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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Have Bears ever played defending SB champs in playoffs?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Have the Bears ever played a defending Super Bowl champion in the playoffs?
Aaron T.
Janesville, Wisconsin

Sunday’s wildcard round game against the Eagles will mark the first time the Bears have ever played a defending Super Bowl champion in the playoffs. It’s the third time they’ll face the reigning NFC champion in the postseason, and they are 2-0 in those games, having defeated the Redskins 23-19 in 1984 and the Seahawks 27-24 in overtime in 2006.

How many teams have gone from worst-to-first like the Bears did this year and have any of them won the Super Bowl?
Dave S.
Rockford, Illinois

Since the NFL realigned into eight four-team divisions in 2002, 25 teams have won division titles after finishing in last place the previous season. At least one club has accomplished the feat 15 of the last 16 years (except 2014). The Bears have done it twice, rebounding from 5-11 to 11-5 in 2004-05 and 5-11 to 12-4 in 2017-18. Only two teams that went from worst-to-first have won the Super Bowl since 2002: the Saints in 2009 and the Eagles last year.

Did Roquan Smith break Brian Urlacher’s rookie tackles record?
Dave A.

No, Roquan Smith registered six tackles in last Sunday’s regular-season finale in Minnesota to increase his season total to 122, two behind the franchise rookie record 124 stops that Hall of Fame middle linebacker compiled in 2000. Smith’s total ranks second, however, ahead of Mike Brown (102 in 2000), Charles Tillman (86 in 2003) and Lance Briggs (78 in 2003).

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