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Quick Hits: Mooney shines in Bears' season finale


Darnell Mooney saved the best for last, delivering the most productive game of an impressive rookie year in Sunday's season finale.

The fifth-round draft pick from Tulane established career highs with a team-leading nine receptions for 93 yards in the Bears' 35-16 loss to the Packers at Soldier Field. Mooney's 53-yard catch in the third quarter Sunday was the team's longest reception of the year.

In catching 61 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns this season, Mooney ranked second on the Bears in receiving behind Allen Robinson II and set a franchise record for most receptions by a rookie wide receiver.

Kicking it: In making field goals of 30, 27 and 20 yards without a miss Sunday, Cairo Santos broke two Bears records that were held by Robbie Gould. Santos established one mark with 27 consecutive field goals, eclipsing the 26 straight that Gould hit spanning the 2005-06 seasons.

Santos finished the year converting 30-of-32 field-goal attempts, a 93.8 percentage that is the best in Bears history. It tops Gould's 89.7 percent he achieved in 2008 and matched in 2013.

Running man: David Montgomery rushed for 69 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries Sunday, increasing his season total to 1,070 yards and eight TDs on 247 attempts. He also caught 54 passes for 438 yards and two TDs.

Montgomery tied for fifth in the NFL in rushing this season with the Jaguars' James Robinson. The Titans' Derrick Henry led the league with 2,027 yards, followed by the Vikings' Dalvin Cook (1,557), the Colts' Jonathan Taylor (1,169) and the Packers' Aaron Jones (1,104).

On Sunday, Montgomery became the first Bears player to rush for a touchdown in five straight games since Neal Anderson in 1990.

Key injury: Linebacker Roquan Smith exited Sunday's loss late in the first quarter with an elbow injury. Coach Matt Nagy told reporters immediately after the game that he didn't know the extent of the injury.

"You guys will probably end up knowing more here, and I will, too, in 24, 48 hours," Nagy said. "He's a tough son of a buck now. He's tough. We'll have to see what the doctors and what [head trainer] Andre [Tucker] say."

Rare feat: The Bears became just the third team since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to make the playoffs despite a six-game losing streak.

They joined the 1970 Bengals, who won their opener, lost six in a row and then won their final seven games to finish 8-6 and win the AFC Central title, and the 2014 Panthers, who dropped six straight to fall to 3-8-1 before winning their last four games to finish 7-8-1 and claim the NFC South championship.

Different route: The Bears earned their first wild card berth since 1994, when they finished in fourth place in the NFC Central at 9-7. At the time, the playoffs consisted of three division champions and three wild cards in each conference. The Bears won their playoff opener, upsetting the division-winning Vikings 35-18 in Minnesota before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers 44-15 in San Francisco.

Prior to this year, the last five times the Bears made the playoffs, it was as a division champion: In 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2018.

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