10th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Bears 33, Vikings 24: September 19, 1985
The McMahon miracle occurred on this Thursday night in Minnesota. McMahon had been standing on the sidelines until roughly halfway through the third period-banished there by coach Mike Ditka as he hadn’t practiced most of the week. The failure to practice was due to painful back and neck issues McMahon was suffering through, some thought due to the head-butts he was inclined to share with offensive linemen.
Midway through the third period, the Steve Fuller-led Bears trailed the Vikings 17-9. Chicago’s offense looked so stagnant that it seemed the Bears’ miracle season would come off its tracks before it got started. Then, sick of McMahon harassing him all game, Ditka told his starter to “get his ass in there.” The result? A 70-yard touchdown pass to Willie Gault on the first play after McMahon’s entrance. Trailing 17-16, the Bears scored again on a 25-yard pass to Dennis McKinnon on McMahon’s second play under center. On McMahon’s eighth play in the game, he threw another 43-yard touchdown to McKinnon. The Bears led 30-17 after the passes en route to an improbable 33-24 victory.
The game was McMahon’s first on national television. “Not too many people know about Jim McMahon,” he said before the game. After this one, the nation certainly did.