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3:05 AM Fri, Jan. 18th

NFL Roundup: Bears fire coach John Fox after a 5-11 season

Chicago Bears head coach John Fox hugs wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Minneapolis. (Bruce KluckhohnAP)

Chicago Bears head coach John Fox hugs wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Minneapolis. (Bruce KluckhohnAP)


Wildcard Weekend

Saturday, Jan. 6

Tennessee at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

Atlanta at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, Jan. 7

Buffalo at Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)

Carolina at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)

Divisional Playoffs

Saturday, Jan. 13

New Orleans/Carolina/Atlanta at Philadelphia, 4:35 p.m. (NBC)

Kansas City/Tennessee/Buffalo at New England, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Jan. 14

Jacksonville/Kansas City/Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)

Los Angeles Rams/New Orleans/Carolina at Minnesota, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)

Conference Championships

Sunday, Jan. 21


TBD, 3:05 p.m. (CBS)


TBD, 6:40 p.m. (FOX)

Pro Bowl

Sunday, Jan. 28

At Orlando, Fla.

AFC vs. NFC, 3 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

Super Bowl

Sunday, Feb. 4

At Minneapolis, Minn.

AFC champion vs. NFC champion, 6:30 p.m. (NBC)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — John Fox helped change the culture in the Chicago Bears' locker room.

He just didn't produce enough wins to keep his job.

The Bears fired Fox on Monday after three losing seasons, ending one of the least successful coaching stints in team history.

"Today is the tough part of our results-oriented business," he said in a statement.

While Fox was let go after a 5-11 finish, general manager Ryan Pace got a contract extension through the 2021 season.

"We think we have the right structure and we think we have the right people in those positions," chairman George McCaskey said.

"We've seen some results in terms of player development and relying primarily on the draft for that development. We just haven't seen those results on the field in wins and we're looking forward to that."

Chicago has had four consecutive losing seasons — each with 10 or more losses. The Bears haven't finished above .500 since they let Lovie Smith go following a 10-6 finish in 2012. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2010.

Hired shortly after the Bears brought in Pace, Fox leaves with a 14-34 record in three seasons and a .292 winning percentage that ranks as the second lowest in franchise history.

Only Abe Gibron was worse — 11-30-1 (.274) from 1972-74.

Lions fire coach Jim Caldwell after missing playoffs

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Jim Caldwell may have been the Detroit Lions' most successful coach in the Super Bowl era.

That was not enough to save his job.

The Lions fired Caldwell on Monday after a season in which the team raised hopes before fading and missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record. They also fired offensive line coach Ron Prince, keeping the rest of the assistants under contract in case the next coach wants to retain any of them.

Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford called Caldwell "one of the finest leaders we've ever had as our head coach."

"Not only did he guide us on the field to three winning seasons, but he also set a standard of excellence off the field that had a tremendous impact on everyone in our organization and our entire community," Ford said in a statement.

Caldwell was 36-28 in four seasons and went 0-2 in two postseasons with the Lions. Including three years with the Indianapolis Colts, he is 62-50 and 2-4 in the playoffs with one Super Bowl appearance.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he wants a coach to take the team to the next level — postseason victories and championships. Quinn added that he fired Caldwell, in part, because he thought the team was capable of winning more than nine games in each of the last two seasons.

Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will interview for the job Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the coaching search. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not identified any candidates. Austin has interviewed with many NFL teams in recent years.

Bills reverse tank talk by ending 17-year playoff drought

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — It took four months and a dramatic turn of events on one of the final plays of the NFL's regular season for coach Sean McDermott and the Buffalo Bills to finally — and succinctly — put to rest any suggestion the team had any intention of tanking last summer.

"I'll let you guys handle that," McDermott said, referring to reporters on Monday. "We're moving on after today to the first round of the playoffs."

And that's all that matters to the first-year coach, who took the high road rather than an "I told you so" approach some 18 hours after the Bills clinched the AFC's sixth and final playoff berth and ended a 17-year postseason drought — the longest in North America's four major professional sports.

McDermott never gave into the doubters and instead preached a simple "Trust The Process" message that resonated with his players.

"Every season's a little bit different. Every season you go through tests and challenges," McDermott said.

"It's going to try to pull you apart. It's going to test you, and it's going to test your mental toughness," he added. "And our players hung in there."

Rather than packing up, as 17 of Buffalo's preceding teams did on the day after the regular-season finale, these Bills returned home to a jubilant reception early Monday.

They were greeted at Buffalo Niagara International Airport by some 400 chanting fans , who braved 2-degree temperatures after Buffalo beat Miami 22-16 and clinched its playoff berth once Baltimore gave up a last-minute touchdown in a 31-27 loss to Cincinnati.

McDermott is even considering sending the Bengals a gift — chicken wings, perhaps — as a thank you for Andy Dalton hitting Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left.

And now, Buffalo (9-7) is moving on in preparing to play at AFC South champion Jacksonville (10-6) on Sunday.