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On This Day 15 Years Ago: Bears Top Saints To Win NFC Championship, Advance To Super Bowl

CHICAGO (CBS) -- On this day 15 years ago, the Bears won the NFC Championship and advanced to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1985 season.

The Bears topped the New Orleans Saints 39-17 at a snowy Soldier Field that snowy Jan. 21, 2007 and won the George Halas Trophy. The mood that enveloped Chicago that late January was something that hadn't quite been seen in Chicago in decades, as Chicago was overtaken by Bears fever.

CBS 2 had a contingent in Miami as the Big Game approached. Our morning anchorman, the late Randy Salerno, got to toss around the football for the NFL Experience's "Extra Point Kick" game - among other activities in the sun.

Meanwhile back at our old building at 630 N. McClurg Ct., we dug into the archives to post some memories of the Super Bowl XX a whole 21 years earlier – Johnny Morris out with the crowd after the Bears emerged victorious; the chilly, but exuberant crowds downtown for the Bears' victory parade.

Was it all going to happen again? Unfortunately, no.

Super Bowl XLI came around on Feb. 4. Devin Hester took the opening kickoff 92 yards to score the game's first touchdown – but it was almost all downhill from there.

The Colts scored a touchdown in the first quarter, but missed the extra point. The Bears' Mushin Muhammad caught a four-yard pass from Rex Grossman for another touchdown before the quarter was out, putting the Bears up 14-6.

But the Colts scored 10 with a field goal and touchdown in the second quarter and took the lead. The Bears only scored one more time with a field goal in the third, and Colts went on to win 29-17.

And that was that.

Head Coach Lovie Smith stayed on for six more seasons until he was let go after the 2012 season. The Rex Grossman era of Super Bowl XLI gave way to the Jay Cutler era, and then the Mitchell Trubisky era.

Meanwhile, Marc Trestman replaced Smith, followed by John Fox, and most recently Matt Nagy – who was let go at the end of the 2021 season along with General Manager Ryan Pace. And since the 2006 season, the Bears have not been anywhere near a Super Bowl.

But we're onto the next chapter as the Bears interview for a new head coach.

That search continued Friday with former Vikings Head Coach and current Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier interviewed by the Bears Friday. Frazier has been with the Bills since 2017, and is also considered one of the frontrunners to be the New York Giants' next coach.

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