We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
There are currently no #54′s on the Bears because that number will forever be linked to one the best defensive players in Chicago Bear history, Brian Urlacher. As a tribute to the future Hall of Fame middle linebacker, I am going to share my personal top 5 memories of Urlacher, indicating 54 days until the Chicago Bears season opener. Most Bears fans have their own Urlacher memories, but these are ones that will forever be embedded in my mind throughout my life:
#5 – Bears vs. Redskins: The TD Reception – 2001
The surprising 10-3 Bears went into Washington needing a win desperately, and in 2001, they seemed to win games in unconventional ways. This game was a perfect example of this. Trailing 13-10 late in the game and lining up for a field goal, Brad Maynard, the holder on the fake field goal, threw a 27-yard pass to Urlacher for the winning touchdown. This play showcased the athleticism of Urlacher but was also an iconic play as Urlacher was transitioning into superstardom.
#4 – Bears vs. Packers: Urlacher Picks Off Favre, Bears Crush Pack – 2007
The 2007 season was a disappointment to say the least, as the Bears were not able to come close to defending their NFC title from the previous year. The Bears came into a December game against the 12-2 Packers and Brett Favre, who appeared to be coasting to another division title. However, the 5-9 Bears crushed the Pack at Soldier Field and it was Urlacher’s 85-yard interception return for a touchdown that put the icing on the cake. Urlacher picked off Favre and went into the end zone untouched, giving Bear fans something to enjoy in a very un-enjoyable season. Plus, it was always more fun to watch Urlacher beat Favre and the Packers, and they did exactly that on this day.