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That's it, Bears?!

Lovie Smith and Co. are taking their 10 wins and going home

  • The Bears won Sunday, but in the end it wasn't enough to get them into the playoffs.
The Bears won Sunday, but in the end it wasn't enough to get them into… (Mike Carter/US Presswire )
December 30, 2012|RedEye

It came down to this. The Bears needed a win over Detroit and a Minnesota loss to Green Bay on Sunday to make the playoffs. It's likely coach Lovie Smith's job hung in the balance, too, considering his teams had just one playoff berth since the 2006 season. And as luck would have it, Sunday's games were staggered, meaning that for six-plus hours Bears fans' nerves were in overdrive.

Here's how the day played out, and how fans were feeling at the time, from dejected, to doubtful, to hopeful, to elated.

BEARS AT LIONS

12:03 p.m.: Olindo Mare kicks off to the Lions. Would be the last Bears game we'd see until September?

Feeling: Hopeful

12:07: Jay Cutler connects on a 55-yard bomb to Alshon Jeffery on the Bears' first play from scrimmage.

Feeling: Elated

12:11: An angry Cutler slams the ball down after a false start, and nemesis Ndamukong Suh laughs. Grrrr!

Feeling: Doubtful

12:22: The Lions kick a field goal. Behind the 8-ball already. Detroit 3, Bears 0

Feeling: Dejected

12:28: Earl Bennett takes a short pass from Cutler and sprints 60 yards for a TD. Must be the orange shoes. Bears 7, Detroit 3

Feeling: Elated

12:31: On the ensuing kickoff, Eric Weems recovers a Lions fumble. Hello, momentum.

Feeling: Elated

12:34: Olindo Mare boots a field goal, which is disappointing after being handed the ball deep in Lions territory. Bears 10, Detroit 3

Feeling: Elated

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Bears 10, Lions 3

1:07: Mare shanks a field goal attempt wide right. Terrible terrible terrible.

Feeling: Doubtful

1:08: Israel Idonije forces a Stafford fumble and Julius Peppers recovers at the Lions' 10-yard line, leading to a Matt Forte TD run. Redemption!

Feeling: Elated

1:15: Tim Jennings nabs his ninth interception of the season, and the Bears capitalize with a field goal. Sensing a pattern here.

Feeling: Elated

1:30: Chris Durham catches 25-yard TD pass from Stafford. Did the Bears D fall asleep? Bears 20, Detroit 10

Feeling: 3

HALFTIME: Bears 20, Lions 10

2:02: Stafford finds Will Heller with a touchdown pass. That hurts. Bears 20, Detroit 17

Feeling: Dejected

2:16: The Bears settle for another field goal. Could be worse. Bears 23, Detroit 17

Feeling: Doubtful

END OF THIRD QUARTER

2:32: Mare kicks his fourth field goal. They're pecking the Lions into submission. Bears 26, Lions 17

Feeling: Hopeful

2:43: The Lions score again, wiping out the momentum the Bears built minutes earlier. Bears 26, Detroit 24

Feeling: Doubtful

2:50: The ball comes loose on a Forte run, but the Bears recover and punt soon after. Heart. Attack. City.

Feeling: Dejected

2:58: Cutler scrambles for a HUGE first down, and the Lions burn their last timeout. Almost there …

Feeling: Hopeful

3:04: Bears win! They're halfway home with a 10-6 record, and all they need is a win from the Packers.

Feeling: Elated

FINAL SCORE: Bears 26, Detroit 24

PACKERS AT VIKINGS

3:25: Green Bay kicks off to Minnesota. Bears fans hate to say it, but go Pack go.

Feeling: Elated

3:49: Adrian Bleeping Peterson steamrolls the Packers D for a touchdown. Seriously, Green Bay?

Feeling: Doubtful

3:58: Peterson easily converts a fourth-and-1 inside Packers territory. This. Is getting. Frustrating.

Feeling: Doubtful

END OF FIRST QUARTER: Vikings 10, Packers 0

4:33: Aaron Rodgers finds Greg Jennings for a TD. Don't stop now, boys.

Feeling: Hopeful

4:37: Miraculously, a tipped pass from Christian Ponder is caught by Jarius Wright. Ugh.

Feeling: Doubtful

4:43: Then Wright goes and catches a TD pass. Hope is fading …

Feeling: Dejected

HALFTIME: Vikings 20, Packers 10

5:07: Jennings catches another TD pass. Hope is returning …

Feeling: Hopeful

5:20: Rodgers fumbles. Great, NOW he screws up.

Feeling: Doubtful

5:38: Peterson catches a TD pass for Minnesota. SOMEBODY STOP HIM!

Feeling: Dejected

5:48: Green Bay's James Jones lunges into the end zone. Yes!

Feeling: Hopeful

END OF THIRD QUARTER: Vikings 27, Packers 24

6:04: Mason Crosby ties the game for the Packers with a field goal. Let's do this!

Feeling: Hopeful

6:14: Vikings score another TD. This can't be happening.

Feeling: Dejected

6:27: Tie game! Jordy Nelson catches a TD pass from Rodgers.

Feeling: Elated

6:45: Blair Walsh kicks a field goal as the clock ticks to all zeroes, and the Bears are going home.

Feeling: Dejected

FINAL SCORE: Vikings 37, Packers 34


So that's that, then. Even after a 7-1 start, the Bears will be spectators for the playoffs. Um, let's go Bulls!

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