The Bears weren’t aiming for a Super Bowl in their first season under head coach John Fox, but they were in position to make a late playoff push at 5-6 heading into Week 13. That was exactly when the wheels fell off, though. A 26-20 overtime loss to a subpar San Francisco 49ers team set the stage for the Bears to drop three of their last four games, finishing the season with a 6-10 record.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY SportsMatt Marton
The Bears visited Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving and picked up one of their most satisfying wins of the year against the Green Bay Packers. They were supposed to be the carpet for a game that featured Brett Favre’s jersey retirement at halftime. The Bears spoiled Green Bay’s celebration by beating the Packers 17-13 while millions of Americans tuned into the primetime television slot.
The Kansas City Chiefs were far from the playoff team they are today when they faced the Bears in Week 5. Still, Chicago’s comeback victory at Arrowhead Stadium was pretty impressive. The Bears trailed 17-3 at halftime, but they started to rally in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Jay Cutler capped off a two-minute drill by throwing a perfect, seven-yard touchdown pass to running back Matt Forte, giving Chicago an 18-17 lead with 18 seconds left in the game.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsDenny Medley
With Jay Cutler injured, the Bears turned to backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen for a Week 3 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The trip to CenturyLink Field was a total disaster, as Clausen threw for just 63 yards in a 26-0 defeat. Before this embarrassing loss, the Bears hadn’t been shutout since December of 2002.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsJoe Nicholson
Jay Cutler really stepped up in 2015, even though the Bears’ final record does not reflect his individual improvement. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase lifted him to a new level of efficiency, as the 32-year-old quarterback threw for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts, despite the fact that he was deprived of several of his top targets throughout the season.
Best offseason acquisition
The Bears spent a second-round draft pick in 2015 on defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, and the Florida State product turned out to be the anchor of Chicago’s defense. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio built his 3-4 scheme around Goldman, who manned the nose. The 332-pound rookie played in 15 games (12 starts), recording 22 tackles (16 solo) and 4.5 sacks along the way.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsReinhold Matay
Martellus Bennett started the season as the team’s top tight end, but Zach Miller emerged as a productive replacement when injuries began to sap Bennett’s production. After spending three years out of the game, the 31-year-old pass-catcher enjoyed the best season of his career -- by far. Miller finished with 34 receptions for 439 yards and five touchdowns.
Alshon Jeffery was supposed to take over as Chicago’s No. 1 wide receiver this season, but he struggled to stay on the field. Multiple leg injuries limited him to nine games, as his painful season finally ended on injured reserve before Week 17. Jeffery was still pretty effective when healthy enough to play, so the Bears may not let him reach free agency next spring. He led the team with 54 receptions for 807 yards and four touchdowns in 2015.