2016 Chicago Bears season
|2016 Chicago Bears season|
|Head coach||John Fox|
|General manager||Ryan Pace|
|Owner||The McCaskey Family|
|Home field||Soldier Field|
|Division place||4th NFC North|
After only one season, offensive coordinator Adam Gase was hired as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins on January 9, 2016. Two days later, quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains was promoted to offensive coordinator. On January 22, Washington Redskins' offensive quality control coach Dave Ragone, who had been a former assistant of Loggains with the Tennessee Titans, was hired to fill the vacancy at quarterbacks coach. On February 12, the Bears hired former Rutgers' offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels as an offensive quality control coach.
On January 22, assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton joined the San Francisco 49ers as their special teams coordinator. Three days later, wide receivers coach Mike Groh left the team to become the wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, while assistant strength and conditioning coach Jim Arthur followed Gase to the Dolphins. 49ers' assistant special teams coach Richard Hightower was hired to replace Swinton on January 26. The wide receivers coach position was filled by former Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson on February 15.
|Position||Player|| Free agency|
|Date signed||2016 team|
|LB||Acho, SamSam Acho||UFA||March 28||Chicago Bears|
|CB||Ball, AlanAlan Ball||UFA||August 4||Arizona Cardinals|
|OT||Becton, NickNick Becton||RFA||March 9||Chicago Bears|
|WR||Bellamy, JoshJosh Bellamy||ERFA||April 18||Chicago Bears|
|G||Ducasse, VladimirVladimir Ducasse||UFA||May 16||Baltimore Ravens|
|RB||Forte, MattMatt Forte||UFA||March 9||New York Jets|
|TE||Housler, RobertRobert Housler||UFA||March 14||Chicago Bears|
|WR||Jeffery, AlshonAlshon Jeffery||UFA||March 8||Chicago Bears|
|DE||Jenkins, JarvisJarvis Jenkins||UFA||March 16||New York Jets|
|LB||McClellin, SheaShea McClellin||UFA||March 16||New England Patriots|
|CB||McManis, SherrickSherrick McManis||UFA||March 10||Chicago Bears|
|WR||Mariani, MarcMarc Mariani||UFA||March 12||Chicago Bears|
|S||Martin, SherrodSherrod Martin||UFA||–||–|
|TE||Miller, ZachZach Miller||UFA||March 14||Chicago Bears|
|C||Montgomery, WillWill Montgomery||UFA||–||–|
|S||Mundy, RyanRyan Mundy||UFA||–||–|
|G||Omameh, PatrickPatrick Omameh||RFA||June 2||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|CB||Porter, TracyTracy Porter||UFA||March 9||Chicago Bears|
|S||Prosinski, ChrisChris Prosinski||UFA||March 25||Chicago Bears|
|LB||Reynolds, LaRoyLaRoy Reynolds||RFA||March 16||Atlanta Falcons|
|RB||Rodgers, JacquizzJacquizz Rodgers||UFA||March 9||Chicago Bears|
|WR||Thompson, DeonteDeonte Thompson||RFA||March 24||Chicago Bears|
|DT||Unrein, MitchMitch Unrein||UFA||March 12||Chicago Bears|
|RFA: Restricted free agent, UFA: Unrestricted free agent, ERFA: Exclusive rights free agent|
The first transactions of the year occurred shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 regular season on January 4, 2016, when the Bears signed cornerback De'Vante Bausby, quarterback Matt Blanchard, center Cornelius Edison, fullback Paul Lasike, wide receivers Marcus Lucas and Nathan Palmer, linebacker Danny Mason, tight end Gannon Sinclair and guard Martin Wallace to reserve/futures contracts. A week later, former Houston Texans' defensive end Keith Browner was also signed on a reserve/futures deal.
On the first day of free agency, the Bears signed a four-year contract with Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan and a three-year contract with Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Bobby Massie. On March 12, inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman of the Indianapolis Colts signed a three-year contract. The next day, the Bears signed New England Patriots defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to a two-year deal. Three days later, Chicago signed Broncos long snapper Aaron Brewer to a one-year contract. Afterwards, the Bears began signing players to one-year deals; on March 30 and 31, two offensive linemen were signed: Bronco Manny Ramirez and Cardinal Ted Larsen. Also on March 31, a fourth Bronco was signed in defensive back and return specialist Omar Bolden. On April 30, the Bears agreed to sign former Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer. On June 2, the team signed former Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Nate Chandler. Two weeks later, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki and Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Marquis Jackson were signed. On July 3, Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw was claimed by the Bears off waivers. On July 20, the Bears signed former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Amini Silatolu. On July 27, the Bears signed defensive back Brandon Boykin and wide receiver B.J. Daniels. On July 29, the Bears signed undrafted rookie offensive lineman Dan Buchholz. On August 3, the Bears signed defensive back Joel Ross after he was waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on July 27. The next day, the Bears signed former Washington Redskin fullback Darrel Young. On August 4, 2016, the Bears signed linebacker Danny Mason and offensive lineman Garry Williams.
On February 16, the first departure of 2016 was left tackle Jermon Bushrod to the Miami Dolphins. On March 16, tight end Martellus Bennett, along with a sixth-round draft pick, was traded to the New England Patriots for a fourth-rounder. On May 1, safety Antrel Rolle and guard Matt Slauson were released. On June 1, offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje was released, the first member of Ryan Pace's draftees to be released. On June 8, the Bears announced that center Manny Ramirez had retired. On July 22, safety Omar Bolden was released. On July 23, the Bears announced that offensive tackle Nate Chandler had retired. On July 29, the Bears released punter Ben LeCompte.
Of the Bears' unrestricted free agents, running back Matt Forte was the first to leave, signing with the New York Jets on March 9. A week later, on March 16, defensive end Jarvis Jenkins also joined the Jets, while linebackers Shea McClellin and LaRoy Reynolds signed with the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, respectively. On June 2, offensive lineman Patrick Omameh signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2016 NFL draft
Entering the draft, general consensus had the Bears' main need at linebacker; NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein believed the Bears' priority was a pass rusher, while Bears ESPN.com writer Jeff Dickerson added quarterback as a need. Prior to the draft, the Bears held visits for 50 players; 25 had private visits, 14 players visited during the NFL Scouting Combine, 6 apiece met during the Senior Bowl and the East–West Shrine Game, 6 had private workouts, while 2 had local visits. Of the 50, 11 had met with the team on multiple occasions.
The Bears used their first-round draft pick to select Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd. At Georgia, Floyd led the team in sacks during his final season with 4.5, while also recording a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss. On the second day of the draft, Chicago selected Kansas State offensive lineman Cody Whitehair, who started all four years at the school and was a first-team All-Big 12 Conference member in 2015, and defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard of Florida, who recorded 17.5 tackles for loss in 2015, the most for a Gator since former Bear Alex Brown's 18 in 1999. With the three fourth-round draft picks, the Bears selected West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who led the Mountaineers in tackles during the previous three seasons, including 80 tackles and three sacks in 2015; Miami safety Deon Bush, who recorded 50 tackles, six pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, a sack and an interception in 2015; and Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre' Hall, who recorded 28 pass breakups, 13 interceptions, six pick-sixes and four forced fumbles, three of which came last season. In the fifth round, the Bears drafted Indiana running back Jordan Howard, who was one of three running backs in school history to record 1,000 yards in a season in two years, while also recording 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 despite a knee injury. In the following round, William & Mary safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was selected; the third player in team history to earn consensus All-American honors, Houston-Carson recorded 293 tackles, 10 interceptions and nine blocked field goals. With the final pick in the draft, the Bears selected Western Michigan receiver Daniel Braverman, who ranked second in the country with 109 receptions, 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns.
|2||56||Cody Whitehair||G||Kansas State|
|4||113||Nick Kwiatkoski||ILB||West Virginia|
|124||Deon Bush||S||Miami (FL)|
|127||Deiondre' Hall||CB||Northern Iowa|
|6||185||DeAndre Houston-Carson||S||William & Mary|
|7||230||Daniel Braverman||WR||Western Michigan|
- The Bears acquired two additional sixth-round selections (Nos. 204 and 206 overall) — one in a trade that sent defensive end Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers, the other in a trade that sent Jon Bostic to the New England Patriots. The Bears later traded one of the extra sixth-round selections (No. 204 overall) along with Martellus Bennett back to the Patriots in exchange for the Patriots' fourth-round selection (No. 127 overall).
