32nd Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game

32nd Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979

Vikings 21, Bears 20: October 4, 1992

Anyone who was alive and watching the Bears in 1992 remembers this game.  And those that weren’t have certainly seen replays.  Within this game came the final unraveling of Bears legend Mike Ditka, and it ended up being the final nail in his coffin as Bears coach.

Following a stunning opening day win over Detroit, the Bears dropped to 2-2 on losses to the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints.  Chicago then pounded Atlanta leading into the matchup with the revamped Vikings, led by rookie coach Dennis Green.  Minnesota led the division with a 3-1 record, and the Bears and Packers were 2-2, so already they were playing for their playoff lives.

As many problems as the ’92 Bears had, they didn’t show through the first three quarters on this day in the Metrodome.  Chicago’s attack was steady and effective early on in this game.  Tom Waddle caught a diving touchdown pass from Jim Harbaugh, and the quarterback himself ran for another.  These scores with two Kevin Butler field goals gave the Bears a 20-0 lead early in the final period.  The Bears seemed destined to win.

With 12-some minutes remaining in the game, the Bears had just stopped the Vikings again and had the ball on their own 35.  If the Bears would be able to grind out a drive ending in a field goal, the game would have been out of reach.  Hell, with a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter it should have already been out of reach.  Harbaugh stepped to the line, and running back Neal Anderson went into motion to the left.  Harbaugh dropped back and threw a quick pass to the left, aiming for Anderson, but the pass flew well off its apparent target and landed in the hands of Viking defensive back Todd Scott.  Nothing but daylight stood between Scott and the end zone, and the Metrodome crowd erupted.

But the crowd wasn’t all that erupted.  Television cameras cut to Ditka on the sideline, and the voliatle coach exploded like never before.  As Harbaugh approached the sidelines, Ditka repeatedly cursed the quarterback, paced and emulated throwing his clipboard.  Harbaugh mainly looked straight ahead.  It would later be revealed that Harbaugh was under a strict no audible directive in the din of Minnesota’s stadium, and he had disobeyed his coach’s orders by doing just that.  (Anderson was not prepared for nor expecting the pass when it came his way).

Chicago fans can imagine the ending even if they didn’t see the game.  The Vikings went on to surge for two more fourth-quarter touchdowns and won the game in stunning fashion.  Ditka spoke later shot back at the media by saying “99 plays I’m calm and on one I get excited.  And you sonofabitches have to make a big deal about it.  If you think this is a G–d–n soap opera, you’re full of sh*t.”

The 1992 Bears would recover briefly, winning their next two games and possessing a 4-3 record, but it was for naught as they lost seven of the final eight to seal their legendary coach’s fate.

5 Responses to “32nd Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game”

  1. It was the first full Bears game i managed to watch (finally!). I had seen this game on tape with my father and brother! Both of them were rooting for the Vikings and man were they making fun of me at the end of the contest!
    Oh yeah I do remember the Coach yelling at Harbaugh; he WAS pissed off, and with reason, even I could understand it as a teenager: why the hell throw a pass at that moment? And I was disgusted too: I had waited for months to finally get my hands on a bears game tape, only to see them lose in such an embarrassing fashion. Plus now my brother gets a grin on his face every time I talk about the Bears.
    The previous game highlights I had seen from the bears: their playoff loss to the Giants (I recall some newspaper saying the bears got “drubbed”; i remember looking into the dictionnary to find out what that meant…).
    I knew then being a Bears fan was not going to be easy.
    The next game highlight I saw: the 46th most memorable game…

  2. Roy – You perfectly summed it up – this was the beginning of the end for the Ditka regime. The Bears had played SO well for 3+ quarters, only to let the momentum be stolen away on one play. Because of the postgame interview you cited, he let the fallout from “the Audible” remain a topic of contention w/ the local media the rest of the season – even w/ Johnny Morris on the “Mike Ditka Show”.

    It was only the 5th game of the year, yet any door to a playoff berth left cracked open with the wins over TB and GB was slammed shut the next time they played the Vikes, where they got “drubbed” 38-10 by Del Rio, McMillian & company on MNF.

  3. I was in the stadium that day — completely sucked. At 20-0, and the game nearly over, I remembered being somewhat worried that three TDs would cover — sadly I was right. I remember sitting there in silent disbelief as the clock hit 0:00 and the crowd started clearing out. To Vikes fans I give credit — sitting there in my ’85 Jim McMahon jersey and no one razzed me any.

  4. This pretty much explains my irrational hatred of Jim Harbaugh. This single game sentenced Bears Nation to 12 years in the wilderness. In my opinion if Harbaugh doesn’t blow it right there the Bears make the playoffs that year and we never get the chance to know Wanny or Jauron.
    Harbaugh set a record that season for pick 6′s in a single season.
    I realize of course that if you were to make a list of worst Bears QB’s Harbaugh probably wouldn’t make the top 10. But his mistakes sabatoged the franchise like no other player.

  5. Ross Bellinghausen on June 6th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    are also online sources will assist you in finding out what options are availabl http://www.teachopedia.com/node/27477 ,e to you. Contacting an insurance company directly or going through a broker are also route you can take to obtain your

Leave a Reply