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Darnell Mooney’s Best Bears’ Moment in 2021 Absolutely Electrified Soldier Field

Week 11 was a wild ride fueled by Money’s 121 receiving yards.

Darnell Mooney Chicago Bears screen pass 60 yard touchdown Baltimore Ravens Soldier Field
Photo: ChicagoBears.com

When you look back on the Chicago Bears’ 2021 season, a lot of emotions come into play. The anticipation built from the moment they drafted a potential franchise quarterback. There was excitement in the air and for good reason. Although, one of the many moments I remember feeling truly excited about had nothing to do with the rookie quarterback. Darnell Mooney gave Bears fans an intense glimpse of hope that shook Soldier Field and a play that will forever be at the top of his highlight reel.

Week 11 – AFC Favorite Baltimore comes to Soldier Field

Who would have thought the Bears of 2021 — sitting ugly at 3-6 — would be just a touchdown away from a tie football game against an AFC favorite: the Baltimore Ravens? That’s exactly where they were when Darnell Mooney rocked an Andy Dalton screen pass for a 60-yard touchdown.

The game was about halfway through the third quarter and the Ravens were only leading 6-0. The Bears’ defense actually managed to hold the touted Baltimore offense to only two field goals. This, of course, was without Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but backup QB Tyler Huntley still managed to record over 200 passing yards.

Darnell Mooney and Andy Dalton connect for a total gem

It was first down on the Bears’ own 40-yard line. Andy Dalton grabbed the snap and whipped the ball to Mooney almost immediately. Naturally, as a Bears fan, whenever they attempt a screen pass I usually try to avoid watching the inevitable pass for negative yards — or as my father would say — the worst play in the football.

But on this play, it didn’t. Mooney caught the ball and bolted forward with a handful of blockers leading the way. He almost goes down before breaking free and running all the way into the endzone to tie the game. Cairo Santos kicked the extra point, the Bears took the lead, and Soldier Field went nuts.

The Bears ended up losing this game 16-13, falling to a record of 3-7. But the excitement Darnell Mooney gave us was good enough. He finished the day with five catches for 121 yards, nearing his career-high at the time of 125. Mooney’s highlights consist of a ton of amazing catches. I didn’t forget the one-handed catch against Detroit. But this play was engraved into our minds and hearts in 2021.

Darnell Mooney has a bright future ahead of him and a nice rapport with Justin Fields is building. We can expect great things from these two and many more moments just like this — with a little less Andy Dalton — for many years to come. When the Bears finally move out of Soldier Field and Chicago entirely, maybe Mooney will catch a game-winning touchdown pass from Fields in their brand new Arlington Heights location, becoming another team to win a championship in their home stadium. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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