Wednesday, January 26, 2022

36 Years Ago Today: Bears Win Super Bowl XX


46-10 and it wasn’t even that close. 

New England went up 3-0 on the first possession but then had to watch as the Bears scored 44 straight points, with the unbelievably dominant defense sacking the QB 7 times and forcing 6 turnovers while holding them to 7 yards rushing. 

After the Patriots finally scored a meaningless TD in the 4th quarter to make it 44-10, the Bears scored the final points of the game — on defense, of course — with a safety. 

Savage beatings don’t come any worse than this, and the Chicago area has never seen a party quite like the one they had that night. 

If you’re not from around here, you cannot fully comprehend just how viscerally connected this community is to the Bears. 

It goes far deeper than sports, it’s more of a cultural and tribal identity, and that ‘85 team captured the imagination and attention of the entire area like nothing I’ve ever seen. You had to live here and soak in it to really understand and appreciate it. 

They were perfectly positioned to become exactly what they became that year, with a HOF legend from when they were bad in Walter Payton, and a rookie who became a national media sensation in William “The Fridge” Perry, but the vast bulk and real strength of the team was 3-5 year veterans who were in their prime, drafted and developed internally, like Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Jim McMahon, Jimbo Covert, Willie Gault, and many many more. 

The key to this team was the D line, so big, fast, and athletic that they consistently put incredible pressure on the QB without blitzing — which of course created all kinds of turnovers and general chaos for the other team’s offense. It was like a jailbreak on every snap, and the opponent’s panic was palpable. The defense only allowed 100+ yards rushing 3 times all year, and none in the playoffs, gave up the fewest rushing yards, attempts, and TDs in the league, forced 54 turnovers (6 times with 5+), scored 5 touchdowns and 3 safeties, and outscored the opponent in at least 2-3 games that season. 

The season stat line is here.

It was an incredible thing to watch, and Bears games all season were a complete party atmosphere.


Full game (2:13)

This team was built by GM Jim Finks who built dynasties the best way by drafting for D-line and O-line strength up the middle on both sides of the ball, in the CFL (Calgary in the 60s), the NFL (Minnesota in the 70s, Chicago in the 80s, New Orleans in the late 80s). As a result of his philosophy, everywhere he went his teams were solid for years and years after he took control, but somehow he is largely forgotten now.