Eight Years Since Chicago Bears Last Super Bowl Appearance
Happy Anniversary Chicago Bears fans. Eight years ago today, the Bears made their last Super Bowl appearance, a 29-17 loss to Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts. It all started off so promisingly:
Even after Hester’s return, the Bears still had some momentum. Chris Harris intercepted Peyton Manning on the Colts’ first possession and things were looking up. Unfortunately, after the Bears couldn’t move the ball, Manning exploited a blown coverage (sound familiar) for an easy Reggie Wayne touchdown.
After trading turnovers, the Bears marched down and scored on a 4-yard Rex Grossman to Muhsin Muhammed touchdown set up by a 52-yard run by Thomas Jones. That pretty much summed up the Bears’ offensive success for the day.
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In a driving rainstorm, Rex Grossman wasn’t able to move the ball and ultimately couldn’t hang on to the ball. The Bears managed only three more points the rest of the way while Peyton Manning and the Colts meticulously carved up the Bears defense. After the Wayne pass, Manning didn’t throw another TD as Dominic Rhodes scored a rushing TD, Adam Vinatieri booted three field goals and Kelvin Hayden iced the game with a 56-yard pick-6. It was a devastating loss, especially when you consider the Bears led the game 14-6 at the end of the first quarter. Check out the complete box score if you really want the gory details.
It’s been eight long years since that trip to South Florida. Since that time, the Bears have made the playoffs exactly one time. ONCE!!! They beat the Seahawks in the Divisional round before the loss to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Is it any wonder the Bears are on their third head coach and GM combo since that fateful season?
As I think back to that Super Bowl, I’ll always remember the Devin Hester kick return, probably the single most exciting moment in my sports viewing lifetime. I remember as Hester zigged and zagged his way down the field, the group I was with had sort of a group hug, jumping up and down. By the time Hester scored, I was at the bottom of a pile wondering what the hell had just happened. That moment was probably the pinnacle of Chicago Bears football since the 1985 season.
As Ryan Pace and John Fox gut the Bears and re-build this roster, I hope they look toward sustained success rather than short term gains. It’s been too long between Super Bowls and the Chicago Bears last Super Bowl appearance.