Dennis Gentry ran 94 yards for a touchdown with the second half kickoff today to highlight a 37-17 victory over the Detroit Lions that enabled the Chicago Bears to tie the NFL record for most victories in a regular season.
Otherwise, Coach Mike Ditka of the Bears saw little he liked.
"We would not have beaten a playoff team the way we played today," he said. "We didn't play well anywhere. It took us until the fourth quarter for us to outscore our defensive and special teams. It was lousy execution. Maybe we were doing too many Super Bowl shuffles.
"Every game means something if you're a pro. If it doesn't, take off the uniform. I'm very concerned that we're not playing well. I'm always concerned about that."
The Bears, who clinched the NFC Central Division title and a home-field advantage for the playoffs five weeks ago, finished 15-1, as did last season's San Francisco 49ers team. The Bears will play host to the winner of next Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game in the division playoffs.
Detroit completed its first season under Darryl Rogers with a 7-9 record. They finished 4-11-1 under Monte Clark in 1984.
Bears running back Walter Payton became the first NFL player to total more than 2,000 combined yards three straight seasons. Against the Lions, he rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries, caught four passes for 55 yards and threw a 50-yard pass to finish the season with 2,034 yards.