One of the most debatable topics among sports fans is “Which NFL team ranks as the best of all time?”
The 1985 Chicago Bears were coached by Mike Ditka. They had a quarterback from Brigham Young named Jim McMahon. Their running back was one of the greatest in history and at the time had the most rushing yards in history. His name was Walter Peyton.
But, the thing that made the 1985 Bears the “best” was their defense. It’s ranked No. 1 all time by NFL.com. They had Buddy Ryan as their defensive coordinator and he put in a system that completely confused opponents offenses. In fact in practice before the 1985 season started, fights would break out between the offense and defense due to Buddy Ryan’s system and huge egos. Coach Ryan’s defense was named “46 defense” due to safety Doug Planks’ number.
The defense was first in NFL preventing offensive scoring. Opponents averaged 12.5 points per game. The Bears had 4 shutouts. Two were in regular season and two were in the post season.
One of the most inspiring and motivating factors was the 1984 season and playoff appearance. Then, the Bears were 10-6 and lost in the NFC championship game to then 15-1 San Francisco 49ers.
The Bears record was 15-1 with their only regular season loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. When playing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, they allowed only 10 points and scored 46 on offense.
In there 2 playoff games they outscored opponents 45-0 and were the first team in NFL history to shut out both playoff opponents.
Their 38 point Super Bowl margin of victory was a record surpassing all previous Super Bowl participants. Mike Singletary was a defensive linebacker that solidified a rushing wall and a pass rush to shut down offenses.
Off the field, Chicago players became celebrities with parties, and night clubs during the week as their popularity grew and stardom increased. They made a music video called the “Super Bowl Shuffle” that played on MTV.
Quarterback Jim McMahon did not stay away from controversy by wearing headbands with Adidas sponsorship on it. He was fined but wore headbands next games and writing comical remarks to the NFL commissioner. The defense also allowed 258 yards per game which also was first among all teams in the NFL.
In the Super Bowl game, the defense recorded 7 sacks of the quarterback and only one rushing first down. Both of these records are still not matched over 30 years later.
I believe their dominant defense and wild characters allowed them to dominate all teams. They left a permanent impression among all NFL historians.