52nd Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Vikings 27, Bears 24: November 14, 1999
The 1999 Bears could have been one of the more exciting 6-10 teams in NFL history. This game took place one week after the Bears’ first win over Green Bay in five years. The Packer win had come in the final seconds when defensive end Bryan Robinson blocked a Ryan Longwell field goal attempt, in the first game after Walter Payton‘s tragic death. The Vikings were 5-4 entering this game, and the Bears 4-5 with new hope for the season.
Also new for the Bears was journeyman quarterback Jim Miller making his first start of the season. Chicago had bounced around its starting quarterbacks that season. Shane Matthews started the year until he suffered an injury in the first Vikings game. Rookie Cade McNown started the Packers game, but was relieved by Miller when he too was injured. Miller would start the Viking game with two injured backups.
On Minnesota’s side, following a brilliant 1998 campaign, Randall Cunningham had been benched in favor of Jeff George. Under George the Viking offense, led by Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Robert Smith, didn’t miss a beat.
This 1999 battle was a high-powered, back and forth contest. The Bears struck first on a 77-yard bomb from Miller to phenom receiver Marcus Robinson. After the Vikings answered, rookie receiver Marty Booker took a wide receiver screen pass from Miller and raced 56 yards for another score. This was the game in which Bear offensive coordinator Gary Crowton’s “razzle dazzle” attack shined the most-Miller would finish with 422 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.
But the Bear defense was atrocious, giving up 204 receiving yards to Moss and three touchdowns to Carter. The Bears had the ability to win the game as kicker Chris Boniol lined up for a chip-shot field goal at the end of the game, but he missed, sending the game to overtime and an eventual Minnesota win.