Great Games in Bears History

Thanksgiving Day victory provides festive atmosphere <P> Is there anything tastier for a Bears' fan than sitting on the sofa to watch the Bears play football on Thanksgiving Day, then waddling over to the dining room table for a traditional Thanksgiving feast? Of course, if the Bears lose on Thanksgiving Day, that can create a bit of indigestion before you even sit down to eat.

When the Bears traveled to the Pontiac Silverdome to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in 1993, Dave Wannstedt's Bears had a 5-5 record and left in time for dinner with a 6-5 record, thanks to a not-too-pretty10-6 victory.

The win was the Bears' third straight road victory, and the Bears became the first NFL team to win three straight road games in a 12-day span. "They are a tired team in that locker room," Coach Wannstedt said after the game.

One of the day's heroes was wide receiver Terry Obee from the University of Oregon, who went deep for a 42-yard scoring pass from Jim Harbaugh, the only touchdown on the day.

The Bears' defense was the story in the first half, forcing two interceptions and two fumbles out of Lions' quarterback Rodney Peete. The Bears' swarming defense, led by the ferocious front four of Richard Dent, Trace Armstrong, Chris Zorich and Steve McMichael, finished the game with five sacks and held Detroit and future Hall of Famer Barry Sanders to 84 yards rushing.

Late in the first quarter, Kevin Butler kicked a 27-yard field goal set up when Dent sacked Peete, forcing a fumble that Armstrong recovered at the Lions' 31-yard line. Detroit kicker Jason Hanson tied the game 3-3 in the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal.

The Lions were driving the ball again at the end of the half, when Armstrong burst through, forced Peete to cough up the ball and recovered the rolling pigskin at the Lions' 42-yard line. On the next play, Harbaugh and Obee hooked up on a post pattern, and Obee's diving catch at the goal line made for a 10-3 halftime lead.

"Jim threw a great pass," said Obee. "I am thankful to make a catch like that on Thanksgiving Day. Earlier in the week, our offensive coaches felt that play would work because the Lions double-team (Tom) Waddle on that play. I think they underestimated me."

Punter Chris Gardocki rescued the Bears from a possible disaster in the third quarter when the center snap sailed over his head. He beat the Lions' Ryan McNeil to the loose ball and got off a punt from the Bears' end zone that bounced to the Lions' 44-yard line. "I got lucky and got a good roll," said Gardocki.

The Bears' defense stood tall throughout the rest of the second half. Before Bears fans knew it, it was time for dinner.


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