1
Minnesota Vikings 1 2 0 .333 0–0 1–1 50 56 L2
Green Bay Packers 1 2 0 .333 0–1 0–2 54 79 L1

Awards and records[edit]

Awards[edit]

Weekly awards[edit]

  • In week two against San Francisco, Kyle Fuller was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week on September 17.[186]

Staff[edit]

Chicago Bears staff
Front Office
Head Coaches
Offensive Coaches
 
Defensive Coaches
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning

Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

AFC East
BUF
MIA
NE
NYJ
North
BAL
CIN
CLE
PIT
South
HOU
IND
JAX
TEN
West
DEN
KC
OAK
SD
NFC East
DAL
NYG
PHI
WAS
North
CHI
DET
GB
MIN
South
ATL
CAR
NO
TB
West
ARI
STL
SF
SEA

Current roster[edit]

Chicago Bears roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Roster updated September 17, 2014
Depth ChartTransactions

52 Active, 3 Inactive, 10 Practice Squad

AFC rostersNFC rosters


Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Simulcast on WCIU-TV.

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