Super Bowl XX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Chicago Bears and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1985 season. The Bears defeated the Patriots by the score of 46–10, capturing their first NFL championship (and Chicago's first overall sports victory) since 1963, three years prior to the birth of the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XX was played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
This was the fourth Super Bowl where both teams were making their Super Bowl debuts. The Bears entered the game after becoming the second team in NFL history to win 15 regular season games. With their then-revolutionary 46 defense, Chicago led the league in several defensive categories, outscored their opponents with a staggering margin of 456–198, and recorded two postseason shutouts. The Patriots were considered a Cinderella team during the 1985 season, and posted an 11–5 regular season record, but entered the playoffs as a wild card because of tiebreakers. But defying the odds, New England posted three road playoff wins to advance to Super Bowl XX.
In their victory over the Patriots, the Bears set or tied Super Bowl records for sacks (seven), fewest rushing yards allowed (seven), and margin of victory (36 points). At the time, New England broke the record for the quickest lead in Super Bowl history, with Tony Franklin's 36-yard field goal 1:19 into the first quarter after a Chicago fumble. But the Patriots were eventually held to negative yardage (−19) throughout the entire first half, and finished with just 123 total yards from scrimmage, the second lowest total yards in Super Bowl history, behind the Minnesota Vikings (119 total yards) in Super Bowl IX. Bears defensive end Richard Dent, who had 1.5 quarterback sacks, forced two fumbles, and blocked a pass, was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
|Super Bowl XX|
|Date||January 26, 1986|
|Stadium||Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|MVP||Richard Dent, defensive end|
|Favorite||Bears by 10|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|Bears: Mike Ditka‡ (coach), Dick Stanfel‡ (assistant coach), Richard Dent, Dan Hampton, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary|
Patriots: Raymond Berry‡ (coach), John Hannah, Andre Tippett
‡ elected as a player.
|National anthem||Wynton Marsalis|
|Coin toss||Bart Starr representing previous Super Bowl MVPs|
|Halftime show||Up with People presents "Beat of the Future"|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, and Bob Griese|
(est. 92.57 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$550,000|
NFL owners awarded the hosting of Super Bowl XX to New Orleans, Louisiana on December 14, 1982, at an owners meeting held in Dallas. This was the sixth time that New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl. Tulane Stadium was the site of Super Bowls IV, VI, and IX; while the Louisiana Superdome previously hosted XII and XV.
As of 2017, Super Bowl XX remains the last Super Bowl to feature two teams both making their first appearance in the game. It was the fourth overall following Super Bowl I, Super Bowl III, and Super Bowl XVI. Absent further expansion of the NFL, any future Super Bowl that would have such a combination would have to have the Detroit Lions playing either the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, or Jacksonville Jaguars in the game. All 16 NFC teams have played in an NFL championship game (Detroit last made an NFL championship game in the pre-merger era); only the three AFC franchises that began play since 1995 (the technicalities of the Browns franchise contrasting to the revisionism means this version began in 1999) have yet to reach a league championship game.
The nation's recognition of the Bears' accomplishment was overshadowed by STS 51-L two days later, an event which caused the cancellation of the Bears' post-Super Bowl White House visit. Jim McMahon drew controversy after Super Bowl XXXI by wearing a Bears jersey to the Green Bay Packers' visit following their championship, owing to his first official visit never having happened at the time. Twenty-five years after the championship, surviving members of the team would be invited to the White House in 2011 by President Barack Obama.
Under head coach Mike Ditka, who won the 1985 NFL Coach of the Year Award, the Bears went 15–1 in the regular season, becoming the second NFL team to win 15 regular season games, while outscoring their opponents with a staggering margin of 456–198.
The Bears' defense, the "46 defense", allowed the fewest points (198), fewest total yards (4,135), and fewest rushing of any team during the regular season (1,319). They also led the league in interceptions (34) and ranked third in sacks (64).
