Bears' 2011 schedule about same difficulty as 2010

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Bears' 2011 schedule about same difficulty as 2010

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011
12:52 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Winning the NFC North division got the Bears into the 2010 playoffs. That and division finishes elsewhere in the NFC also got them their lineup of opponents for the 2011 season.

The gimmes are the obvious: games home and away against the Lions, Packers and Vikings (against whom the Bears were a combined 5-1 this season).

The divisional cycle has the Bears playing the NFC West, meaning the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All but the Panthers won at least 10 games in 2010 and the Panthers will get the No. 1 pick of the draft.

The rotation also draws the AFC West for the Bears: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego.

And the prize for winning your division is that you play the other division winners, so add Philadelphia and Seattle to the schedule, which looks like this:

Home

Detroit
Green Bay
Minnesota
Atlanta
Carolina
Seattle
Kansas City
San Diego

Away

Detroit
Green Bay
Minnesota
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia
Denver
Oakland

Looking beyond just the teams, the schedule is about the same difficulty as the 2010 slate, based on opponents records (but not taking the cumulative win-loss total for all, which I think can be skewed for better or worse based on a few seriously awful teams). Consider:

The Bears will have nine games against opponents with 2010 records of .500 or better, up just one from this seasons total of eight (New England, NY Jets, Green Bay and Minnesota twice each, and both Carolina and the NY Giants were .500 teams in 2009;

Seven games are against teams in the 2010 playoffs; the Bears faced eight teams this year which had made the 2009 playoffs (Dallas, Philadelphia, New England, NY Jets, Green Bay and Minnesota twice each)
Bettin time

Theres no shortage of betting lines, odds, tips, touts, whatever on the playoffs but Bodog.com weighed in with the Seattle Seahawks at 100-1 odds for winning the Super Bowl. Players dont play based on odds but they may prepare just a little harder if theyre mad, so heres guessing Pete Carroll has let his lowlies know what the wagering world thinks of them.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

CSN to chronicle Bears vs Packers rivalry on next installment of Bears Classics

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CSN to chronicle Bears vs Packers rivalry on next installment of Bears Classics

‘Bears Classics’ presented by Xfinity to debut Tuesday, December 13 at 9:00 PM CT -- Exclusively on CSN

Narrated by Chicago Bears/Pro Football Hall of Fame legend DICK BUTKUS

Chicago, IL (December 6, 2016) – CSN Chicago and the Chicago Bears will debut a brand new installment of its partnered Bears Classics presented by Xfinity Emmy award-winning documentary series when the network will chronicle the history of pro football’s longest and, without question, fiercest rivalry: the Chicago Bears vs. the Green Bay Packers.

Debuting Tuesday, December 13 at 9:00 PM CT exclusively on CSN, Bears Classics will reflect back to the conflict that began in 1921 when the National Football League's charter franchise, the Chicago Bears, met an independent team that joined the league that year, the Packers from Green Bay, Wisconsin.  With more than 1300 NFL games played for each franchise, the win-loss records are nearly even as the Bears hold an overall advantage, while the Packers lead in total championships (13-9).  From the big city on Lake Michigan to the small town some 200 miles north, the Bears & Packers continue to make their mark as combatants in pro football's oldest rivalry.  

This special edition of CSN’s Emmy-winning Bears Classics documentary series, subtitled The Longest War - Bears versus Packers, will once again be narrated by Chicago Bears legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.  Butkus played for the Bears from 1965-1973 and is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.  CSN’s Sarah Lauch is the Executive Producer of Bears Classics, Willie Parker is the Producer, and Kevin Cross is the network’s Senior Director of News & Original Content.

In addition to the documentary narration by Butkus, among the numerous players/media/execs interviewed in this edition of Bears Classics include exclusive interviews with the following individuals:

GALE SAYERS

Bears Halfback (1965-71)

MIKE DITKA

Bears Tight End (1961-76); Bears Head Coach (1982-92)

BRIAN URLACHER

Bears Linebacker (2000-12)

LANCE BRIGGS

Bears Linebacker (2003-14)

DAN HAMPTON

Bears Defensive End/Tackle (1979-90)

GEORGE MCCASKEY

Bears Chairman

LOVIE SMITH

Bears Head Coach (2004-12)

JIM MILLER

Bears Quarterback (1999-2002)

DENNIS McKINNON

Bears Wide Receiver (1983-89)

BRETT FAVRE

Packers Quarterback (1992-2007)

AARON RODGERS

Packers Quarterback (2005-present)

JERRY KRAMER

Packers Right Guard (1958-68)

JAMES LOFTON

Packers Wide Receiver (1978-86)

Please note the following quotes from CSN’s premiere airing of Bears Classics: The Longest War - Bears versus Packers, debuting Tuesday, December 13 at 9:00 PM CT:

MIKE DITKA (on the Bears-Packers rivalry): "It was a war based on respect. I never disliked them. I would say they had something we wanted because they had a better team and had championships, and we finally did get one.”

BRETT FAVRE (on Bears & Packers Hall of Famers): "I was talking and said 'surely, the Packers have the most Hall of Fame members.’ Well, we're four short; it's the Bears that have more. So we still have a few more to go...says a lot about the Bears.”

BRIAN URLACHER (on playing against Packers QBs Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers): "Aaron’s a little more mobile…Brett ran, but he didn’t like run to create.  Aaron kind of dances around back there and will wait until the guys break open, Brett would just throw it no matter what.”

JERRY KRAMER (on the teachings of Packers legendary head coach Vince Lombardi): "We never got beat. The clock ran out when the other team had more points when we did, but we never lost a game. So it’s that constant…will to win and that will to excel.  Those are the things that endure.”

GALE SAYERS (on Packers/Bears games at Wrigley Field): "You came out here and you knew that the fans would be on your side.  It would be different if they were in Green Bay or something, hell, they’d kill you, but here, no way.  And we played Green Bay on that field a long time.”

CSN will also re-air this episode of Bears Classics on Saturday, December 17 at 10:00 PM and again on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) at 7:00 PM.  Details regarding January’s premiere episode of Bears Classics will be announced in the coming weeks.  In addition, fans can also get interactive prior and during every airing of Bears Classics with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsClassics.  Plus, CSNChicago.com will provide additional, online exclusive interviews and commentary write-ups from CSN’s team of Bears experts. 

Former Bears running back Rashaan Salaam dies at 42

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AP

Former Bears running back Rashaan Salaam dies at 42

Former Bears running back Rashaan Salaam was found dead at the age of 42 in Colorado on Monday night.

Boulder Police say there was no evidence of foul play, according to cubuffs.com.

Salaam was selected by the Bears in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft after a standout collegiate career in which he won the Heisman Trophy award in 1994. 

"The Buff Family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today," Colorado Athletic Director Rick George said. "We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time."

Salaam played with the Bears from 1995-1997. As a rookie, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, but only combined for 608 rushing yards over his last two years with the Bears.

Salaam went on to play for both the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns in 1999. He briefly spent time in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 before ending his football career with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL in 2004.