#TBT: Chicago Bears dominate Patriots, 20-7


Greetings, Bears fans. With this being the 30th anniversary of the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears of 1985, here at Bear Goggles On we’ll be revisiting the regular season and playoff games — including re-watching them when possible — and posting information about a game each Throwback Thursday as we move closer to the 2015 regular season.

It’s a testament to how dominant the ’85 Bears were that this game rarely comes up when discussing the team’s best game of the season. The three postseason wins, sure; the 49ers win for its revenge value; the Dallas or Atlanta games for the sheer humiliation of the opposing teams; or the second Vikings game or first Lions game for enjoyable beatdowns against division rivals.

But this one should be up there, if only for the balance shown in the game by the Bears on offense and defense.

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker coach Mike Singletary runs drills with his players before the game with the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Vikings win 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

You can take a look at these game stats from Pro Football Reference, but I’ll sum them up for you:

  • Four Bears with sacks (including Mike Singletary with three);
  • Three Bears with interceptions;
  • Six Bears had pass receptions, with four different receivers having catches of 20 or more yards and two receivers having catches longer than 40 yards;
  • The Bears racked up 160 rushing yards despite no single player having more than 40 rushing yards.

The game itself wasn’t difficult. Jim McMahon, fighting through an injury (a familiar theme for the ’85 season and his career) hit Dennis McKinnon for a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Matt Suhey scored on a one-yard run in the third and Kevin Butler added field goals in the second and third quarters. Despite injuries to McMahon and Walter Payton, the offense still gained 369 yards against a Patriots’ defense that finished sixth in scoring and seventh in yards allowed, according to Pro Football Reference.

The Patriots totaled only 27 rushing yards and 179 net passing yards, half of which came on Craig James’ 90-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to break the Bears’ shutout bid.

Amazingly, the Patriots spent less than one minute in Bears territory, according to “Da Bears” by Steve Delsohn and “The Rise & Self-Destruction of the Greatest Football Team in History: The Chicago Bears and Super Bowl XX,” by John Mullin.

Feb 6, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Studio photograph of the game program cover from Super Bowl XX between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots played on January 26, 1986 at the Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots weren’t some pushover, either, despite how us Bears fans usually think of them.

This Patriots had the same record as the Bears in 1983, one game worse in 1984, and 11-5 records in 1985 and 1986. In 1985, they notched regular season and postseason wins against Miami, the latter victory a dominating 31-14 win featuring six Miami turnovers and 255 Patriots’ rushing yards, according to Pro Football Reference.

For the Bears, it would be a short turnaround, as they played the Vikings in the Metrodome – a game that would turn out to be one of the more memorable contests of the year — just four days after topping the Patriots.

As for the Patriots? Well, we saw them again later in the season.

What do you think Bears fans? Was this just some forgettable win, or just one that’s easy to overlook in the wake of greater triumphs later in the year?