Pro Bowl quarterback Jim McMahon provided the team with a solid passing attack, throwing for 2,392 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also rushing for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Walter Payton, who was then the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 14,860 yards, rushed for 1,551 yards. He also caught 49 passes for 500 yards, and scored 11 touchdowns. Linebacker Mike Singletary won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award by recording three sacks, three fumble recoveries, and one interception.
But one of the most distinguishable players on defense was a large rookie lineman named William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Perry came into training camp before the season weighing over 380 pounds. But after Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan told the press that the team "wasted" their first round draft pick on him, Perry lost some weight and ended up being an effective defensive tackle, finishing the season with 5 sacks. He got even more attention when Ditka started putting him in the game at the fullback position during offensive plays near the opponent's goal line. During the regular season, Perry rushed for 2 touchdowns, caught a pass for another touchdown, and was frequently a lead blocker for Payton during goal line plays.
The Bears "46 defense" also had the following impact players: On the defensive line, Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer Richard Dent led the NFL in sacks with 17, while Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer Dan Hampton recorded 6.5 sacks, and nose tackle Steve McMichael compiled 8. In addition to Singletary, linebacker Otis Wilson had 10.5 sacks and 3 interceptions, while Wilber Marshall recorded 4 interceptions. In the secondary, defensive back Leslie Frazier had 6 interceptions, Mike Richardson recorded 4 interceptions, Dave Duerson had 5 interceptions, and Gary Fencik recorded 5 interceptions and 118 tackles.
Chicago's main offensive weapon was Payton and the running game. A big reason for Payton's success was fullback Matt Suhey as the primary lead blocker. Suhey was also a good ball carrier, rushing for 471 yards and catching 33 passes for 295 yards. The team's rushing was also aided by Pro Bowlers Jim Covert and Jay Hilgenberg and the rest of the Bears' offensive line including Mark Bortz, Keith Van Horne, and Tom Thayer.
In their passing game, the Bears' primary deep threat was wide receiver Willie Gault, who caught 33 passes for 704 yards, an average of 21.3 yards per catch, and returned 22 kickoffs for 557 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Emery Moorehead was another key contributor, catching 35 passes for 481 yards. Wide receiver Dennis McKinnon was another passing weapon, recording 31 receptions, 555 yards, and 7 touchdowns. On special teams, Kevin Butler set a rookie scoring record with 144 points, making 31 of 37 field goals (83%) and 51 of 51 extra points.
Meanwhile, the players brought their characterizations to the national stage with "The Super Bowl Shuffle", a rap song the Bears recorded during the season. Even though it was in essence a novelty song, it actually peaked at #41 on the Billboard charts and received a Grammy nomination for best R&B song by a group.
The Patriots were a Cinderella team during the 1985 season because many sports writers and fans thought they were lucky to make the playoffs at all. New England began the season losing three of their first five games, but won six consecutive games to finish with an 11–5 record. However, the 11–5 mark only earned them third place in the AFC East behind the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.
Quarterback Tony Eason, in his third year in the NFL, was inconsistent during the regular season, completing 168 out of 299 passes for 2,156 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also 17 interceptions. His backup, Steve Grogan, was considered one of the best reserve quarterbacks in the league. Grogan was the starter in six of the Patriots' games, and finished the regular season with 85 out of 156 completions for 1,311 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
Wide receiver Stanley Morgan provided the team with a good deep threat, catching 39 passes for 760 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the other side of the field, multi-talented wide receiver Irving Fryar was equally effective, catching 39 passes for 670 yards, while also rushing for 27 yards, gaining another 559 yards returning punts and kickoffs, and scoring 10 touchdowns. But like the Bears, the Patriots' main strength on offense was their rushing attack. Halfback Craig James rushed for 1,227 yards, caught 27 passes for 370 yards, and scored 7 touchdowns. Fullback Tony Collins rushed for 657 yards, recorded a team-leading 52 receptions for 549 yards, and scored 5 touchdowns. The Patriots also had an outstanding offensive line, led by Pro Bowl tackle Brian Holloway and future Hall of Fame guard John Hannah.
