Dan Hampton Says Bears Would’ve Been Dynasty with Jay Cutler

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 13: Jay Cutler /

This past weekend, Chicago Bears Hall of Fame defensive end Dan Hampton was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH for an event, and said something that caught the attention of a lot of Bears fans. Hampton, a four-time Pro Bowler, said that the Bears team that he was a part of in the 1980s would’ve won four Super Bowls with Jay Cutler as their quarterback. The Pro Football Hall of Fame quickly followed up that statement with a tweet:

During Hampton’s tenure in the Windy City (1979-90), the Bears made the playoffs seven times, winning six divisional championships, and coming away with a victory in Super Bowl XX. Of course, Chicago did all of this on the backs of their dominant defense and arguably the greatest running back of all time in Walter Payton. For the most part, their passing game was average at best. Jim McMahon was the quarterback for the Bears from 1982-88, and amassed a total of 11,203 passing yards and 67 touchdown passes while wearing a Bears uniform.

As for Cutler, he eventually became the franchise’s all-time leading passer with 22,443 yards, 154 touchdown passes, 2,020 completions, and 3,271 pass attempts. Obviously, it’s unfair to compare McMahon’s numbers to Cutlers. Both quarterbacks played in different eras of the NFL. McMahon was a part of a league that stressed the philosophy of running the ball to set up the passing game, while Cutler played during a time when passing the ball was the primary option. However, what if Cutler was a member of the Bears during the 1980s?

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Although Cutler is Chicago’s all-time leading passer, he was also notorious for turning the ball over and getting sacked. With the Bears, Cutler threw 109 interceptions, was sacked 251 times (the most in franchise history), and fumbled the ball a ton of times. If playing in the 80s, would Cutler’s numbers look much different? They most certainly would. With Payton carrying the load, Cutler’s pass attempts would’ve been cut dramatically, which possibly could’ve increased his touchdown-to-interception ratio. And let’s not forget that the Bears’ offensive line in the 80s wasn’t as porous as it was in the 2000s.

Even without Cutler, the Bears came close to winning three consecutive Super Bowls. We all know about their 1985 championship team, but the teams in 1984 and 1986 could’ve walked away with the Lombardi trophy as well. Chicago made it all the way to the NFC Championship in 1984, only to lose to the San Francisco 49ers. In 1986, their defense was probably even better than it was in 1985, but they managed to get upset by the Washington Redskins in the NFC Divisional round.

Would’ve Cutler made a difference in those two games? That’s something we will never know. Would’ve Cutler helped turn the Bears of the 1980s into a dynasty? That’s also something we will never know. Did Hampton make this comment simply because he has had tension with McMahon over the years? Possibly. One thing that we definitely know is that the Bears of the 1980s were one piece of the puzzle away from being the NFL’s team of the 80s. I’m not saying that Hampton’s statement is true, but Cutler just might have at least given the Bears a better chance to win at least one more Super Bowl during that era.