One of my favorite seasons as a Bears fan was the 2001 season. It was the first season in my lifetime that the Bears were good, and I was old enough to remember, and it was a taste of the Bears playing postseason football, the only one under Dick Jauron.
When I was younger, my Uncle Rick was a die-hard 49ers fan, so every time the Bears played the 49ers, the stakes were a bit higher for me because I loved to see him eat crow for all the smack he talked leading up to the game. Sunday, October 28, 2001, was almost a disastrous Sunday for me. Uncle Rick was my Mom’s go-to baby sitter for my brothers and me at the time, and my Mother was a bartender, so like every Sunday, “Uncle Rico” was by my side for the day’s football action.
After San Francisco’s defensive line blew through the Bears’ front to drill Jim Miller, Julian Peterson scooped the Miller fumble up for a score, and the 49ers were off to the races. Steve Young’s heir under center in San Francisco, Jeff Garcia, drove San Francisco down the field on their next possession and a one-yard touchdown pass made it 14-0 San Fran in the first quarter.
A safety and a Shane Matthews touchdown score in the second quarter helped the Bears make a game of it, trailing the 49ers 14-9 at the half.
Garrison Hearst took a pass from Jeff Garcia 60 yards to the house on the second half’s opening possession to make it 21-9, and a Zack Bronson 97-yard interception made it 28-9 late in the third quarter.
An Anthony Thomas (A-Train baby!) touchdown run and a pair of Shane Matthews to David Terrell in the final minutes of regulation tied things up at 31-a-piece, and set the stage for one of the most memorable moments in Bears history:
Mike Brown’s game-winning pick-six gave the Bears the victory on the afternoon and gave me the green light to give my Uncle Rick some serious razzing. Brown would repeat his heroics next week against the Cleveland Browns as well.
You can get ready for this week’s matchup with the 49ers with my Week 1 Preview, here:
You can check out this week’s Bears Rewind in it’s entirety, here: