Chicago Bears Top 100: #48 Jim Harbaugh

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We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off. Thanks to Bear Goggles On contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 100 list of the all time Chicago Bears.  It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.

Next up in our Top 100 Countdown is former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh.  The Bears selected Harbaugh with the 26th selection in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft out of Michigan.  Harbaugh started his Bears career slowly, starting only 7 games over his first three seasons combined.  By Harbaugh’s fourth season in 1990, he started the first 14 games of the season and posted a 10-4 record as the team went 11-5 and won the NFC Central.  Due to a shoulder injury, Harbaugh missed the last two games of the season and the playoffs.

Harbaugh’s best season with the Bears came in 1991, when he threw for over 3100 yards and 15 TD’s.  Back in those days of Chicago Bears football, those were pretty big numbers.  Harbaugh was locked in as the starter for the Bears through the through the 1993 season.  The Bears struggled in 1992, as the Bears missed the playoffs and fired Mike Ditka.

His most infamous game that most Bears fans will remember is “The Audible” game.  With the Bears comfortably up 20-0, an ill-advised audible by Harbaugh led to a pick-6 and propelled the Vikings to a 21-20 win over the Bears.  Here’s a highlight reel from the game, from the Vikings point of view.

Despite that game and his relatively pedestrian numbers, Jim Harbaugh ranks third in Chicago Bears history with over 11,000 passing yards, seventh in touchdowns with 50 and second in completions with 1023 over seven season with the Bears.  Harbaugh went on to play with the Colts, Ravens and Chargers for 7 more seasons but none were nearly as successful as his time with the Bears.  Harbaugh went on to have a very successful coaching career, going from head coach at San Diego to Stanford in the college ranks before taking over the 49ers in 2011 until today.  Mike Ditka called Harbaugh one of the most competitive people he’s ever met.  We call him one of the Top 100 Chicago Bears of all time.

What do you think of the ranking?  Too high?  Too low?  I guess you’ll have to check back to see who finished ahead of him to judge for yourself.  We’ll be counting down a different person each day as we inch our way to the September 7th season opener.

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