Thomas Sets New Rookie Rushing Mark

NFC CENTRAL CHAMPIONS: With today's win over the Jaguars, the Bears clinch the NFC Central Division title for the first time since 1990 (seventh NFC Central title since the Division was formed in 1978). The Bears will have a first-round bye in the playoffs and clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC Playoffs.

RECORD TURNAROUNDS: With today's win against the Jaguars, the Bears improve by eight games in the win column from last season, improving from 5-11 to 13-3 in 2001. The NFL record for improvement from one season to the next belongs to the Indianapolis Colts who improved from a three-win season in the 1998 to a 13-win season in 1999. The St. Louis Rams improved nine games from 1998 (4 wins) to 1999 (13 wins) and on three other occasions (Cincinnati 1987-88, Indianapolis 1991-92, and N.Y. Jets 1996-97) teams have improved eight games from one season to the next.

TOP ROOKIE RUSHER: Running back Anthony Thomas had 160 yards on 33 carries today to become the Bears all-time leading rookie rusher, surpassing Rashaan Salaam's 1995 record of 1,074 yards. Thomas finishes the regular season with 1,183 yards on 278 carries (4.25 yards per carry) and finishes the season as the NFC's leading rookie rusher. The 100-yard rushing effort is Thomas' fourth of the season, the most since Raymont Harris who had five in 1997.

"What can I say about Anthony? He's been this way since the first day we had him," said Bears head coach Dick Jauron. "He doesn't say a whole lot, he just goes to work. He's an outstanding player. I'm just glad he was there in the second round (of the draft) when we had a chance to take him."

BOOK IT: Wide receiver Marty Booker had six catches for 37 yards today against the Jags moving his season totals to 100 catches for 1,071 yards. In the process, Booker is the first receiver in Bears history to have 100 or more catches in a season. Earlier this year he established a new single-season mark for receptions in a season, surpassing Johnny Morris' 1964 total of 93.

CENTURY SCORER: Bears placekicker Paul Edinger reached the 100-point plateau with a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter of today's game. He becomes the first Bears player since 1995 (Kevin Butler) to score 100 or more points in a season and only the sixth player (Kevin Butler, Bob Thomas, Mac Percival, Gale Sayers Johnny Lujack) in Bears history to accomplish the feat.

LONG-RANGE BOMBER: With the 47-yard field goal in the first quarter of today's game Paul Edinger became the only placekicker in Bears history to kick 13 40+ yard field goals in a single season, breaking a tie with Jeff Jaeger (12 in 1996) and Kevin Butler (12 in 1990).

SACKMASTER: Bears linebacker Rosevelt Colvin recorded his team-leading 10.5 sack in the first half of today's game, becoming the first linebacker since Otis Wilson to reach double digits in sacks. Wilson had 11.5 sacks in 1985 (sacks become an official statistic in 1982).

PAPER OR PLASTIC: The Bears recorded four sacks today, pushing their season total to 42 which is the most since 1993 when the Bears recorded 46 (Dent with 12.5 and Armstrong with 11.5).

AIR DEFENSE: The Bears defense recorded three interceptions today against two Jacksonville touchdowns passes and finished the regular season with more interceptions than the other team had TD passes, interception 17 passes against only 12 opponent passing TDs. The last time the defense had more interceptions than opponents had touchdowns was in 1993 when the defense recorded 18 picks and opponents had 12 passing touchdowns.

ROADBLOCK: The Bears surrendered only six opponent rushing TDs this season, the least since the 1988 squad only allowed five.

CENTURY STARTER: Bears offensive left tackle Blake Brockermeyer made his 100th career start today against the Jaguars.

LUCKY NO. 13: The Bears are 12-0 this season when scoring 13 or more points.

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