Great Games in Bears History

The Bears entered the 1990 campaign with high hopes, despite a 6-10 record the previous season. And those high hopes were realized in the season opener against the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

The key was a balanced offense, led by quarterback Jim Harbaugh (21 of 29 for 203 yards) and running back Neal Anderson (101 rushing yards on 20 carries, five pass receptions and two touchdowns). On the defensive side of the ball, safety Shaun Gayle had seven tackles and an interception.

Their efforts were enough for a 17-0 Bears win, which sent the 64,400 Soldier Field fans home happy.

"It was a good example of a team playing hard," said Head Coach Mike Ditka. "It wasn't very fancy. We have a lot of room for improvement, but the defense was awesome. I really commend them on the job they did of putting the pressure on their quarterback early in the game."

How strong was the Bears' defense? Seattle never got closer to the end zone than the Bears' 45-yard line. It was the Bears' first opening-day shutout since 1949, when the Bears beat the Green Bay Packers by the same score.

The Bears "D" set the tone on the first play from scrimmage, when linemen Dan Hampton and Richard Dent burst through Seattle's blockers and sacked Seahawks' QB Dave Krieg. Krieg was held to 12 completions on 27 attempts for 91 yards and three interceptions.

The first pickoff was by Gayle, who stole the errant aerial when Steve "Mongo" McMichael rocked Krieg. Four plays later, Kevin Butler kicked a 47-yarder to put the Bears on top 3-0. Soon after, Stinson picked off Krieg, which led to a 17-yard scoring scamper by Anderson.

"Anytime you shut out anyone in the National Football League, it is truly a great effort," said Ditka. "I thought our secondary challenged people. We asked them to do that today, especially Donnell Woolford and Lemuel Stinson. I don't know that I've seen a much better job at safety than Shaun Gayle played out there. He was all over the football field. And, of course, Mark Carrier is a good addition for us."

A 96-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter put the Seahawks away for good. Anderson, who caught a 36-yard pass from Harbaugh on the drive, finished the possession with a four-yard scoring burst to put the exclamation point on the 17-0 victory.

"I like to catch passes," said Anderson. "It shows a little versatility. It is just another way to get me the ball. It doesn't matter if you run it or catch it. If you can split me out and get me the ball five or six yards downfield, I think I can do a lot of damage with it."

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