27th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Bears 16, Saints 6: NFC Wildcard Playoff, January 6, 1991
It wasn’t so much a memorable football game for what happened on the field. But it would turn out to be the Bears’ final playoff win at Soldier Field for 16 years.
With an 11-5 record in 1990, the Bears won their sixth NFC Central division crown in seven years. But as they were the third-seeded division winner, they had to play in the first week of the playoffs, hosting the 8-8 Wildcard New Orleans Saints. Ironically, the Saints were led by several offensive players that would wind up with the Bears 3-4 years later in quarterback Steve Walsh and running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.
Despite the fact that veteran Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak had lost his starting job to Jim Harbaugh at the start of the season, Tomczak would be the starter in the Bears’ playoff return following Harbaugh’s season-ending shoulder injury.
The Saints didn’t put up much of a defense to the Bears in this game. Chicago led 10-3 at halftime, and the closest the Saints could get was 13-6 on a pair of Morten Andersen field goals. The real story here was Tomczak’s effecient day. The sometimes-erratic quarterback threw for a touchdown and no interceptions, while Walsh and John Fourcade teamed to throw three interceptions. Bear running back Neal Anderson also was a big part in the Bear win, rushing for 102 yards and catching four passes.
I remember the festive atmosphere in the stands at this game, with Bear fans pelting Saints fans with snowballs in the northeast end zone section of the stands. Bears fans were happy that their team won another playoff game at home after failing to make the postseason the year before. Little did we know we wouldn’t see another victory at home for 16 long years. How much longer will it be this time?