’85 Bears Flashback: Bears Come Back to Beat Bucs

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!

October 6, 1985

The Bears made their then-annual trip to Tampa to face the division-rival Bucs.   Coming off a big win over the powerhouse Redskins and a season opening win over Tampa, this should have been a walk in the park with the doormat Tampa squad.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Bucs jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Kevin Butler’s last second field goal got the Bears on the board.  The third quarter was all Bears with a McMahon to Dennis McKinnon TD pass followed by another Butler FG to get the Bears back to within a field goal.

It was Walter Payton’s turn in the fourth quarter.  A Payton TD opened up the Bears’ lead to 20-12.  The Bucs answered with a TD of their own to close the margin to 1 point.  A late Payton touchdown run sealed the deal and sent the Bears home with their perfect record intact.   Check out some highlights:

Here’s what I was able to dig up from the Tribune archives, from Don Pierson:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don`t know any better, and the Bears don`t know any worse. That`s the main reason the Bears stayed undefeated Sunday and the Bucs stayed winless by a score of 27-19.

It was the closest the Bears have come this season to checking out how the other half lives.

The Bucs` only excuse is they failed to recognize the alternative. They had the Bears down 12-0 and figured that was right where they didn`t want them.

The Bucs of that era sound like the current Lions team, a group that hasn’t figured out how to win.  More from Pierson on the Bears’ win:

It took three big catches by tight end Emery Moorehead and two touchdown runs by Walter Payton, the 100th and 101st touchdowns of his career, to put the Bucs away in the fourth quarter. The Bears hadn`t led until Kevin Butler`s 30-yard field goal put them up 13-12 on the final play of the third period.

“We were fortunate,“ said coach Mike Ditka.

“I don`t think we were lucky,“ said McMahon. “We finally started executing. We knew we could come back and win. I don`t feel lucky. We`re a good football team.“

To that, Ditka agreed, answering “Yep“ when asked if he thought he would be 5-0 heading to San Francisco for a rematch next Sunday against the NFC champion 49ers.

“I believe in these guys,“ said Ditka, who was screaming his belief at them on the sidelines during most of their shaky performance.

As much as we all hail the ’85 Bears as one of the greatest teams of all time, but considering that they had to come back to win in 4 of their first 5 makes you realize that even the greatest teams had their ups and downs.

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