1986 Chicago Bears season

The 1986 Chicago Bears season was their 67th regular season and 17th post-season completed in the National Football League. The Bears entered the season looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, as they had won in 1985. Chicago managed to finish 14–2, one game off of their 1985 record of 15–1, and tied the New York Giants for the league’s best record.

After winning the championship in 1985, the Bears seemed like a dynasty in the making. However, quarterback Jim McMahon showed up to training camp 25 pounds overweight – the product of the post-Super Bowl partying he’d partaken in. Nonetheless, he was once again named as the starter. Injuries, however, derailed his season. McMahon played in only six of the team’s first 12 games.

Aided by a strong offensive line, the Bears were once again led on offense by Walter Payton. Payton remained his usual stellar self, posting his 10th and final 1,000-yard season. With McMahon’s poor play, as well as the equally poor play of backups Mike Tomczak, Steve Fuller and Doug Flutie, Payton was the sole spark on offense, which ranked 13th in the NFL.

As had been the case the year before, the Bears were once again led by their explosive defense. Any shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball were more than made up for on the defensive side. They once again were ranked #1 in the NFL. The Bears’ defense became the third defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest points allowed and fewest total yards allowed for two consecutive seasons.[3] The Bears’ 187 points allowed is the fewest surrendered by any team in the 1980s (other than the strike-shortened 1982 season) – even fewer than the 198 points the Bears allowed in their historic 1985 season.

However, the Bears were not able to recapture their magic from the season before and were bounced from the playoffs in their first game by the Washington Redskins.

1986 Chicago Bears season
Chicago Bears logo
Head coachMike Ditka
(5th season)
General managerJerry Vainisi
(Since 1983)
OwnerThe McCaskey Family
(Family control since 1921; Virginia McCaskey since 1983)
Home fieldSoldier Field
Division place1st NFC Central
Playoff finishLost Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 27–13
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

1986 NFL Draft

1986 Chicago Bears draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 27 Neal Anderson *  Running back Florida
2 55 Vestee Jackson  Cornerback Washington
3 82 David Williams  Wide receiver Illinois
4 110 Paul Blair  Tackle Oklahoma State
5 138 Lew Barnes  Wide receiver Oregon
6 166 Jeff Powell  Running back Tennessee
7 194 Bruce Jones  Defensive back North Alabama
8 221 Maurice Douglass  Defensive back Kentucky
9 249 John Teltschik  Punter Texas
10 277 Barton Hundley  Defensive back Kansas State
11 305 Glen Kozlowski  Wide receiver Brigham Young
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Roster and staff


Coaching Staff of 1986 season

Front office



Position coaches


  • Brian McCaskey – Assistant trainer
  • Clyde EmrichWeightlifting/Strength



Complete Roster of 1986 season


Offensive backs


Tight ends



Offensive line

Defensive line




Defensive backs



Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics

Depth chart

Gary Fencik
Wilber Marshall Mike Singletary Otis Wilson
Dave Duerson
Mike Richardson
Richard Dent William "Refrigerator" Perry Steve McMichael Dan Hampton
Vestee Jackson
Reggie Phillips
Willie Gault
Jimbo Covert Mark Bortz Jay Hilgenberg Tom Thayer Keith Van Horne
Emery Moorehead
Keith Ortego
Jim McMahon
Mike Tomczak
Walter Payton
Matt Suhey
Special Teams
PK Kevin Butler
P Maury Buford
KR Thomas Sanders
PR Lew Barnes
LS Jay Hilgenberg
H Steve Fuller


Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record
1 August 3, 1986 Dallas Cowboys W 17–6 Wembley Stadium 1–0
2 August 9, 1986 Pittsburgh Steelers W 33–13 Three Rivers Stadium 2–0
3 August 16, 1986 Indianapolis Colts W 38–21 Soldier Field 3–0
4 August 23, 1986 St. Louis Cardinals L 7–14 Soldier Field 3–1
5 August 30, 1986 Buffalo Bills W 31–17 Notre Dame Stadium 4–1

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1986 Cleveland Browns W 41–31
2 September 14, 1986 Philadelphia Eagles W 13–10
3 September 22, 1986 at Green Bay Packers W 25–12
4 September 28, 1986 at Cincinnati Bengals W 44–7
5 October 5, 1986 Minnesota Vikings W 23–0
6 October 12, 1986 at Houston Oilers W 20–7
7 October 19, 1986 at Minnesota Vikings L 23–7
8 October 26, 1986 Detroit Lions W 13–7
9 November 3, 1986 Los Angeles Rams L 20–17
10 November 9, 1986 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 23–3
11 November 16, 1986 at Atlanta Falcons W 13–10
12 November 23, 1986 Green Bay Packers W 12–10
13 November 30, 1986 Pittsburgh Steelers W 13–10
14 December 7, 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 48–14
15 December 15, 1986 at Detroit Lions W 16–13
16 December 21, 1986 at Dallas Cowboys W 24–10

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Cleveland Browns

1 234Total
Browns 7 7710 31
• Bears 21 3710 41
  • Date: Sunday, September 7
  • Location: Soldier Field, Chicago
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 66,030
  • Game weather: 63 °F or 17.2 °C (Sunny); wind 9 miles per hour (14 km/h; 7.8 kn)
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen


