Asked after Sunday's loss about the possibility of Adam Gase leaving the Bears for a head-coaching position, Jay Cutler requested a favor from reporters.
"I was going to ask you guys today if you could write some bad articles about him," joked the Bears quarterback. "Maybe we can cool him off some."
Cutler, of course, knows that that won't happen and expects the Bears offensive coordinator to draw interest from what could be several NFL teams in the market for a new head coach.
"He's done a heck of a job," Cutler said. "I couldn't be more happy for him. He's going to go through the process and we'll see what happens. If he gets a job, he deserves it. If he doesn't, then he's going to come back to us and we're going to be happy about that too."
Gase's departure would mean that Cutler would work with his sixth different coordinator in eight seasons with the Bears. But the veteran quarterback isn't worried.
"That's the NFL," Cutler said. "It's business. This is something good; he's earned this. He's done a heck of a job in many different places throughout his career. So this isn't something I'm mad about or anybody's hoping he wants to come back. If he gets it, we're going to be happy for him and root for him and it's going to be very well deserved."
Next year: The Bears' 2016 opponents are set. In addition to home and road games against NFC North rivals Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota, they will host the Eagles, Redskins, Jaguars, Titans and 49ers while visiting the Cowboys, Giants, Texans, Colts and Buccaneers.
A leg up: Bears kicker Robbie Gould made his final seven field goal attempts of the season, including two Sunday from 49 and 34 yards. He finished the year 33-of-39, breaking his own Bears single-season record of 32 field goals set in 2007.
Gould made his first 17 attempts and then missed six of 15 tries before finishing strong. He closes his 11th season with the Bears with a franchise-record 1,207 points.
Speaking of kickers, the 59-yard field goal that the Lions' Matt Prater made Sunday was the longest in Soldier Field history, eclipsing Gould's 58-yarder in the 2013 season opener against the Bengals. Prater also made a 59-yarder against the Bears in Denver on Dec. 11, 2011 when he played for the Broncos.
The only longer field goal by a Bears opponent was the Saints' Morten Anderson's 60-yarder on Oct. 27, 1991 in New Orleans.
Personnel file: Cornerback Alan Ball (hand) and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein (concussion) excited Sunday's game with injuries and did not return.
Receiver Eddie Royal (illness), center Hroniss Grasu (knee), tight end Zach Miller (toe) and defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins (illness/ankle) did not play. Other Bears inactives were cornerback Jacoby Glenn, tackle Tayo Fabuluje and defensive tackle Terry Williams.
Nickel back Bryce Callahan returned after missing three games with a calf injury and was credited with three tackles and his first NFL sack. Other Bears who recorded sacks Sunday were linebacker Christian Jones, outside linebacker Lamarr Houston and recently-signed defensive lineman Greg Scruggs.
On the Marc: Receiver Marc Mariani continued to make the most of expanded playing time, leading the Bears with six receptions for 80 yards, both career highs. He also returned a kickoff 47 yards.