- The Bears traded their first-round selection (No. 11 overall) and their fourth-round selection (No. 106 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their first-round selection (No. 9 overall).
- The Bears traded their second-round selection (No. 41 overall) to the Buffalo Bills for second- and fourth-round selections (No. 49 and No. 117 overall) and a fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL draft. The Bears then traded the newly acquired 49th pick to the Seattle Seahawks for second- and fourth-round selections (No. 56 and No. 124 overall).
- The Bears traded a fourth-round selection (No. 117 overall) and a sixth-round selection (No. 206 overall) to the Los Angeles Rams for a fourth-round selection (No. 113 overall).
Undrafted free agents
After the draft, the Bears signed the following undrafted free agents:
|OT||Adrian Bellard||Texas State|
|CB||Taveze Calhoun||Mississippi State|
|KR||Derek Keaton||Georgia Southern|
|CB||Kevin Peterson||Oklahoma State|
From May 14–15, the Bears hosted a Rookie Minicamp. Afterwards, they signed Connecticut defensive lineman Kenton Adeyemi, CSU–Pueblo receiver Kieren Duncan and North Dakota State punter Ben LeCompte and Louisiana–Lafayette offensive lineman Donovan Williams. To relieve space on the roster for the rookies, defensive lineman Bruce Gaston, Marcus Lucas, Nathan Palmer and Dan Buchholz were released. On May 25, Notre Dame linebacker and undrafted rookie Jarrett Grace was signed, while Danny Mason was released. On June 10, Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams was signed, with Matt Blanchard being released. On July 22, the Bears signed cornerback Charles Tillman to a one-day contract, letting him end his 13-year career as a Bear. On June 27, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list (PUP) while recovering from knee surgery. On July 30, the Bears signed linebacker Willie Young to a two-year extension, keeping him in Chicago until 2018. On August 8, center Hroniss Grasu was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Two days later, offensive tackle Nick Becton was released and former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Mike Adams was signed.
Bears Training Camp was held at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais from July 27–August 9. The team hosted the Family Fest at Soldier Field on August 6, while participating in joint practices with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium from August 15–17.
The Bears' preseason opponents and schedule was announced on April 7. The schedule featured three games against 2015 playoff teams; the first game was against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, followed by the AFC East winner New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs, and ending with frequent preseason opponent Cleveland Browns.
|Week||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game site||GameBook|| NFL.com|
|1||August 11||Denver Broncos||L 0–22||0–1||Soldier Field||GameBook||Recap|
|2||August 18||at New England Patriots||L 22–23||0–2||Gillette Stadium||GameBook||Recap|
|3||August 27||Kansas City Chiefs||L 7–23||0–3||Soldier Field||GameBook||Recap|
|4||September 1||at Cleveland Browns||W 21–7||1–3||FirstEnergy Stadium||GameBook||Recap|
In the preseason opener against the Broncos, the Bears fell behind early when Mark Sanchez threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, who beat cornerback Bryce Callahan for the score. Although the Bears punted on their first drive, they regained possession of the ball when Callahan tipped Sanchez's pass towards Jerrell Freeman, who intercepted the ball. Despite this, the Bears were unable to score and punted. The Broncos extended their lead with Brandon McManus' 37-yard field goal; after scoring another three points on a 44-yard field goal, Denver continued to increase the margin when Bennie Fowler blocked Pat O'Donnell's punt and Zaire Anderson recovered in the endzone. The Broncos got the ball back on the next drive when Lorenzo Doss intercepted Brian Hoyer, and came close to scoring once again on McManus' 48-yard field goal, but Chris Prosinski blocked the kick. In the second half, David Fales was sacked by Dekoda Watson in the endzone for a safety, making the score 22–0. Aside from McManus missing a 46-yard field goal, every drive in the second half ended with a punt. The loss marked the first time the Bears were shut out in a preseason game since a 13–0 loss in 1981 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
In New England, the Bears' starting offense scored on its first two drives: Robbie Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal, while Jeremy Langford scored on a five-yard touchdown run, which led to Jay Cutler's pass to Rob Housler for the two-point conversion. The Patriots attempted to respond when they reached the Bears' three-yard line, but Tracy Porter forced Brandon Bolden to fumble, leading to the Bears recovering the loose ball. After the Bears punted, the Patriots scored on Stephen Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal. On the Bears' first play of their next series, Cyrus Jones intercepted Brian Hoyer's pass for Josh Bellamy, which set up LeGarrette Blount's one-yard touchdown run, though Keith Browner stopped Blount on the potential game-tying two-point conversion. The Patriots took the lead on their next possession when Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to A. J. Derby, followed by a two-point conversion scored by Chris Hogan. In the second half New England scored two more field goals of 29 and 44 yards to make the score 23–11. Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal to close the margin; Connor Shaw replaced Hoyer for the final drive, throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to B. J. Daniels as time expired. Shaw later scored on the two-point conversion with a pass to Darrin Peterson to end the game with a one-point margin.
The Bears struggled against the Chiefs, allowing 23 unanswered points: Cairo Santos' 20- and 28-yard field goals and Spencer Ware's one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, followed by Darrin Reaves' four-yard touchdown in the third and Santos' 41-yard field goal early in the fourth. Chicago had two opportunities during the second half, but Gould missed a 48-yard field goal wide left and the offense was unable to capitalize on Deiondre' Hall's interception of Aaron Murray, turning the ball on downs. With 5:40 left in the game, Shaw threw a 16-yard touchdown pas to Cameron Meredith for the Bears' first score of the game, but Shaw would be injured on Chicago's next drive when Rakeem Nunez-Roches landed on his left foot, breaking his leg. Shaw was placed on injured reserve on August 30.
