Chicago Bears Quarterbacks: Top 10 All-Time

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#7 All-Time Bears QB, Erik Kramer

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Erik Kramer came to the Bears in 1994 after being an on-again/off-again starter for the Detroit Lions where he shared signal calling duties with the likes of Rodney Peete and the highly-drafted Andre Ware.  During his time in the Motor City Kramer passed for 3,408 yards over three seasons, posting a W/L record of 10-5 with 23 TDs and 19 INTs.  He was best known for — and the playoff starved Lions fans will attest to this — his role as starting quarterback in Detroit’s 1991 divisional round playoff game where he went 29 of 38 for 341 yards, three TDs and without an interception in a 38-6 pummeling of the Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile in Chicago the last traces of 80s dominance were almost completely gone and after a 5-11 performance in 1992, Mike Ditka was fired as head coach. Jim Harbaugh was primarily under center from ’92-’93, starting 28 of the 32 games as the Bears went 12-20 during that time, giving way at times to Peter Tom Willis and Will Furrer. After going 7-9 in his first season as head coach in 1993, Dave Wannstedt looked to change things up at QB and brought in Kramer along with Steve Walsh.

In 1994 Walsh was the better performer of the two, going 8-3 in 11 starts while Kramer struggled to come up with victories and posted a 1-4 record in his 5 starting opportunities. Walsh ultimately led the Bears to an upset victory (35-18) over the Minnesota Vikings in the wildcard round of the ’94 playoffs, but the team got housed the following week against the 49ers (44-15).  In 1995 it was Kramer’s turn and  he started all 16 games, setting single-season records along the way.

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Some numbers from Kramer’s 1995 performance:

  • 315 completions in 522 attempts (both are 3rd most in team history)
  • 3,838 yards (highest single-season total in team history)
  • 29 TDs (highest single-season total in team history)
  • Jeff Graham (1,301) and Curtis Conway (1,037) became the first WR tandem in team history to each have over 1,000 receiving yards in the same year

The Bears went 9-7 that year under Kramer but unfortunately finished 3rd in a tough NFC Central and missed out on a trip to the playoffs. 1996 was the year of Dave Krieg (why!?!) as once again Kramer struggled, going 1-3 in his 4 starts throwing only three TDs to go with six INTs.  Rick Mirer was brought in to be the starter for the 1997 season but bombed out in his first 3 starts, giving way for Kramer once again.

In ’97 Kramer threw for 3,011 yards (ninth most in team history) but the team bumbled its way to a 4-12 record.  1998 wasn’t any better as Kramer played less, sharing QB duties with Stenstrom and Moreno, and the Bears once again went 4-12.  That was Kramer’s last year with the Bears but by then he had unquestionably left his mark.

Next: #6: Billy the Kid