19th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game

19th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979

Bears 35, Vikings 18: January 1, 1995

What a New Years’ Day gift for Chicago Bears fans.  The Bears were back in the playoffs for the first time in three years, and despite the hated Vikings being prohibitive favorites at home, the Bears shellacked their hosts.

The Bears had already been beaten twice by the Vikings in 1994.  First they were pounded 42-14 at Soldier Field while Erik Kramer was the quarterback, then they lost a 33-27 overtime squeaker at the Metrodome.  In fact, the Bears at this point had lost six in a row to the Vikings after dominating their rivals for the most part in the mid-1980′s through 1991.

So most didn’t give the Bears a chance this New Year’s Day.  But by halftime, the Bears held a 14-9 lead, augmented to 21-9 when rookie running back Raymont Harris broke a 29-yard touchdown run.  Minnesota would add just one more score on the day, a touchdown pass from Warren Moon to Amp Lee.  At the same time, the Bears would score two more touchdowns, a 21-yard pass from Steve Walsh to Jeff Graham, and a 48-yard fumble return by Kevin Miniefield.

The Bears’ resounding victory was a shock to most, and may have led to overconfidence on their part that they would have a chance the following week against San Francisco.  They didn’t, as we would see when they were annihilated 44-15 against the 49ers.

But the Bears were again on the upswing, or so we thought, after the playoff upset.  Dave Wannstedt’s team would start the following season 6-2, and the coach was rewarded with a handsome four-year contract extension.  But this Viking victory was to be Wannstedt’s last in the playoffs.

2 Responses to “19th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game”

  1. As I commented before, this result was a total surprise to me – I thought the Bears had no chance and that their December OT loss was the closest they would come to compete w/ the Vikings. Still, the 1994 Vikings were more vulnerable than I believed at the time – though more explosive on offense (with the arrival of Moon, the return of Terry Allen, and the emergence of Jake Reed), they had a suspect defense that fell from their #1 statistical ranking in ’93. And, although Moon often threw for a ton of yards, he had some multi-interception games (such as a late November home loss to the Jets where career backup Marcus Turner picked off Moon 3 times)!

    So, I should have looked at our chances in this game more realistically. As a Bears fan I guess the negativity and the cynicism from 1992-94 had yet to be burned away (which made the ’95 season that much more painful after starting 6-2, falling to 7-7, then winning the last 2, then missing the playoffs thanks to ATL beating SF).


  2. Greeting from Wisconsin! And since you are talking about the Vikings, Brett Favre may or may not have announced his “official” retirement today via text messages, phone calls, smoke signals – ok I made that last one up. Suppose to schedule a press conference for this afternoon. Many of us in Wisconsin are done, done DONE with this drama, but it does make for good blogosphere chatter!

    Good day!

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