Receiver Kevin White was the only starter on the Bears' regular-season depth chart to start the preseason closer against the Browns. The Bears scored first on Gould's 50-yard field goal. The Browns were forced to punt on the next drive, but Daniels muffed it after the ball hit his foot while he was jumping over De'Vante Bausby. Cleveland took the lead with Isaiah Crowell's four-yard touchdown run on the following drive. Although the Bears reclaimed the lead with Ka'Deem Carey's one-yard touchdown run, Gould missed the extra point wide left. Two drives later, Josh McCown was intercepted by Jacoby Glenn, leading to Gould's 43-yard field goal. The Browns attempted to respond with a field goal of their own, but Patrick Murray missed his 31-yard attempt wide right. Gould kicked a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter to make the score 15–7. In the fourth quarter, Jordan Howard scored on a 16-yard touchdown run, though Gould's extra point was blocked. Gould was released on September 4.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Result||Record||Game site||TV||GameBook|| NFL.com|
|1||September 11||12:00 p.m.||at Houston Texans||L 14–23||0–1||NRG Stadium||Fox||GameBook||Recap|
|2||September 19||7:30 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles||L 14–29||0–2||Soldier Field||ESPN||GameBook||Recap|
|3||September 25||7:30 p.m.||at Dallas Cowboys||L 17–31||0–3||AT&T Stadium||NBC||GameBook||Recap|
|4||October 2||12:00 p.m.||Detroit Lions||W 17–14||1–3||Soldier Field||Fox||GameBook||Recap|
|5||October 9||12:00 p.m.||at Indianapolis Colts||L 23–29||1–4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Fox||GameBook||Recap|
|6||October 16||12:00 p.m.||Jacksonville Jaguars||L 16–17||1–5||Soldier Field||CBS||GameBook||Recap|
|7||October 20||7:25 p.m.||at Green Bay Packers||L 10–26||1–6||Lambeau Field||CBS/NFLN/Twitter||GameBook||Recap|
|8||October 31||7:30 p.m.||Minnesota Vikings||W 20–10||2–6||Soldier Field||ESPN||GameBook||Recap|
|10||November 13||12:00 p.m.||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 10–36||2–7||Raymond James Stadium||Fox||GameBook||Recap|
|11||November 20||12:00 p.m.||at New York Giants||L 16–22||2–8||MetLife Stadium||Fox||GameBook||Recap|
|12||November 27||12:00 p.m.||Tennessee Titans||L 21–27||2–9||Soldier Field||CBS||GameBook||Recap|
|13||December 4||12:00 p.m.||San Francisco 49ers||Soldier Field||Fox|
|14||December 11||12:00 p.m.||at Detroit Lions||Ford Field||CBS|
|15||December 18||12:00 p.m.||Green Bay Packers||Soldier Field||Fox|
|16||December 24||12:00 p.m.||Washington Redskins||Soldier Field||Fox|
|17||January 1||12:00 p.m.||at Minnesota Vikings||U.S. Bank Stadium||Fox|
| Notes: All times are Central. Intra-division opponents are in bold text. Networks and times for Weeks 15 and 17 are subject to change as a result of flexible scheduling.
Week 1: at Houston Texans
The Bears opened the 2016 season on the road against the Houston Texans, who defeated the Bears in all three of their previous meetings, most recently a 13–6 win in 2012. The game was the second Bears–Texans game at NRG Stadium, the first being a Houston 31–24 win in 2008. On offense, the Bears faced a Texans defense that was ranked third in the NFL in 2015, which WBBM-TV writer Jeff Joniak wrote should be handled by controlling the ball and blocking defenders J. J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney. Meanwhile, the Texans were led by quarterback Brock Osweiler, who guided the Broncos to victory against the Bears in his debut as an NFL starter last year. Osweiler was bolstered by a fast-paced receiving corps featuring DeAndre Hopkins and rookies Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. With an unproven roster, including six new starters on offense, Joniak believed the Bears should utilize this as an "element of surprise" against the Texans.
On their opening drive, the Texans reached the Bears' 34-yard line, but had their drive end when Tracy Porter pulled the ball away from Hopkins for the interception; Chicago capitalized on the takeaway with Jeremy Langford's one-yard touchdown run. After the Texans punted, the Bears elected to attempt a fourth down conversion at Houston's 31-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs when Jay Cutler fumbled the snap. Nick Novak kicked a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter. The Texans took the lead when Osweiler threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Hopkins, and had a chance to increase the margin when Osweiler threw a potential 83-yard touchdown pass to Fuller, but he dropped the pass; they punted three plays later. With 31 seconds left in the half, the Bears offense traveled 75 yards on three plays, including a 54-yard pass by Cutler to Alshon Jeffery, ending the drive with Cutler's 19-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal. On the second play of the third quarter, Cutler was intercepted by Andre Hal after Kevin White appeared to stop running his route midplay. Novak kicked a 28-yard field goal on the resulting drive. The next five drives of the game ended in punts, ending early in the fourth quarter when Fuller converted a screen pass into an 18-yard touchdown. The Texans increased the score to 23–14 via Novak's 38-yard kick. The Bears were unable to enter Houston territory on their final two drives.
In comparison to the first half, the Bears offense struggled in the second; despite recording five first downs on their opening drive and a 75-yard series in the second quarter, the unit had just 71 yards and four first downs in the final two quarters. Cutler was sacked five times, including thrice after the Texans took the 20–14 lead.
Week 2: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Bears' home opener was against the Philadelphia Eagles. In 43 games, the Bears led the all-time series 30–12–1; though the Eagles won their last game in 2013 54–11, the Bears won 31–26 in their most recent game at Soldier Field in 2010. From 1933–1995, the Bears won all 15 games against the Eagles in Chicago, but were 2–5 since. The game also marked the second Bears–Eagles game on Monday Night Football in Soldier Field (the first since a 27–13 win in 1989) and the first MNF game between the two since a 30–24 victory at Lincoln Financial Field in 2011. For the Bears' offense to succeed against the Eagles, Jeff Joniak stated it would have to be more productive; while the Bears had 12 possessions (a league average) against the Texans, none of them were at least ten plays long, while also having only 54 snaps, the second-least in the NFL. In comparison, in their win against the Browns in week one, the Eagles ran 73 plays with a league-high 39:20 time of possession. On defense, the Bears had to improve on third down, where they allowed an NFL-high 12 of 20 third down conversions last week. Likewise, the defense had to pressure Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, who completed all eight of his passes in blitzing situations against Cleveland.
After Chicago punted, Philadelphia took the lead with Caleb Sturgis' 25-yard field goal. Though the Bears attempted to respond with Connor Barth's 31-yard kick, it hit the left upright; they would take the lead on their next series with Jeremy Langford's one-yard touchdown run, receiving support from Jay Cutler throwing a 49-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery to reach the Eagles' five-yard line. Sturgis kicked 29- and 53-yard field goals to give the Eagles the 9–7 lead entering halftime. During the half, Cutler injured his right thumb and aggravated it during the Bears' first drive of the third quarter when he was strip-sacked by Destiny Vaeao. Late in the quarter, the Eagles scored two touchdowns in 21 seconds; Ryan Mathews scored on a three-yard run and Trey Burton caught a two-yard pass from Wentz (although Sturgis missed the following extra point); the Burton score was established after Cutler's pass for Jeffery was intercepted by Nigel Bradham. Cutler left the game prior to the start of the fourth quarter and was replaced by Brian Hoyer. With Hoyer leading the offense, the Bears traveled 25 yards before their drive ended due to Langford fumbling the ball and the Eagles' Ron Brooks recovering. Philadelphia converted the turnover into a score with Mathews' one-yard touchdown run. With 5:09 left in the game, Eddie Royal scored on a 65-yard punt return, but Brent Celek ended any chance of a comeback when he recovered Barth's onside kick.
The Bears fell to 0–2 for the second consecutive year for the first time since 1997–1998, while also having lost 11 of their last 12 games at home. Royal's touchdown was the Bears' first second half score of the season; after two games, the team was outscored 33–7 in the second half. The Bears also struggled with injuries during the game, with seven players exiting as a result: Cutler (thumb), Lamarr Houston (knee), Eddie Goldman (ankle), Adrian Amos, Bryce Callahan and Chris Prosinski (concussions), and Ka'Deem Carey (hamstring).