New England's defense ranked 5th in the league in fewest yards allowed (5,048). Pro Bowl linebacker Andre Tippett led the AFC with 16.5 sacks and recovered 3 fumbles. Pro Bowl linebacker Steve Nelson was also a big defensive weapon, excelling at pass coverage and run stopping. Also, the Patriots' secondary only gave up 14 touchdown passes during the season, second fewest in the league. Pro Bowl defensive back Raymond Clayborn recorded 6 interceptions for 80 return yards and 1 touchdown, while Pro Bowler Fred Marion had 7 interceptions for 189 return yards.
In the playoffs, the Patriots qualified as the AFC's second wild card.
But the Patriots, under head coach Raymond Berry, defied the odds, beating the New York Jets 26–14, Los Angeles Raiders 27–20, and the Dolphins 31–14 – all on the road – to make it to the Super Bowl. The win against Miami had been especially surprising, not only because Miami was the only team to beat Chicago in the season, but also because New England had not won in the Orange Bowl (Miami's then-home field) since 1966, the Dolphins' first season (then in the AFL). The Patriots had lost to Miami there 18 consecutive times, including a 30–27 loss in their 15th game of the season. But New England dominated the Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game, recording two interceptions from quarterback Dan Marino and recovering 4 fumbles. New England remains the only team to finish third in their division and qualify for the Super Bowl in the same season.
Much of the Super Bowl pregame hype centered on Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. First, he was fined by the NFL during the playoffs for a violation of the league's dress code, wearing a head band from Adidas. He then started to wear a head band where he hand-wrote "Rozelle", after then-league commissioner Pete Rozelle.
McMahon suffered a strained glute as the result of a hit taken in the NFC Championship Game and flew his acupuncturist into New Orleans to get treatment. During practice four days before the Super Bowl, he wore a headband reading "Acupuncture". During a Bears practice before the Super Bowl, McMahon mooned a helicopter that was hovering over the practice.
Another anecdote involving McMahon during the Super Bowl anticipation involved WDSU sports anchor Buddy Diliberto reporting a quote attributed to McMahon, where he had allegedly referred to the women of New Orleans as "sluts" on a local morning sports talk show. This caused wide controversy among the women of New Orleans and McMahon began receiving calls from irate fans in his hotel. A groggy McMahon, who had not been able to sleep well because of all the calls he had gotten, was confronted by Mike Ditka later that morning and denied making the statement, saying he would not have even been awake to make the comment when he was said to have done so. He was supported in his claim by WLS reporter Les Grobstein, who was present when the alleged statements were made. WDSU would later retract the statement, have an on-air apology read by the station's general manager during the noon newscast on January 23; and suspended Diliberto for a time.
The suburban Village of Frankfort has hosted an annual "Super Bowl Sunday" golf outing for over 30 years starting on the morning of Super Bowl XX. The tradition began when two neighbors Alan Heath and Bill Holley broke onto the local golf course to ease their nerves before the game. The first outing lasted 14 holes in the snow with temperatures hovering around 9 degrees.
In the aftermath of the Bear's Super Bowl victory the two made a pact that they would return to the golf course every year until the Bears repeated as Super Bowl Champions. With the dominance of the 1985 Bears squad the pair didn't think they would be starting a local tradition still going strong 30 years later.
The outing has taken place every year in all types of weather and will continue every year until the Bears repeat as Champions. Depending on the weather, the attendance hovers between 2 & 20 people each year.
