CHICAGO – This is a topic that no team in any sport wants to think about, but the struggles of Chicago’s National Football League franchise over the 2022 season have forced many to ask a question.
What is the Bears’ longest losing streak?
At the moment, the team has seven-straight defeats, including a 25-20 loss to the NFL-leading Eagles on Sunday at Soldier Field. It’s not the team record, but the Bears are getting quite close to it.
Eight Was Too Much
The Chicago Bears’ longest losing streak is eight games, and it has been done five times in franchise history.
The most recent came over the course of two seasons, with the 2014 team losing the final five games of the campaign to finish 5-11. That led to the dismissal of head coach Marc Trestman, but new head coach John Fox’s team lost their first three games of the 2015 season.
The last of those was a 26-0 drubbing at the hands of the reigning NFC champion Seahawks on September 27, 2015 with backup Jimmy Clausen in place of starter Jay Cutler. In Week 4, the Bears beat the Raiders at Soldier Field on a late Robbie Gould field goal to end the streak.
Two other eight-game losing streaks came over the course of two seasons:
- In 1996, the Bears lost their final game of the season and then opened with seven-straight defeats in 1997. They finally ended the losing streak with a 36-33 win over the Dolphins on the road on October 27 of that year. They would go on to finish 4-12.
- The same situation played out in 1968 when the Bears lost their season finale to the Packers and then the first seven games of the 1969 season. On November 9, they snapped the losing streak with a 38-7 win over the Steelers at Wrigley Field. That would be their only victory as they finished with a franchise-worst 1-13 record.
All The Pain In One Season
The other two times the Bears lost eight-straight games they did so over the course of a single season.
In 2002, while the team played their home contests at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, the Bears started 2-0 and then dropped their next eight games. What made it most painful is that six of the contests were decided by a possession, but it knocked them right out of playoff contention.
The Bears would snap the losing skid on November 24 of that year, beating the Lions 20-17 in overtime in Champaign when Detroit coach Marty Mornhingweg made the decision to not take the ball in the extra session after winning the coin toss.
Dick Jauron’s team would win one more game the rest of the year and finish 4-12.
In 1978, just a year removed from making the playoffs, the Bears started off 3-0 and then lost their next eight games. Similar to 2002, five of the Bears’ eight losses were decided by seven points or less, and that hurt since the team won four of their last five games to finish 7-9.
Hope for next year?
Naturally, an eight-game losing streak pretty much dooms a team to a playoff-less season, and the Bears didn’t make the postseason in any of the years they either lost all eight contests or were part of an eight-game losing streak.
The only time the team made the playoffs the next season was 1979 under head coach Neill Armstrong, who made his debut in that position with the team in 1978. That Bears team won their last three games and won the NFC Wild Card with a 10-6 record.