Stu answers our call for a new feature with something he calls "That Happened." Hopefully you enjoy this and we can make it a regular thing. Thanks for participating in cute kid week here on RandBall. Stu?
The Chicago Bears went 13-3 in 2001. Dick Jauron was the coach. Jim Miller was the starting quarterback.Wait, what? That can’t be right! CHECK YOUR FACTS! No, no, it definitely happened.
Surely, there’s some explanation! Widespread corruption and deviltry, hysterical blindness, a wormhole, perhaps? Actually, the Bears benefitted from the top-ranked defense in the NFL and a turnover differential of +13.How’d they do against the Vikings? 2-0. A 17-10 barnburner in Chicago and a 13-6 touchdown jubilee at the Dome. The Vikings’ 2001 season started with Korey Stringer’s death and ended with Spergon Wynn at quarterback and Dennis Green's ouster. You can feel free to block that entire year from your memory. Didn’t some of those Bears end up playing for Minnesota? Correct: Paul Edinger, D’Wayne Bates, and Marcus Robinson. Surely, the Bears couldn’t get very far in the playoffs with Dick Jauron coaching and Jim Miller quarterbacking? That would be like asking Lovie Smith to manage the clock well and Jay Cutler to not throw into triple coverage! I like the cut of your jib, sir! Good guess. They lost in the first round to Philadelphia, 33-19. Hey, just curious: how’d the Pack do that year? 12-4, beat San Francisco in the Wild Card, lost to St. Louis 45-17 in the divisional round. Green Bay’s QB threw 6 INTs that day, three of which were returned for touchdowns. I have not been able to find the name of their starting quarterback that day anywhere on the internet. We’re going to assume it was Craig Nall, and disregard any other guesses. Anything else, smart guy? On Jim Miller’s Wikipedia page, under the “Career highlights and awards” header, resides this text: “No notable achievements.” Awesome.