Posted December 26, 2011 on AP on Fox
The Chicago Bears thought they were headed to the playoffs not too long ago. Now, they can forget about that. They'll be playing for nothing more than pride when they close the season at Minnesota this week, trying to stop their longest slide in nearly a decade, after their playoff hopes were dashed with a 35-21 loss at Green Bay on Sunday night. It's a stunning fall for a team that was cruising along not too long ago. Injuries to quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte led to a sharp turn, and the Bears (7-8) never found their way. Not since the 2002 team's eight-game skid on the way to a 4-12 finish under Dick Jauron have the Bears dropped this many in a row. They had not lost more than four straight since coach Lovie Smith took over in 2004, yet everything crumbled just as they capped off their fifth straight win. Cutler broke his right thumb trying to help make a tackle following an interception late in a win over the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 20, and...
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