Week 3: at Dallas Cowboys
In week three, the Bears went to Arlington, Texas to face the Dallas Cowboys in the second game of 2016 against a Texas-based team; this marked the first time since 1992 that the Bears played on the road against both Texas teams in a season. Week three marked the 26th game between Chicago and Dallas, the latter leading the series 14–11 entering the game. While the Bears won the last game in Dallas 34–18 (in 2012), the Cowboys won the most recent game 41–28 (in 2014). Jeff Joniak wrote the Bears offense should attack the Cowboys with their run game; the latter had allowed 4.8 yards per carry in the first two games. Additionally, the offense was without Jay Cutler after his injury sustained in week two, meaning Brian Hoyer started against Dallas, though Alshon Jeffery, who was battling knee injuries during the week, made his return for week three. The defense, also depleted by injuries with players like Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman ruled out for the game, had to be able to successfully tackle Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten while also applying pressure on rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Joniak also wrote the Bears needed to excel on both sides in the red zone; against the Eagles, the Bears defense had a 50 percent touchdown efficiency in the red zone, made some big plays in the red zone in the loss to the Eagles, with a 50 percent touchdown efficiency rating on six attempts. Meanwhile, against the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys restricted them to just two field goals in the red zone, including a late interception by Barry Church.
The Bears fell behind early when Prescott scored on a quarterback sneak during the opening drive. The Bears' next two drives ended with punts, while the Cowboys' resulting drives concluded with scores: Dan Bailey kicked a 49-yard field goal and Lance Dunbar scored on a one-yard run. Down 17–0, Chicago would score their first points of the game via Connor Barth's 34-yard field goal in the second quarter. On the following kickoff, Barth attempted an onside kick that Sherrick McManis successfully recovered, but Jonathan Anderson was ruled offsides, nullifying the play. Instead of retrying the onside, Barth simply kicked off. Dallas scored on the next drive with Alfred Morris' three-yard touchdown run. After the Bears punted to start the second half, they regained possession when Terrance Williams was stripped by Jacoby Glenn and Adrian Amos recovered the ball. The takeaway resulted in the first touchdown of the game for the Bears when Hoyer threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller. Though the Cowboys punted on their next drive, Cameron Meredith was stripped by J. J. Wilcox and Tyrone Crawford recovered the fumble. However, they were unable to score when Bailey missed a 47-yard field goal wide left. In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys extended the lead when Bryant scored on a 17-yard touchdown catch. Hoyer responded when he threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Miller to make the score 31–14, but he lost a fumble when he was strip-sacked by Benson Mayowa on the Bears' next series, while the offense was unable to score on their final possession.
Week 4: vs. Detroit Lions
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
The 172nd game in the Bears–Lions rivalry took place in week four. Entering the game, the Bears held a 96–71–5 lead over the Lions, though the Lions had won the last six meetings; Chicago's last victory had been a 26–21 win in 2012. The first divisional game of the year, the Bears had struggled against NFC North teams in recent years; of their last 18 divisional matchups, they lost 14, including seven of the last nine at home. In his Keys to the Game, Jeff Joniak stated the Bears offense, once again with Brian Hoyer starting at quarterback in place of a still-healing Jay Cutler, had to hold off Teryl Austin's blitzes; the Lions had the second-highest number of blitzes in the league. While Detroit's top pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah was nursing an ankle injury, substitute Kerry Hyder recorded four sacks in his place. Joniak added the Bears could attack linebacker Tahir Whitehead, who had allowed three touchdown passes in 2016. Against a Detroit offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Bears needed to contain his targets like Marvin Jones, who had excelled over the course of the 2016 season, Pro Bowler Golden Tate, the experienced Anquan Boldin and young tight end Eric Ebron. As in previous games, third down was a critical factor in the game, Joniak stating the defense "must get off the field."
After both teams exchanged punts on their first drives, the Bears scored first when Hoyer threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal despite being covered by Nevin Lawson. The next six series of the game ended in punts, the trend ending when the Bears were stopped on fourth down in Lions territory midway through the second quarter; Detroit eventually gained three points when Matt Prater kicked a 50-yard field goal. Connor Barth attempted his own 50-yard field goal on the next drive, but missed it wide right. With 16 seconds left in the first half, Stafford's pass for Tate was intercepted by Jacoby Glenn. The Bears were unable to turn the turnover into points as the half ended before they could score. Upon receiving the ball for the start of the second half, the Lions scored on Prater's 21-yard field goal, which the Bears responded on their following drive with Hoyer's six-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller; the drive gained momentum when Royal recorded a 64-yard pass play, the Bears' longest play from scrimmage of the season. The Lions punted again and the Bears were able to extend their lead with their fourth quarter drive culminating in Barth's 25-yard field goal. With 4:03 left in the game, Stafford's pass for Boldin was intercepted by Deiondre' Hall, but the Lions retaliated when Andre Roberts returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. The Lions closed the margin to just three points when Stafford completed the two-point conversion to Tate. With the score now 17–14, the Lions attempted an onside kick, but Sam Acho recovered. Hoyer kneeled three times to seal Chicago's first win of the season.
Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts
Eight years after their last game in Indianapolis (a 29–13 victory), the Bears returned to play the Colts in week five. The 43rd game between the two franchise, the Bears trailed the series 19–23, but won the last two games, recently a 41–21 win in 2012. "An efficient offensive attack", particularly a rushing-based offense like against the Lions, was a key to success against the Colts defense, according to Jeff Joniak; the Colts allowed the second-highest runs of at least four yards with 51.5 percent. He added the offense should punctuate the run with deep passes, as the Colts were the most penalized defenes in the NFL with six pass interference and three personal fouls, along with just four turnovers forced resulting in only three total points. Meanwhile, the Bears defense had to attack Colts quarterback Andrew Luck; Indianapolis was allowing a league-high 15 sacks, was ranked 29th in pass protection efficiency, the second-most hurries (35) the highest number of knockdowns (33) allowed, along with 10 combined false start and holding penalties. Joniak added jet lag could play a factor in the game, as the Colts had lost in London the week before and had no bye week.
Connor Barth scored the first points of the game when he kicked a 35-yard field goal on the Bears' opening drive. Adam Vinatieri responded with a 54-yard field goal and the Colts took the lead in the second quarter when Luck threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen. Both teams traded field goals on their next drives before Brian Hoyer threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Meredith. With 11 seconds left in the first half, Vinatieri kicked a 26-yard field goal to give Indianapolis the 16–13 lead at halftime. He converted a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter to increase the margin to six points; when Barth tried a 49-yarder on the next series, he missed it wide left, but redeemed himself with a 24-yard kick in the fourth. Hoyer later led the Bears on a 96-yard drive, ending it with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Howard; the drive was the longest touchdown-scoring series since a 97-yard possession against the Steelers in 2009. Luck responded with a 35-yard touchdown pass to T. Y. Hilton, who beat Jacoby Glenn for the score, followed by Vinatieri's 35-yard field goal after Meredith lost a fumble. Down by six points, Hoyer attempted to rally the Bears on one last drive but missed an open Alshon Jeffery on fourth down, throwing an incomplete pass to Meredith. The Colts ran out the clock to end the game.
With the loss, the Bears fell to 1–4, their worst five-week start since they started the 2004 season 1–4. ended the game with 522 offensive yards, the most since they recorded 542 in a 1989 win against the Lions and the most in a loss since 1940.
