Chicago Bears Quarterbacks: Top 10 All-Time

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#1 All-Time Bears QB, Sid Luckman

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Sid Luckman, the guy by whom all other Chicago Bears quarterbacks have been measured, is by my estimation still the best they’ve ever had and so he resides at #1 on this list.  I opened this piece by referencing the struggles endured by the franchise in their effort to field a top-flight quarterback, and I used to word “transcendent” to say they had nary a player who could truly be described that way.  Well, if there is any exception — Luckman would be it.

Drafted at #2 overall in 1939 by Pittsburgh as part of a trade that allowed the Bears to acquire him, Luckman was brought into town by Halas to help engineer his version of the T-Formation offense.  At that time offenses were much different from we know them now, with the tailback handling the ball most often and being the predominant passer.  Halas saw in Luckman a player who could serve as the center piece in what would become a revolutionary offense, and he couldn’t have been more right.

In 1940, Luckman’s second year with the team, he led them to the championship game in a rematch with the Washington Redskins whom the Bears had lost to 7-3 earlier in the year.  In a fitting numeral irony, Luckman and the Bears destroyed the Redskins 73-0 in one of the most lopsided games in NFL history.  The following year the Bears went 10-1 behind Luckman and once again claimed the championship, defeating the New York Giants 37-9.

With Luckman at the helm the Bears enjoyed one of the more dominant stretches in team history and from his first year as primary starter (1940) thru 1944, the team’s record was 43-8-2 and they appeared in 4 straight championship games (’40-’43), winning 3.  In 1945 the team had a down year, going 3-7, but bounced back in 1946 with a record of 8-2-1 and an appearance in their fifth championship game in seven years.  Luckman guided the team to the 24-14 victory for his fourth championship, scoring two touchdowns (1 throwing, 1 running) against the New York Giants.

At a time in the NFL’s history where prolific passers were scarce, Luckman stood out.  He was a champion who led an offensive revolution that changed the game.  Here is some statistical evidence:

  • Winningest QB in team history
  • 4-time NFL Champion with the Bears (1940, 1941, 1943, 1946)
  • Most passing TDs in team history (137)
  • 2nd-most passing yards in team history (14,686)
  • First NFL quarterback to throw for 400+ yards (443) in a game; also threw 7 TDs in the game
  • NFL MVP in 1943

And that’s it for this version of the top 10 quarterbacks in Chicago Bears history.  Agree?  Disagree?  Do you despise the fact that Kyle Orton made the list?  I did some self-loathing over that too, so you know. Let us know how you feel in the comments. BEAR DOWN.

Next: 5 Best RBs in Chicago Bear History

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