History Lesson

The Bears and Lions will meet for the 149th time to kickoff the 2004 season.<BR> Some of the previous 148 meetings have been produced some of the best (and worst) performances in Bear history.

Here's a look at some of the most memorable moments in this rivalry, which dates to 1930.

Big day: The only start of Marcus Anderson's NFL career came against the Lions and he made the most of it despite playing just slightly more than two quarters.

The wide receiver out of Tulsa caught six of Vince Evans' passes for a whopping 176 yards in the Bears' 48-17 loss at the Silverdome Oct. 19, 1981. Included in Anderson's total was an 85-yard touchdown hookup with Evans.

When Anderson left the game with bruised ribs in the third quarter, he had the highest single-game receiving yardage by a Bear in 15 seasons. At the time, Anderson's total was the 10th highest total in club annals.

Anderson output still ranks as the highest ever by a Bear against the Lions. That was the last game in which Anderson would have a catch for the Bears. He was waived the following August and played for the Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League but never put on an NFL uniform again.

What a rush: Rick Casares broke Beattie Feathers' 22-year old Bears single-game rushing record in a win over the Lions at Wrigley Field Dec. 16, 1956.

Casares, a fullback, rushed 17 times for 190 yards as the playoff-bound Bears closed the regular-season with a 38-21 victory. Casares easily broke Feathers' record of 155 yards, which was set Oct. 28, 1934 against the Green Bay Packers.

Casares' output is still the best by a Bear against the Lions and the seventh-best overall total in franchise history. The 11.2 yards a gain he averaged that day were the second-highest figure in club history and still stands as the third-best output in Bear history.

Walter Payton's best day against the Lions was a 160-yard effort on Sept. 18, 1977. Gale Sayers' best day against the Lions was a 124-yard effort on Nov. 6, 1966.

Bombs away: The legendary Sid Luckman recorded the Bears' second 300-yard passing game a week after he recorded the third 300-yard passing game in club annals.

On Oct. 19, 1947, Luckman was 18 of 26 for 342 yards in a 33-24 victory at Wrigley Field. Luckman threw for 314 yards a week earlier and set the club record with 433 passing yards Nov. 14, 1943 against the Giants. Go Deep: The longest pass play in Bears' history singed the Lions.

Bill Wade found John Farrington with a 98-yard touchdown pass in a 31-17 win at Tiger Stadium Oct. 8, 1961.

Block party: The Bears' 26-3 loss at the Silverdome Nov. 15, 1998 witnessed two rarities: A blocked extra-point and deflected field goal.

Diminutive Bear cornerback Terry Cousin blocked Jason Hanson's PAT while the Lions' Mark Spindler got his paw on Jeff Jaeger's 43-yard field goal attempt.

Happy return: The last time the Bears had a regular season interception return for a touchdown came at the expense of the Lions.

On Dec. 30, 2001, cornerback Walt Harris intercepted a Ty Detmer pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown in the Bears' 24-0 win at the Silverdome.

Way to throw: One quarter of Cade McNown's touchdown passes came in the Bears' 28-10 win over the Lions Dec. 19, 1999 at Soldier Field.

McNown threw scoring strikes in arguably the best game of his tumultuous two-year Bear career.

The left-hander found Marcus Robinson three times and Bobby Engram once in the end zone in becoming the first Bear to notch four TD passes in a game in two seasons. McNown, who finished with 28 TD passes in his Bear career, was 27 of 36 for 301 yards and two interceptions against the Lions that day.

No Bear has thrown four TD passes in a game since then.

Way to Throw-2: Charlie O'Rouke established a Bears' record when he averaged 17.1 yards a pass attempt in a 42-0 win over the Lions in Tiger Stadium Nov. 22, 1942. … Gene Ronzani set a club record by completing 83.3 percent of his passes (10 of 12) against the Lions Oct. 22, 1944. The 16.7 yards he averaged on each attempt still ranks third in team history… Ed Brown also completed 83.3 percent of his aerials (15 of 18) in a game against the Lions Nov. 20, 1955.

Pick-fest: The Lions were the last team to intercept a Bear quarterback five times in a game. In a 42-0 loss Sept. 22, 1968, Larry Rakestraw threw five INTs at Tiger Stadium. … Bob Margarita set a club record with three interceptions in a game Nov. 11, 1945. The feat has been equaled five times since then. … Todd Bell returned an interception 92-yards for a touchdown against the Lions Nov. 22, 1981 at Soldier Field. That was, and still is, the fourth-longest interception return in club history and the longest interception return in the history of Soldier Field.

Catching on: Marty Booker victimized the Lions with one of the all-time great days by a receiver in Bear history. Booker caught 10 passes for 157 yards in the Bears 20-17 overtime win Nov. 24, 2002 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. … Billy Stone averaged a stunning 37-yards a catch for the Bears in a 24-23 win over the Lions at Wrigley Field Nov. 23, 1952.

The boot: One of the Bears' best kicking performances came in a game against the Lions.

On Dec. 3, 1961, Roger LeClerc set a team-record, which still stands, with five field goals in a one-point loss Dec. 3, 1961 at Wrigley Field.

The 3-pointers accounted for all of the Bears' points in the setback. The five field goals are also the most ever by a Bear kicker with no misses in a game.

Linebacker Bill George had one of the best days of his Hall of Fame career that game. George came up with a club-record four takeaways with two interceptions and two fumbles which begs the question: How did the Bears lose that one? More special teams: Punter Todd Sauerbrun had his best game, by average, as a Bear against the Lions. On Nov. 27, 1997, Sauerbrun averaged 53.6 yards a punt. … Current Titan coach Jeff Fisher returned a Bear-record eight punts in a win at Detroit Dec. 16, 1984.

Covering up: Quarterback Gary Huff is the only Bear to recover three of his own fumbles in a game. On Sept. 15, 1974 against the Lions, Huff pounced on three of his own miscues. … Two years later at Detroit, running back Johnny Musso became the only Bear to recover his own fumble and return it for a touchdown.

Bear-Lion bits: The Lions last shutout of the Bears came in a 20-0 win on Thanksgiving Day 1979 in the Silverdome. … The Bears last shutout over the Lions came in 2001 at the Silverdome. … The last shutout in this series in Chicago was the Lions' 14-0 win at Wrigley Field in 1964. … The Bears last Chicago shutout of the Lions was a 3-0 decision in Wrigley Field in 1962.

Bear Report Top Stories