Week 6: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Bears hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars in week six, their first game since a 41–3 Bears victory in 2012 and the first in Chicago since the Bears won 23–10 in 2008. In six games, the Bears led the series 4–2. Jeff Joniak wrote the offense should employ a run-based attack with Jordan Howard, interspersed with short passes by Brian Hoyer. The Bears led the league in passes of at least four yards and rushes of at least six yards on first down. Defensively, the Bears needed to disrupt quarterback Blake Bortles' rhythm; when his consistency is broken, he is prone to throwing interceptions. To do so, Joniak stated the Bears should apply a pass rush as "young quarterbacks don’t like pressure." Meanwhile, Jacksonville's rushing attack, while not seeing much action, was spearheaded by T. J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory. Joniak also believed a crucial factor of the game is the battle on third down, where the Jaguars had struggled during the season. Of his six interceptions in 2016, Bortles had thrown four on third down, while the Jaguars were ranked 29th and 32nd on third down defense and offense, respectively.
The Bears escaped a 7–0 deficit when Tracy Porter intercepted Bortles in the endzone to stop an 84-yard drive, instead taking a three-point lead on Connor Barth's 36-yard field goal in the second quarter. After the Jaguars punted, the Bears drove 86 yards and scored on Jordan Howard's one-yard touchdown run. By halftime, the Bears led 10–0, the first time they had shut out an opponent in the first half since 2012 against the Lions. The first five drives of the second half failed to result in a score, instead ending with punts before the Bears widened the margin to 13 points with Barth kicking a 24-yard field goal. The Jaguars responded with Ivory's one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter; after a Chicago punt, they reclaimed possession when Willie Young stripped the ball from Bortles and Akiem Hicks recovered the fumble. Barth kicked a 32-yard field goal, but Jacksonville's Jason Myers narrowed the margin to six points with a 30-yard field goal. The Bears eventually punted again and four plays into the Jaguars' following drive, Bortles threw a pass to Arrelious Benn, who took advantage of Porter slipping to score on a 51-yard play and give the Jaguars the lead. With 2:49 left in the game, Brian Hoyer attempted to lead the Bears downfield, reaching as far as the Jaguars' 44-yard line when a holding penalty on Howard forced the Bears back. On fourth down, Hoyer's pass for Cameron Meredith was broken up by Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars ran out the clock to claim the 17–16 win.
The Bears dropped to 1–5, their worst start since 2004, and their 16th home loss in the last 20 games. The loss was also the first time the Bears lost despite a 13-point lead entering the fourth quarter since a 1999 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Week 7: at Green Bay Packers
The Bears took on the rival Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in week seven. The game was the eleventh consecutive primetime game between the two and the sixth in Green Bay, with the Bears winning two of the last three. Entering week seven, the Bears led the all-time series 93–91–6. In the teams' last meetings since the turn of the decade, the Bears had lost all but three games, including the most recent game in 2015, a 17–13 victory in Green Bay. The Bears were struggling to score in 2016, averaging a league-worst 16.8 points per game. As such, Jeff Joniak wrote the Bears needed to score touchdowns, especially considering their struggles in the red zone (on 19 trips to the region, the Bears scored only nine times). Outside of the red zone, the Bears scored only 10 points; in comparison, the NFL average was 37. Chicago's rushing attack faced a Green Bay defense that allowed only eight runs of at least ten yards and 3.4 yards on first down, the third-lowest in the league. On defense, the Bears faced Aaron Rodgers; while the Packers offense was only 26th in yardage and at –3 in turnover ratio, the unit led the league in third down completion percentage. Rodgers also excelled in the first quarter of games, where he had thrown four touchdown passes, good for second in the league, and a 106 passer rating. However, the Packers struggled on drives starting within their own 20-yard line, failing to score on 14 such drives, the only team unable to do so. Joniak also wrote the team needed a "spark"; defeating the Packers at Lambeau for the second straight season would "do wonders for a young team trying to find its way."
After the Bears punted on the opening drive, the Packers took the lead first with Mason Crosby's 32-yard field goal. The Bears were forced to punt again on their next series and the Packers reached as far as the Bears' one-yard line before they were stopped on fourth down. On Chicago's resulting drive, Brian Hoyer was hit by Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers while throwing a pass, breaking his left arm. With Jay Cutler also inactive, third-string quarterback Matt Barkley took over for the next possession. With Barkley, the Bears were able to score points via Connor Barth's 39-yard field goal, which the Packers responded with Crosby's 40-yard kick. On Green Bay's first drive of the second half, Leonard Floyd strip-sacked Rodgers, recovering the fumble in the endzone to give the Bears the 10–6 lead. The score marked the Bears' first defensive touchdown since 2014. Rodgers overcame the play by throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams, followed by two more touchdown passes to Adams and Randall Cobb of four and two yards, respectively (though Crosby missed an extra point). Down 26–10, the Bears' next two series ended with interceptions, Barkley being intercepted by Blake Martinez and Nick Perry.
The 1–6 start marked the first start with such a record since 2000.
Week 8: vs. Minnesota Vikings
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Week eight saw the second Monday night matchup of 2016 for the Bears as they hosted the 5–1 Minnesota Vikings. In the rivalry, the Vikings led the series 57–51–2. In 12 games played on Mondays, the two teams were split with six wins apiece. A week before the game, John Fox officially cleared Jay Cutler to return to practice and make his first start since week two. With Cutler back, Jeff Joniak emphasized the offense helping him to adapt to game conditions once again, especially against a Vikings defense that had allowed just 14 points per game and a league-low 279.5 yards per game while recording a league-best 16 turnovers and a +11 turnover ratio. Cutler also had to watch for the front seven, as the Vikings had four players with at least three sacks, while the defensive line had 17 combined sacks, five forced fumbles, 17 tackles for loss, an interception and a safety. On defense, the Bears had to pressure quarterback Sam Bradford, who completed only five passes in week seven against the Eagles while being blitzed on 15 occasions. Additionally, Minnesota's rushing game lacked its top two running backs and had 29 runs of negative yards, the most in the NFL. As the bye week approached, Joniak stated, "Playing with pride and with heart is as much a part of this matchup as anything."
After the Vikings punted on their opening drive, the Bears scored on Connor Barth's 30-yard field goal; the drive had been set up by Jordan Howard's 69-yard run. Howard also provided a 34-yard catch six drives later, which helped lead to Barth kicking a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter. On Chicago's next possession, Howard scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Minnesota came close to scoring a touchdown on the following series, including reaching as far as Chicago's two-yard line, but Bradford was sacked by Akiem Hicks on third down; the Vikings were forced to settle for Blair Walsh's 30-yard field goal. The Bears scored on the first drive of the second half when Cutler threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to give the Bears a 20–3 lead. Neither team scored on each of their next two drives. With 5:41 left in the game, Bradford threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs to cut the margin to ten points, but the Bears offense consumed much of the time remaining. When the Bears finally punted, there was only four seconds left and Bradford ended the game with a 25-yard pass to Cordarrelle Patterson.
In his return, Cutler completed 20 of 31 passes for 252 yards, a touchdown and a 100.5 passer rating, while the offense recorded 403 yards with no turnovers. Howard, who recorded 153 rushing yards, 49 receiving yards and a rushing touchdown, was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. On defense, the Bears sacked Bradford five times, forced the Vikings offense to go three-and-out on three straight drives and convert just two of their thirteen third-down situations.
