Bears edge Lions on last-second TD

September 07, 1992|By Fred Mitchell | Fred Mitchell,Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- It was a big-game situation every young bo dreams about.

Fourth-down-and-goal on the 6-yard line.

Five seconds left. Trailing by four points.

Playing against the defending division champions on opening day.

Jim Harbaugh and Tom Waddle enacted the dream yesterday, hooking up on a last-second, 6-yard touchdown pass to salvage a 27-24 Chicago Bears victory over the stunned Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

The call in the huddle was "13-wing Jet," the same play that Harbaugh and Waddle collaborated on to beat the New Orleans Saints Oct. 27 in the Superdome.

It was compelling theater, encore performance or not.

Wide receiver Wendell Davis cleared out his man -- cornerback Ray Crockett -- deep into the corner of the end zone. Waddle cut in front of Davis and Crockett, across the middle. Harbaugh looked away to freeze the linebackers, then fired a low bullet into the arms of Waddle.

"We ran that pass earlier and they killed Tommy on that twice," coach Mike Ditka said. "We took the motion off [the play], and that made the guy [safety Harry Colon] trying to get to him have to go through Davis, who was going to the corner. Harbaugh threw the ball absolutely perfect. Couldn't have thrown it any better."

The Bears won their ninth straight opening-day game in front of 63,672 enthralled fans who saw the lead change four times in the fourth period.

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