47th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Bears 23, Lions 20: December 23, 2000
This game was a turning point for both teams. It signaled that the Bears were on the upswing, even though we found out that upswing would only last one season. For the Lions, this game signaled they were entering a morass from which they have not emerged for a full decade.
The Lions jumped out to a 10-0 lead as expected. The Bears were again quarterbacked by Shane Matthews, who had bounced from bench to starter after an injury to Jim Miller and incapable play by Cade McNown. The Bears looked as if they would lose this game and fall to a record of 4-12 until late-game heroics from the defense. First, backup cornerback R.W. McQuarters returned a Stoney Case interception 61 yards for a touchdown. This gave the Bears the lead, which they watched evaporate on a Jason Hanson field goal.
Then with just minutes left, McQuarters again came up big, sacking case and forcing a fumble which was recovered by the Bears. McNown returned to take his final snaps as a Bear due to a Matthews injury, guiding the Bears just far enough to allow Paul Edinger to kick the game-winning 54-yard field goal. The Lions missed a shot at the playoffs, and the Bears entered the following season on the upswing.