CHICAGO – There will never be a season quite like 2001 in Bears’ history, as the team shocked many in the NFL with a 13-3 record, winning a slew of close games to win their first division championship since 1990.
Inside that season were a pair of comebacks in consecutive games that ended the exact same way that fans are still talking about two decades after they happened.
Twenty years ago on Thursday, it was “The Mike Brown Game, Part II.”
Trailing the Browns 21-7 in the final minute at Soldeir Field on November 4, 2001, the Bears appeared to make the score look a little better when Shane Matthews threw a touchdown pass to Marty Booker to make it a seven-point game.
But the Bears weren’t finished as they would recover the ensuing onside kick, with Bobbie Howard coming out of the pile with the ball after a long scramble. Matthews would convert yet again, as his “Hail Mary” with no time remaining was tipped in the air and caught by James Allen in the endzone for the touchdown.
Paul Edinger’s extra point sent the game to overtime.
There it was the defense that came through, as Bryan Robinson tipped Tim Couch’s pass into the air, leaving Brown with the easy interception and return for a touchdown to give the Bears a 27-21 win. The safety ran straight into the tunnel after the score along with a few other teammates in one of the most memorable wins in Bears’ history.
What makes it even more incredible is that the same scenario took place the week before at Soldier Field against the 49ers. Down 28-9 in the second half, the Bears rallied to tie the game, and it was Brown who intercepted a tipped Jeff Garcia pass and returned it for the touchdown to give the Bears a win.
Those incredible comebacks were featured in Larry Hawley’s “Throwback Thursday” this week on WGN News Now, which you can see in the video above.