An air of change, perhaps never before seen in the 93-year existence of the Chicago Bears organization, settled into Halas Hall in January 2012. Perhaps the major change in 2012 would have been limited to one, had the Bears continued the prosperity they enjoyed during a 7-1 start to the season.
But they didn’t.
After the 7-1 start, when the Bears led the NFC North Division and seemed to be an absolute playoff lock, the team finished 3-5 down the stretch. On December 31st it was announced that ninth-year coach Lovie Smith, who had reportedly turned down a two-year contract extension earlier in the season, was fired.