Chicago Bears 2006 NFC Football Championship Ring
The 2006 Chicago Bears season was their 87th regular season and 25th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 13–3 regular season record, the best in the NFC, improving on their previous year’s record of 11–5. The Bears retained their NFC North divisional title, and won the National Football Conference Championship title against the New Orleans Saints, on January 21, 2007. The Bears played the Indianapolis Colts at Super Bowl XLI, where they lost 29–17. They finished the 2006 NFL season tied for second in points scored, and third in points allowed.
Due to the NFL's scheduling formula the Bears played 6 inter-division games, posting a record of 5–1. Because of rotating cycle scheduling, the Bears matched up against all four teams in the AFC East (going 2–2) and NFC West (going 4–0). In the remaining games, the Bears played the NFC's other reigning division winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants, posting a record of 2–0. During the entire season, the Bears played 10 games at home, 8 games on the road, and 1 game at a neutral field for the Super Bowl. Including the playoffs and Super Bowl, the Bears finished with a record of 15–4.
Noteworthy football stories for the 2006 season were replacing retired cornerback and kick returner Jerry Azumah, the quarterback controversy between productive but inconsistent and potentially fragile Rex Grossman and veteran free agent Brian Griese, the record setting returns by Devin Hester, Bernard Berrian's breakout season, competition between the Bears' running backs (Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones), 5th round draft pick Mark Anderson's 12 quarterback sacks as a rookie.