Week 10: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Returning from the bye week, the Bears visited Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who the Bears led 38–18 in the all-time series entering the game, also winning last season's game 24–13. According to Jeff Joniak, the Bears offense could exploit the Buccaneers defense in the redzone, which ranked 28th in touchdown efficiency and 30th in scoring on plays within the 30-yard line. Defensively, the Bears had to apply pressure on quarterback Jameis Winston and cover receiver Mike Evans. Joniak described the Bears as "inspired" by the Monday night victory against the Vikings and to not "let that [winning] feeling disintegrate" in Tampa.
The Bears and Bucs exchanged punts on their opening drives before the first turnover of the game was committed when Jay Cutler's pass for Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Brent Grimes. Though Tampa Bay was forced to punt on the following drive, they scored when former Bears safety Chris Conte intercepted Cutler's pass to Logan Paulsen and returned it for a touchdown. The Bears eventually scored on Connor Barth's 54-yard field goal and regained the ball when Winston's pass for Cecil Shorts was deflected and intercepted by Harold Jones-Quartey. Chicago took advantage of the turnover to reach as close as Tampa's four-yard line, but Cutler was sacked by Noah Spence and fumbled, Kwon Alexander recovering the ball for the Bucs. Cameron Brate caught a ten-yard touchdown pass from Winston on the ensuing drive to make the score 14–3, followed by Roberto Aguayo kicking a 30-yard field goal to force a two-touchdown margin. On the final play of the first half, Cutler threw a Hail Mary pass, which was deflected and caught by Cameron Meredith]] for a 50-yard touchdown. The Bears struggled to get to Winston during the Buccaneers' first drive of the third quarter, three players chasing him into his endzone but were unable to sack him. Winston eventually threw a pass to Evans, who caught it to result in a 39-yard play. A play later, Winston threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Martino. Aguayo later kicked a 27-yard field goal, while Robert Ayers sacked Cutler later in the quarter, forcing a fumble that rolled out of the endzone for a safety. Jordan Howard also fumbled when he was tackled by William Gholston, losing it to Bradley McDougald. In the fourth quarter, Doug Martin scored on a one-yard touchdown run to make the final score 36–10.
Cutler struggled in the game, causing four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles). Entering the game, Tampa Bay had recorded just four interceptions. The Bears also lost Kyle Long to an ankle injury during the game when Paul Lasike landed on his right foot while attempting to catch an errant screen pass; he was eventually placed on injured reserve. To add to the Bears' woes, Jeffery was suspended for four games on Monday for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug use policy.
Week 11: at New York Giants
The Bears traveled to MetLife Stadium in week eleven to take on the 6–3 New York Giants. In 57 prior matchups, the Bears led the series 33–25–2. According to Jeff Joniak's Keys to the Game, the Bears offense needed to rely on Jordan Howard and the running game; the rushing attack, which led the NFL in yards per carry (YPC) with 5.5, faced a Giants defense that ranked 18th in first down run defense with 4.27 yards, seventh in overall run defense and fifth in YPC allowed. In terms of rushing plays of at least ten yards, the Giants allowed 19, the fourth-best in the league, while the Bears had 28, including 21 by Howard. On defense, the Bears had to contain New York's players after catches; Odell Beckham Jr. had 281 yards after catches, sixth-most among receivers, while the Giants as a whole was ranked sixth in the category. However, the Giants struggled with turnovers, allowing 18 (including ten by quarterback Eli Manning's interceptions), which ranked 27th in the league. Joniak stated the Bears needed "to find the players who are willing to fight, scratch and crawl their way out of the hole they're in."
On the opening drive, Jay Cutler threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller, but in windy conditions, Connor Barth missed the extra point wide right. The Giants responded with Rashad Jennings' two-yard touchdown run, though former Bear Robbie Gould also missed the extra point when his kick hit the left upright. Barth kicked a 40-yard field goal on the following drive to give the Bears the 9–6 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Howard helped the Bears record a 79-yard drive with a 27-yard run, ending the series with a one-yard touchdown run. Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal to draw the Giants within one touchdown by halftime. The deficit eventually became a 22–16 lead when the Giants scored on their first two drives of the second half: Manning threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Will Tye, followed by errors from Demonte Hurst and Deon Bush resulting in a 15-yard touchdown pass by Manning to Sterling Shepard, though Gould missed the extra point on the latter's resulting PAT. After the two scores, the Bears defense improved and was able to hold the Giants to five consecutive punts, while punter Pat O'Donnell contributed with 54- and 67-yard punts. However, the offense struggled, punting on all but two drives in the second half. Barth missed a 51-yard field goal when it hit the right upright early in the fourth quarter. Down by six points with three minutes left in the game, Cutler led the offense into Giants territory before the drive stalled: by the time the unit reached New York's 30-yard line, Cutler was sacked by Jason Pierre-Paul and fumbled before recovering his own ball, followed by an illegal shift penalty on Cameron Meredith that drew the Bears further back. Cutler's underthrown pass to Marquess Wilson was intercepted by Landon Collins with 1:11 left in the game to seal the Giants victory.
The already-depleted Bears roster suffered further injuries during the game. Starters Bobby Massie, Eddie Goldman, Mitch Unrein, Kyle Long, Kevin White and Kyle Fuller missed the game due to prior to injuries, while Alshon Jeffery remained suspended. In the game, Josh Sitton suffered an ankle injury, while Cre'Von LeBlanc left the game due to a concussion. Shortly before the end of the first half, Miller broke his right foot when Pierre-Paul stepped on it; he was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, ending his season. Midway through the fourth quarter, Leonard Floyd was hospitalized after injuring his neck in a collision with Akiem Hicks, though he was later released. To further add to the Bears' troubles, Jerrell Freeman was suspended a day after the game for four games; like Jeffery, he was suspended for using PEDs. Later that day, Cutler was revealed to have suffered a shoulder injury in the game, placing his season in jeopardy.
Week 12: vs. Tennessee Titans
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
In week twelve, the Bears hosted the 5–6 Tennessee Titans. The Bears were 6–5 in the all-time series, most recently a 51–20 victory in 2012, though the Bears lost the last game in Chicago, a 31–24 defeat in 2008. With Jay Cutler sidelined, Matt Barkley made his first career NFL start against a Dick LeBeau-led defense that blitzed often; on second down, the Titans recorded 12 sacks, second-most in the league. For the Bears defense, they faced an offense powered by a running game featuring DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, while quarterback Marcus Mariota led a unit that ranked eighth in the NFL in five-minute drives and a fifth-ranked third down conversion rate. Despite the recent woes, Jeff Joniak wrote the Bears needed to maintain a high morale and allow younger players to develop, both as players and as a team.
On their opening drive, the Bears reached the Titans' 33-yard line before stalling and turning the ball over on downs. After the Titans punted, the Bears scored first when Barkley threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Brown, their first career touchdowns. The Titans responded with Henry's 11-yard touchdown run with four seconds left in the first quarter, followed by Mariota throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker in the second quarter. Chicago attempted to score again when they entered Tennessee's red zone on their next drive, but Barkley's pass for Ben Braunecker was intercepted by Wesley Woodyard. The next two drives of the game ended with a punt before Mariota threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews to give the Titans a 21–7 entering halftime. To start the second half, Connor Barth attempted a surprise onside kick, which bounced off Titan Nate Palmer as Adrian Amos recovered. The Bears took advantage to drive to the Titan's five-yard line, but were unable to score as Barkley's pass for Cameron Meredith was intercepted by Da'Norris Searcy in the endzone. Tennessee's Ryan Succop kicked field goals of 19 and 31 yards to increase the lead to 20 points. In the fourth quarter, Barkley began to lead a comeback as he led a 75-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson, followed by a 69-yard scoring drive that concluded with a six-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Thompson to narrow the score to 27–21. The Titans were forced to punt on their next possession with 1:56 left in the game. Barkley moved the Bears downfield with 14-, 21- and 23-yard passes to Wilson, where they reached the Titans' seven-yard line to create a first-and-goal situation with 47 seconds left. Barkley's first pass to Josh Bellamy, which would have resulted in a touchdown, was dropped. His next two passes to Brown and Thompson also fell incomplete. On fourth-and-goal, Thompson dropped a Barkley pass in the back of the endzone to result in a turnover on downs.