Week 2: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
1 234OTTotal
Eagles 3 0070 10
Bears 0 01003 13
  • Date: Sunday, September 14
  • Location: Soldier Field, Chicago
  • Game start: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game attendance: 65,130
  • Game weather: 66 °F or 18.9 °C (Cloudy), wind 12 miles per hour (19 km/h; 10 kn)

Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
1 234Total
Packers 0 037 10
Bears 2 703 12

Week 15: at Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
1 234Total
Bears 0 3013 16
Lions 3 370 13

Week 16: at Dallas Cowboys

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
1 234Total
Bears 7 1430 24
Cowboys 0 0010 10


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 3, 1987 Washington Redskins L 27–13

Game summary

The 1986 Bears earned a first round playoff bye, but in their opening playoff game, they were upset at home by the Washington Redskins. A holding penalty and a missed field goal by Kevin Butler frustrated the Bears in the first quarter. They still, however, managed to take a 13–7 lead into halftime. But their usually stout defense fell apart in the second half, allowing the Redskins to score 20 unanswered points.

“Maybe my dreams didn’t come true“, said Chicago Coach Mike Ditka. “The defense has to play outstanding and today they were just not up to the way the Redskins were playing.”

Despite injuries to Redskins offensive linemen Joe Jacoby and Russ Grimm, the Washington offensive line was able to pick up the Bears patented blitzes. Washington quarterback Jay Schroeder was sacked only twice. He was also able to use the blitzes to his advantage, completing passes while being chased out of the pocket.

Trailing 14–13 in the 4th quarter, the Bears good fortune ran out, when the usually dependable Payton lost a fumble, which led to an 83-yard touchdown drive by the Redskins. The long drive perpetrated against the NFL’s best defense seemed to take the wind out of the Bears' sails. A few minutes later, the Bears muffed a punt return which set up an easy field goal for the Redskins. The Bears lost 27–13.


NFC Central
Chicago Bears(2) 14 2 0 .875 7–1 10–2 352 187 W7
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 6–2 8–4 398 273 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 3–5 4–8 277 326 L4
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 3–5 3–9 254 418 L1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 0 .125 1–7 1–13 239 473 L7


  1. ^ "1986 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "1986 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ^ The Best Show in Football: The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p. 294, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jun-06.

External links

Scoring summary
Q1CLEGross recovered fumble in end zone (Bahr kick)CLE 7–0
Q1CHIGentry 91 yard kickoff return (Butler kick)Tie 7–7
Q1CHIPayton 2 yard run (Butler kick)CHI 14–7
Q1CHIMarshall 58 yard interception return (Butler kick)CHI 21–7
Q2CLEMack 3 yard run (Bahr kick)CHI 21–14
Q2CHIButler 47 yard field goalCHI 24–14
Q3CLEMack 14 yard run (Bahr kick)CHI 24–21
Q3CHIPayton 11 yard pass from McMahon (Butler kick)CHI 31–21
Q4CLEBahr 22 yard field goalCHI 31–24
Q4CHIButler 19 yard field goalCHI 34–24
Q4CLEBrennan 15 yard pass from Kosar (Bahr kick)CHI 34–31
Q4CHISuhey 6 yard run (Butler kick)CHI 41–31
Scoring summary
1EaglesPaul McFadden 49-yard field goalEagles 3–0
3BearsWalter Payton 1-yard run (Kevin Butler kick)Bears 7–3
3BearsKevin Butler 23-yard field goalBears 10–3
4EaglesMike Quick 26-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Paul McFadden kick)Tie 10–10
OTBearsKevin Butler 23-yard field goalBears 13–10
Scoring summary
1BearsSafety, Kenneth Davis tackled by Dan Hampton in end zoneBears 2–0
2BearsDennis Gentry recovered fumble in end zone (Kevin Butler kick)Bears 9–0
3PackersAl Del Greco 22-yard field goalBears 9–3
4PackersEd West 46-yard pass from Randy Wright (Al Del Greco kick)Packers 10–9
4BearsKevin Butler 32-yard field goalBears 12–10
Scoring summary
1LionsEddie Murray 52-yard field goalLions 3–0
2BearsKevin Butler 41-yard field goalTie 3–3
2LionsEddie Murray 39-yard field goalLions 6–3
3LionsLeonard Thompson 4-yard pass from Chuck Long (Eddie Murray kick)Lions 13–3
4BearsKevin Butler 32-yard field goalLions 13–6
4BearsMatt Suhey 4-yard run (Kevin Butler kick)Tie 13–13
4BearsKevin Butler 22-yard field goalBears 16–13
Scoring summary
1BearsWalter Payton 1-yard run (Kevin Butler kick)Bears 7–0
2BearsNeal Anderson 58-yard pass from Doug Flutie (Kevin Butler kick)Bears 14–0
2BearsWillie Gault 33-yard pass from Doug Flutie (Kevin Butler kick)Bears 21–0
3BearsKevin Butler 31-yard field goalBears 24–0
4CowboysRafael Septién 50-yard field goalBears 24–3
4CowboysMike Renfro 11-yard pass from Steve Pelluer (Rafael Septien kick)Bears 24–10
Game information
Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.