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.