Week 13: vs. San Francisco 49ers
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
- Date: December 4
- Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
- Referee: Pete Morelli
- TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Week 14: at Detroit Lions
- Date: December 11
- Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
- Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
- TV: CBS
Week 15: vs. Green Bay Packers
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
- Date: December 18
- Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
- TV: Fox
Week 16: vs. Washington Redskins
at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
- Date: December 24
- Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
- TV: Fox
Week 17: at Minnesota Vikings
- Date: January 1, 2017
- Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
- Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
- TV: Fox
The Bears visited U.S. Bank Stadium for the final game of the 2016 season. Held on New Year's Day, this marked the fourth New Year game for the Bears, all of which had been played in Minnesota; the Bears were 2–1 in such games.
|Green Bay Packers||5||6||0||.455||2–1||4–4||274||289||W1|
|5||New York Giants||East||8||3||0||.727||2–1||5–3||.435||.406||W6|
|In the Hunt|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||6||5||0||.545||2–1||5–3||.504||.447||W3|
|9||New Orleans Saints||South||5||6||0||.455||1–2||4–3||.533||.391||W1|
|10||Green Bay Packers||North||5||6||0||.455||2–1||4–4||.528||.436||W1|
|14||Los Angeles Rams||West||4||7||0||.364||2–1||3–5||.488||.477||L2|
|Eliminated from postseason contention|
|16||San Francisco 49ers||West||1||10||0||.091||1–3||1–7||.561||.364||L10|
|w — Clinched wild card|
|x — Clinched playoff berth|
|y — Clinched division|
|z — Clinched first-round bye|
|* — Clinched home-field advantage|
Chicago Bears staff
- Campbell, Rich (January 9, 2016). "Bears need new offensive coordinator as Adam Gase leaves for Miami Dolphins". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (January 11, 2016). "Dowell Loggains named new Bears offensive coordinator". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (January 22, 2016). "Bears hire Dave Ragone to coach Jay Cutler, quarterbacks". ESPN. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Bears Hire Ben McDaniels As Offensive Quality Control Coach". WBBM-TV. February 12, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- Alper, Josh (January 22, 2016). "Reports: Pat Flaherty to coach 49ers OL, Derius Swinton to coach special teams". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Hawley, Larry (January 25, 2016). "Bears lose another assistant coach as Mike Groh leaves for Rams". WGN-TV. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (January 26, 2016). "Bears add Richard Hightower to coaching staff". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Gantt, Darin (February 15, 2016). "Bears hiring former Tulane and Saints coach Curtis Johnson". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
- Campbell, Rich (March 28, 2016). "Bears agree to re-sign Sam Acho". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- "Cardinals signed 9-year NFL cornerback Alan Ball". August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- Associated Press (March 9, 2016). "Bears boost defense, agree to 4-year contract with Broncos linebacker Trevathan". The State Journal-Register. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Campbell, Rich (April 18, 2016). "Bears receiver Josh Bellamy signs exclusive rights tender". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- Mink, Ryan (May 16, 2016). "Ravens Sign Quarterback Josh Johnson, Offensive Lineman Vladimir Ducasse". Baltimore Ravens. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- "Jets to sign ex-Bears RB Matt Forte". ESPN. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Alper, Josh (March 14, 2016). "Bears re-sign Rob Housler". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (March 8, 2016). "Jeffery signs franchise tag tender". Chicago Bears. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Finley, Patrick (March 16, 2016). "Ex-Bears DE Jarvis Jenkins finalizes contract with Jets". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Florio, Mike (March 16, 2016). "Patriots lands Shea McClellin". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Associated Press (March 10, 2016). "Bears agree to 2-year deal with cornerback Sherrick McManis". USA Today. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Potash, Mark (March 12, 2016). "Bears sign WR/KR Marc Mariani to one-year contract". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (March 14, 2016). "Bears agree to terms with Zach Miller". Chicago Bears. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- "Jaguars sign Omameh". www.jaguars.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- Gantt, Darin (March 9, 2016). "Bears bring cornerback Tracy Porter back for three years". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Gantt, Darin (March 25, 2016). "Bears bring back safety Chris Prosinski". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Alper, Josh (March 16, 2016). "Falcons sign Tom Compton, LaRoy Reynolds". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- Biggs, Brad (March 24, 2016). "Bears bringing back return man Deonte Thompson". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Rtarsitanowgntv (March 12, 2016). "Bears bring back defensive lineman Mitch Unrein on 2-year deal". WGN-TV. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (January 21, 2016). "List of 2016 important offseason dates". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Transactions". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on January 1, 1970. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Associated Press (January 11, 2016). "Bears sign DL Keith Browner to reserve/futures contract". USA Today. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (March 12, 2016). "Bears agree to terms with Freeman". Chicago Bears. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- Emma, Chris (March 13, 2016). "Akiem Hicks Signs Two-Year Deal With Bears". WBBM-TV. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (March 16, 2016). "Bears ink long-snapper Aaron Brewer". Chicago Bears. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Biggs, Brad (March 30, 2016). "Source: Bears sign lineman Manny Ramirez". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (March 31, 2016). "Bears sign former Cardinals guard Ted Larsen". ESPN. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
- Renck, Troy (March 31, 2016). "Broncos' Omar Bolden agrees to deal with Chicago Bears". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (April 30, 2016). "Bears, QB Brian Hoyer agree to terms on 1-year contract". ESPN. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Jahns, Adam (June 2, 2016). "Bears add veteran offensive lineman Nate Chandler". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Biggs, Brad (June 16, 2016). "Bears sign tight end Tony Moeaki, DL Marquis Jackson". USA Today. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Summers, Joe (July 3, 2016). "Connor Shaw Agrees to Deal With Bears". WSPA-TV. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (July 20, 2016). "Bears sign veteran Amini Silatolu". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (2016-07-27). "Bears sign DB Boykin, WR Daniels". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- Jr, Lester A. Wiltfong (2016-07-29). "Chicago Bears sign Dan Buchholz, waive Ben LeCompte". Windy City Gridiron. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- Smith, Michael David (2016-08-03). "Bears put Brandon Boykin on injured reserve". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- Philipse, Sander (2016-07-27). "Bucs claim one, waive one". Bucs Nation. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- Mayer, Larry (2016-08-04). "Bears ink veteran FB Darrel Young". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- Mayer, Larry (2016-08-04). "Bears sign LB Mason, OL Williams". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
- Biggs, Brad (February 16, 2016). "Bears release left tackle Jermon Bushrod". USA Today. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Hanzus, Dan (March 16, 2016). "Martellus Bennett traded by Bears to Patriots". National Football League. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (May 1, 2016). "Bears part ways with safety Antrel Rolle, offensive guard Matt Slauson". ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Campbell, Rich (June 1, 2016). "Tayo Fabuluje becomes first of Bears GM Ryan Pace's draft picks to be cut". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (June 8, 2016). "Ramirez retires after eight seasons". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- Mayer, Larry (July 22, 2016). "Bears cut veteran safety Omar Bolden". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (2016-07-23). "OT Nate Chandler retires from NFL". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- Zierlein, Lance (March 17, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft order and needs: Nos. 11-20". National Football League. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (January 3, 2016). "Chicago Bears will be picking No. 11 in 2016 NFL draft". ESPN. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Cherepinsky, Walter. "2016 NFL Draft Prospect Visits Tracker: By Team". WalterFootball. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Associated Press (April 28, 2016). "Bears trade up 2 spots, take LB Floyd with 9th pick in draft". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