The NBC telecast of the game, with play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg and color commentators Merlin Olsen and Bob Griese (who was not in the booth with Enberg and Olsen), garnered the third highest Nielsen rating of any Super Bowl to date, a 48.3 but it ended up being the first Super Bowl to garner over 90 million viewers the highest to date up to that point. While Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen and Bob Griese called the game, Bob Costas and his NFL '85 castmates, Ahmad Rashad and Pete Axthelm anchored the pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. Other contributors included Charlie Jones (recapping Super Bowl I), Larry King (interviewing Mike Ditka and Raymond Berry), and Bill Macatee (profiling Patriots owner Billy Sullivan and his family). Also, the pregame coverage included what became known as "the silent minute"; a 60-second countdown over a black screen (a concept devised by then-NBC Sports executive Michael Weisman); a skit featuring comedian Rodney Dangerfield and an interview by NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw of United States President Ronald Reagan at the White House (this would not become a regular Super Bowl pregame feature until Super Bowl XLIII; when Today show host Matt Lauer interviewed U.S. President Barack Obama).
The national radio broadcast was aired by NBC Radio, which outbid CBS Radio for the nationwide NFL contract in March 1985. Don Criqui was the play-by-play announcer, with Bob Trumpy as the color analyst. WGN-AM carried the game in the Chicago area (and thanks to WGN's 50,000-watt clear-channel signal, to much of the continental United States), with Wayne Larrivee on play-by-play, and Jim Hart and Dick Butkus providing commentary. WEEI carried the game in the Boston area, with John Carlson and Jon Morris on the call.
This was the first year that the NFL itself implemented the pregame entertainment. The pregame entertainment show began after the players left the field and ended with kick-off. Lesslee Fitzmorris created and directed the show. To celebrate the 20th Super Bowl game, the Most Valuable Players of the previous Super Bowls were featured during the pregame festivities. The number one song of the year coupled with video plays from each Super Bowl accompanied the presentation of each player. Performers formed the score of each championship game. The show concluded with the question of who would be the next Super Bowl Champions. This would start a tradition occurring every ten years (in Super Bowls XXX, XL and 50) in which past Super Bowl MVPs would be honored before the game.
The performance event group Up with People performed during the halftime show titled "Beat of the Future". Up with People dancers portrayed various scenes into the future. This was the last Super Bowl to feature Up with People as a halftime show, though they later performed in the Super Bowl XXV pregame show. The halftime show was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (the first observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day had been held the previous Monday).
The Patriots took the then-quickest lead in Super Bowl history after linebacker Larry McGrew recovered a fumble from Walter Payton at the Chicago 19-yard line on the second play of the game (the Bears themselves would break this record in Super Bowl XLI when Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown). Bears quarterback Jim McMahon took responsibility for this fumble after the game, saying he had called the wrong play. This set up Tony Franklin's 36-yard field goal 1:19 into the first quarter after three incomplete passes by Tony Eason (the first of which starting tight end Lin Dawson went down with torn ligaments in his knee). "I looked up at the message board", said Chicago linebacker Mike Singletary, "and it said that 15 of the 19 teams that scored first won the game. I thought, yeah, but none of those 15 had ever played the Bears." Chicago struck back with a 7-play, 59-yard drive, featuring a 43-yard pass completion from McMahon to wide receiver Willie Gault, to set up a field goal from Kevin Butler, tying the score at 3–3.
After both teams traded punts, Richard Dent and linebacker Wilber Marshall shared a sack on Eason, forcing a fumble that lineman Dan Hampton recovered on the Patriots 13-yard line. Chicago then drove to the 3-yard line, but had to settle for another field goal from Butler after rookie defensive lineman William "The Refrigerator" Perry was tackled (and technically sacked) for a 1-yard loss while trying to throw his first NFL pass on a halfback option play. On the Patriots' ensuing drive, Dent forced running back Craig James to fumble, which was recovered by Singletary at the 13-yard line. Two plays later, Bears fullback Matt Suhey scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 13–3.
New England took the ensuing kickoff and ran one play before the first quarter ended, which resulted in positive yardage for the first time in the game (a 3-yard run by James).
