Chicago Bears: How the defense can still win championships

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(Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears went on to have a historical season in 1985 when they went 15-1 and won the Superbowl

The Chicago Bears 46 defense was unique in its own way but was not the sole reason this defensive thrived. An old school way of thinking is that you win in the trenches. Walter Payton was electric as a dual-threat back but was 31 years old. The gas was running out for him.

Payton averaged 4.8 yards per rush attempt. He had 1,500 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He also caught 49 passes for 483 yards and two touchdowns. He went on to play two more seasons before he retired.

The Bears offensive line consisted of star blockers like Jimbo Covert, Jay Hilgenberg, and rookie Tom Thayer. Other solid trench players like Mark Bortz, Keith Van Horne, and tight end Emery Moorhead helped open rushing lanes for Walter Payton, Matt Suhey, and Jim McMahon.

Offensive cohesion is something the ’85 offensive line stressed as the most important aspect to great blocking. The Bears did draft both tackles in the first round while Tom Thayer was a fourth-round draft pick, Jay Hilgenberg was undrafted, and Mark Bortz was an eighth-round draft pick. Securing the outside seemed to be of most importance.

Some might say it was because the Bears had a great quarterback. Some might say it was because they had arguably the best running back in the history of the sport. The others will tell you that it was because of that ferocious defense.

34 interceptions, 6 defensive touchdowns, and 64 sacks held teams to a total of 194 points score on them that season. Most of us understand that the defense was historical. But what made this defense so special? What has made other defensive Superbowl winning teams special?

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