29th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Bears 30, Steelers 6: December 13, 1992
The Bears were 4-9, coming off a God awful six-game losing streak. In town were the surprising 10-3 Pittsburgh Steelers, coached by first-year man Bill Cowher. The Steelers would go on to play in the AFC Championship game that year, while the Bears were out of the playoff hunt by late November. Surely, I thought at the time, the Bears had no chance.
But this was “Mike Singletary Day” in Chicago. The Bears unveiled in this game the commemorative patch they would wear for Singletary until the end of the season, and this was “Samuari Mike’s” last game in Chicago. Prior to the game, Singletary stepped to the microphone and addressed the Soldier Field faithful, thanking them, his teammates and coaches for his time as a Bear.
The Bears played this game with a fire and urgency they had not shown since October. They were also again with most of the personnel they had started the 1992 season with. Coach Mike Ditka, in a rage for most of the middle of the season, had pulled many starters at safety, cornerback, running back and at quarterback to shake things up, but losses were the only result. The most notable return in this game was quarterback Jim Harbaugh’s reappearance as the starter.
Harbaugh threw for just 90 yards in the game, but was efficient enough to guide the Bears to the victory. On the ground, Neal Anderson and Darren Lewis combined for 103 rushing yards, and Brad Muster added another 27, plus two receptions. The Bears defense was the real story of the game, playing with ferocity, tagging Steeler quarterback Bubby Brister with five sacks and two interceptions.
In this game, the audience also saw the final act of 1991 first round pick Stan Thomas. Thomas was a complete bustout as a starting left tackle in 1991 and 1992. As the losing 1992 campaign dragged on, Ditka did try to get Thomas playing time on the right side, but he was still ineffective. In the Steeler game, the audience was treated to a full-on shouting match between the coach and the turd on the sideline. The following season, new coach and personnel man Dave Wannstedt would cut Thomas before opening day.
On a personal note, I have always been intrigued by this game. It may have been a simple case of “on a given Sunday,” but watching the 1992 Bears put a whipping on a team that went to their conference championship game will always be evidence to me that this team quit on Mike Ditka. Which to me, will always be a shame.