After an incomplete pass and a 4-yard loss, the Patriots had to send in punter Rich Camarillo again, and receiver Keith Ortego returned the ball 12 yards to the 41-yard line. The Bears subsequently drove 59 yards in 10 plays, featuring a 24-yard reception by Suhey, to score on McMahon's 2-yard touchdown run to increase their lead, 20–3. After the ensuing kickoff, New England lost 13 yards in 3 plays and had to punt again, but got the ball back with great field position when defensive back Raymond Clayborn recovered a fumble from Suhey at their own 46-yard line. On the punt, Ortego forgot what the play call was for the punt return, and the ensuing chaos resulted in him being penalized for running after a fair catch and teammate Leslie Frazier suffering a knee injury, which ended his career.
Patriots head coach Raymond Berry then replaced Eason with Steve Grogan, who had spent the previous week hoping he would have the opportunity to step onto the NFL's biggest stage. "I probably won't get a chance", he had told reporters a few days before the game. "I just hope I can figure out some way to get on the field. I could come in on the punt-block team and stand behind the line and wave my arms, or something." But on his first drive, Grogan could only lead them to the 37-yard line, and they decided to punt rather than risk a 55-yard field goal attempt. The Bears then marched 72 yards in 11 plays, moving the ball inside the Patriots' 10-yard line. New England kept them out of the end zone, but Butler kicked his third field goal on the last play of the half to give Chicago a 23–3 halftime lead.
The end of the first half was controversial. With 21 seconds left, McMahon scrambled to the Patriots' 3-yard line and was stopped inbounds. With the clock ticking down, players from both teams were fighting, and the Bears were forced to snap the ball before the officials formally put it back into play, allowing McMahon to throw the ball out of bounds and stop the clock with three seconds left. The Bears were penalized five yards for delay of game, but according to NFL rules, 10 seconds should have also been run off the clock during such a deliberate clock-stopping attempt in the final two minutes of a half. In addition, a flag should have been thrown for fighting (also according to NFL rules). This would have likely resulted in offsetting penalties, which would still allow for a field goal attempt. Meanwhile, the non-call on the illegal snap was promptly acknowledged by the officials and reported by NBC sportscasters during halftime, but the resulting three points were not taken away from the Bears (because of this instance, the NFL instructed officials to strictly enforce the 10-second run-off rule at the start of the 1986 season).
The Bears had dominated New England in the first half, holding them to 21 offensive plays (only four of which resulted in positive yardage), −19 total offensive yards, two pass completions, one first down, and 3 points. While Eason was in the game, the totals were six possessions, one play of positive yardage out of 15 plays, no first downs, 3 points, 3 punts, 2 turnovers, no pass completions, and -36 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Chicago gained 236 yards and scored 23 points themselves.
After the Patriots received the second-half kickoff, they managed to get one first down, but then had to punt after Grogan was sacked twice. Camarillo, who punted four times in the first half, managed to pin the Bears back at their own 4-yard line with a then-Super Bowl record 62-yard punt. But the Patriots' defense still had no ability to stop Chicago's offense. On their very first play, McMahon faked a handoff to Payton, then threw a 60-yard completion to Gault. Eight plays later, McMahon finished the Super Bowl-record 96-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to increase the Bears' lead to 30–3. On New England's second drive of the quarter, Chicago cornerback Reggie Phillips (who replaced Frazier) intercepted a pass from Grogan and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 37–3.
On the second play of their ensuing possession, the Patriots turned the ball over again, when receiver Cedric Jones lost a fumble after catching a 19-yard pass from Grogan, and Wilber Marshall returned the fumble 13 yards to New England's 37-yard line. A few plays later, McMahon's 27-yard completion to receiver Dennis Gentry moved the ball to the 1-yard line, setting up perhaps the most memorable moment of the game. William "The Refrigerator" Perry was brought on to score on offense, as he had done twice in the regular season. His touchdown (while running over Patriots linebacker Larry McGrew in the process) made the score 44–3. The Bears' 21 points in the third quarter is still a record for the most points scored in that period, and their 41-point lead remains the record for widest margin after three quarters in a Super Bowl.
