Legendary Bears quarterback Caleb Jeffery Hanie hands the ball off to Bears running back Marion Barber who reads his blocking and busts the run outside. Barber already had 100 yards on the day, he was the team’s workhorse back this game... but he had already made a costly mistake with a fumble earlier on.
What Barber needed to do was pick up as many yards as practical then get down somewhere in bounds to keep the clock running, since Denver was out of timeouts.
What Barber actually did was finish off his seven-yard run by scampering out of bounds, stopping the clock.
Here’s the video from NFL.com:
The Bears failed to convert on third down, but the stoppage left plenty of time for future Broncos Hall Of Fame QB Timothy Richard Tebow to lead Denver down the field for a game-tying field goal, leading ultimately to a Bears loss in overtime.
The loss was one of the games that both propelled Denver into the playoffs and sealed Chicago’s doom to a playoff-free 8-8 season.
There have been a TON of plays we would like to have back over the last 20 years, offhand I can think of a dozen that come instantly to mind. But this is the one that sticks out formost to me.
If you had the power to change ONE play in the last 20 years of Chicago Bears history (just the outcome of the play, not injury prevention) what would it be? I have a funny feeling the name Chris Conte may come up.