'85 Bears Flashback: Bears Thump Redskins 45-10

This season marks the 25th anniversary of the 1985 Super Bowl Bears. We’ll look back at all of the games leading up to the last Lombardi Trophy being hoisted at Halas Hall. To take the full trip down memory lane, check out Run The Ball for a complete DVD series of every game of the histiric 1985 Bears season. Tell them Bear Goggles On sent you! You can also get your ticket to join the ’85 Bears in their Glory Days Reunion here.  Special thanks to a couple of YouTube channels for the great ’85 Bears stuff they have as well – here and here.  Check em out!

September 29, 1985

The Washington Redskins headed to town to face off with the 3-0 Bears, who were coming off a thrilling Thursday night comeback against the Vikings.  As an NFC powerhouse, the Redskins would provide a big test for the surging Bears.   The Skins’ Dexter Manley stirred things up leading into game week by declaring that the Redskins “had to knock Walter Payton out of the game.” They achieved that goal, holding Payton to just 6 yards on 7 carries.  But these weren’t the Bears of old, where if you stopped Payton, you stopped the Bears.

It didn’t start out very well for the Bears, as they would trail Washington 10-0 early in the 2nd quarter.  But that’s when things took a turn when Willie Gault returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.  The Bears wouldn’t look back after that.  The Bears poured it on, piling up 45 unanswered points to send the Skins home with a 45-10 loss.  Check out some highlights:

Hit the jump for some game notes, courtesy of Chicago Tribune Archives:

– The Bears` 45 points were the most they`ve scored since they routed Green Bay 61-7 on Dec. 7, 1981.

– Joe Theismann is glad he doesn`t have to face the Bears` defense again this year. He was intercepted twice and sacked four times.

“They have the best front four in football,“ Theismann said. “With those four guys and the blitzing and that great defensive scheme, they create a lot of problems. There`s a whole lot of pressure in a hurry out there. They put you in a situation where you have to make a great play every time out.“

– Rookie quarterback Mike Tomczak of Calumet City got the first game action of his professional career in the final two minutes. He handed the ball off three times to Tom Sanders.

– To compensate for the absence of strong safety Dave Duerson, who was out with a groin injury, the Bears started in their “46“ defense. Linebacker Wilber Marshall played Duerson`s spot and Cliff Thrift played Marshall`s spot. Rookie William Perry also got his first start at tackle in place of Mike Hartenstine.

In the conventional 4-3 defense, Shaun Gayle replaced Duerson. When Duerson replaced holdout Todd Bell at the start of the season, Duerson`s health was defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan`s main concern.

The Bears gave up 130 yards to the Redskins in the first quarter, when they were digging themselves a 10-0 hole. What did Ryan say?

“Beep, beep, beep, beep. Gotta censor that,“ said linebacker Otis Wilson.

After that outburst, the Redskins were held to drives of minus-6, 3, 4, and minus-2 yards on four of their next five possessions.

– Andy Frederick “did a great job“ on Manley, said McMahon. Frederick was subbing for injured Jimbo Covert.

– Defensive end Richard Dent apparently was terrorizing Washington left tackle Joe Jacoby, who was lining up so far off the line of scrimmage that Dent complained to officials.

“They said he was still in the zone,“ said Dent. “It makes it hard when a guy is back that far.“

– Coach Mike Ditka doesn`t know how many points it will take for defenses to stop overplaying Payton.

Payton said the Redskins blitzed to cover up weak coverage in their secondary.

“Nobody has really run the ball on Washington. They blitz for a reason. They have people back there who can`t cover one-on-one,“ said Payton.

– McMahon was asked whether the treacherous Soldier Field wind caused several of his passes to flutter.

For the complete box score and game stats, check out Pro-Football Reference and tune in each week as we chronicle each game of the historic 1985 season.  You can find the game summaries filed under the Flashback category.

BEAR DOWN!!!

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  • Shag

    I remember this game quite well. After Willie Gault’s KO return touchdown, I looked at my dad and said, ‘Dad, we’re going to the SB this year, I can feel it.’ He seemed really agitated by it, like somehow little old 14-year old me was going to ‘jinx’ the Bears and cost them a title shot. I reminded him of my early-season prediction in the 2nd half of SB XX, he just smiled at me, and I knew all was forgiven.