- Campbell, Rich (April 29, 2016). "Quick look at new Bears Cody Whitehair, Jonathan Bullard". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- "Bears take West Virginia LB Kwiatkoski, Miami S Bush in 4th round". WGN-TV. April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Miller Deegan, Susan (April 30, 2016). "UM safety Deon Bush drafted by Chicago Bears in fourth round". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Mullin, John (April 30, 2016). "BEARS HOPE THEY FOUND ANOTHER PEANUT TILLMAN WITH CB DEIONDRE' HALL". Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Osterman, Zach (April 30, 2016). "IU's Nate Sudfeld, Jordan Howard picked on last day of NFL draft". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (April 30, 2016). "Need to block a kick? Call Bears sixth-round pick DeAndre Houston-Carson". ESPN. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Kulfan, Ted (April 30, 2016). "Bears grab WMU receiver Daniel Braverman". The Detroit News. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (September 28, 2015). "Jared Allen, Jon Bostic sent packing as Bears rebuild intensifies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
- Biggs, Brad (March 16, 2016). "Bears trade Martellus Bennett to Patriots". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (April 29, 2016). "Bears on Day 2 of NFL draft: Waiting, trades and a pair of linemen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Perez, Bryan (April 30, 2016). "List of 2016 undrafted free agents signed by the Chicago Bears". USA Today. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Jahns, Adam (May 8, 2016). "Get to know the Bears' undrafted free-agent signings". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (May 16, 2016). "Bears sign OL Williams, waive four". Chicago Bears. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (May 25, 2016). "Bears ink rookie linebacker Grace". Chicago Bears. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (June 10, 2016). "Bears ink Williams, waive Blanchard". Chicago Bears. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- Kaberon, Eli (July 22, 2016). "Peanut leaves a legacy". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (July 27, 2016). "McPhee to open camp on PUP list". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (2016-07-30). "Young inks two-year contract extension". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (August 8, 2016). "Grasu lost for season with torn ACL". Chicago Bears. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (May 16, 2016). "Bears release training camp schedule". Chicago Bears. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (April 7, 2016). "Bears to open preseason vs. Broncos". Chicago Bears. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (August 11, 2016). "Bears struggle in preseason opener". Chicago Bears. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Broncos vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (August 18, 2016). "Bears fall to Pats after quick start". Chicago Bears. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Patriots - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (August 27, 2016). "Bears struggle on offense, defense". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- "Chiefs vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (August 27, 2016). "Connor Shaw suffers gruesome leg injury late in Bears' loss". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- Alper, Josh (August 30, 2016). "Hroniss Grasu, Connor Shaw to IR as Bears go to 75 players". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (September 1, 2016). "Bears close preseason with victory". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Browns - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
- Dickerson, Jeff (September 5, 2016). "Bears release veteran Robbie Gould after 2 missed PATs". ESPN. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (April 14, 2016). "5 facts about Bears' 2016 schedule". Chicago Bears. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
- "Chicago Bears unveil all-navy Color Rush uniforms". ESPN Chicago. September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (September 9, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Texans". WBBM-TV. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Andracki, Tom (November 22, 2015). "CUTLER, BEARS COME UP JUST SHORT AGAINST OSWEILER, BRONCOS". Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (September 11, 2016). "Bears drop opener to Texans". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Texans - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (April 14, 2016). "By the Numbers: 2016 Schedule". Chicago Bears. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (September 17, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Eagles". WBBM-TV. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "Eagles vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (September 19, 2016). "Bears drop to 0-2 with loss to Eagles". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- Kaberon, Eli (September 19, 2016). "Injuries pile up in loss to Eagles". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (September 23, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Cowboys". WBBM-TV. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Cutler Out, Jeffery In For Bears Against Cowboys; Hoyer Starts At Quarterback". WBBM-TV. September 25, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (September 25, 2016). "Bears drop to 0-3 with loss to Dallas". Chicago Bears. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Cowboys - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- Biggs, Brad (September 27, 2016). "10 thoughts after Bears start the season 0-3". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (September 30, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Lions". WBBM-TV. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- Perez, Bryan (September 30, 2016). "Brian Hoyer set to make second start for Bears, Jay Cutler listed as doubtful". USA Today. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- "Lions vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (October 2, 2016). "Bears beat Lions for first victory". Chicago Bears. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
- "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Colts". WBBM-TV. October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Colts - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- "3 things that stood out in loss". Chicago Bears. October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (October 9, 2016). "Bears fall to 1-4 with loss to Colts". Chicago Bears.
- Emma, Chris (October 9, 2016). "Brian Hoyer Regrets Play Bears Would Like To Have Back". WBBM-TV. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Jacksonville Jaguars". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (October 14, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Jaguars". WBBM-TV. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (October 16, 2016). "Bears struggle late, fall to Jaguars". Chicago Bears. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- "Jaguars vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (October 19, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Packers". WBBM-TV. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Packers - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (October 20, 2016). "Depleted Bears burned by Rodgers". Chicago Bears. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (October 24, 2016). "Clear as day, Jay Cutler again the Bears starting QB". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (October 31, 2016). "Joniak: Keys to Bears-Vikings". WBBM-TV. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (October 31, 2016). "Bears dominate up front, beat Vikings". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
- "Vikings vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
- Lam, Quang (November 2, 2016). "Derek Carr, Jordan Howard highlight Players of Week". National Football League. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (November 11, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Bucs". WBBM-TV. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
- "Bear vs. Buccaneers - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (November 13, 2016). "Bears blasted by Bucs in Tampa". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (November 16, 2016). "Kyle Long moved to injured reserve as Bears' misfortune continues". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (November 18, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Giants". WBBM-TV. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (November 20, 2016). "Bears blow 10-point lead, fall to 2-8". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- "Bears vs. Giants - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Kaberon, Eli (November 20, 2016). "Roster thinned by further injuries". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (November 23, 2016). "Bears tight end Zach Miller placed on injured reserve". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- "Jerrell Freeman suspended four games for PED violation". ESPN. November 21, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Smith, Michael David (November 21, 2016). "Report: Jay Cutler has shoulder injury, could end his season". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Joniak, Jeff (November 25, 2016). "Joniak: Keys To Bears-Titans". WBBM-TV. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "All Matchups, Chicago Bears vs. Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Emma, Chris (November 27, 2016). "Bears QB Jay Cutler Inactive; Matt Barkley Starts Against The Titans". WBBM-TV. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- "Titans vs. Bears - Play-By-Play". ESPN. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Mayer, Larry (November 27, 2016). "Bears' rally falls short in 27-21 loss". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Wiederer, Dan (November 27, 2016). "Bears' improbable comeback attempt falls short in 27-21 loss to Titans". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 28, 2016.