The Patriots finally scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, advancing the ball 76 yards in 12 plays and scoring on an 8-yard fourth-down pass from Grogan to receiver Irving Fryar. But the Bears' defense dominated New England for the rest of the game, forcing another fumble, another interception, and defensive lineman Henry Waechter's sack on Grogan in the end zone for a safety to make the final score 46–10.
One oddity in the Bears' victory was that Walter Payton had a relatively poor performance running the ball and never scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX, his only Super Bowl appearance during his Hall of Fame career. Many people including Mike Ditka have claimed that the reason for this was due to the fact that the Patriots' defensive scheme was centered on stopping Payton. Although Payton was ultimately the Bears' leading rusher during the game, the Patriots' defense held him to only 61 yards on 22 carries, with his longest run being only 7 yards. He was given several opportunities to score near the goal line, but New England stopped him every time before he reached the end zone (such as his 2-yard loss from the New England 3-yard line a few plays before Butler's second field goal, and his 2-yard run from the 4-yard line right before McMahon's first rushing touchdown). Thus, Chicago head coach Mike Ditka opted to go for other plays to counter the Patriots' defense. Ditka has since stated that his biggest regret of his career was not creating a scoring opportunity for Payton during the game.
McMahon, who completed 12 out of 20 passes for 256 yards, became the first quarterback in a Super Bowl to score 2 rushing touchdowns. Bears receiver Willie Gault finished the game with 129 receiving yards on just 4 receptions, an average of 32.3 yards per catch. He also returned 4 kickoffs for 49 yards. Suhey had 11 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, and caught a pass for 24 yards. Singletary tied a Super Bowl record with 2 fumble recoveries.
Eason became the first Super Bowl starting quarterback to fail to complete a pass, going 0 for 6 attempts. Grogan completed 17 out of 30 passes for 177 yards and 1 touchdown, with 2 interceptions. Although fullback Tony Collins was the Patriots' leading rusher, he was limited to just 4 yards on 3 carries, and caught 2 passes for 19 yards. New England receiver Stephen Starring returned 7 kickoffs for 153 yards and caught 2 passes for 39 yards. The Patriots, as a team, only recorded 123 total offensive yards, the second-lowest total in Super Bowl history.
|Chicago Bears||New England Patriots|
|First downs rushing||13||1|
|First downs passing||9||10|
|First downs penalty||1||1|
|Third down efficiency||7/14||1/10|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/1||1/1|
|Net yards rushing||167||7|
|Yards per rush||3.4||0.6|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||12/24||17/36|
|Times sacked-total yards||3–15||7–61|
|Net yards passing||241||116|
|Total net yards||408||123|
|Punt returns-total yards||2–20||2–22|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||4–49||7–153|
|Interceptions-total return yards||2–75||0–0|
|Time of possession||39:15||20:45|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
|Player Records Set |
|Most kickoff returns, game||7||Stephen Starring(New England)|
|Longest punt||62 yds||Rich Camarillo(New England)|
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||2||Jim McMahon(Chicago)|
|Most fumbles recovered, game||2||Mike Singletary(Chicago)|
|Most fumbles recovered, career||2|
|Most interceptions returned for td, game||1||Reggie Phillips(Chicago)|
|Most safeties, game||1||Henry Waechter(Chicago)|
|Most (one point) extra points, game||5||Kevin Butler(Chicago)|
|Team Records Set |
|Most points, game||46 points||Bears|
|Largest margin of victory||36 points|
|Most points scored, second half||23 points|
|Most points, third quarter||21 points|
|Largest lead, end of 3rd quarter||41 points|
|Longest touchdown scoring drive||96 yards||Bears|
|Fewest rushing yards (net)||7||Patriots|
|Lowest average gain
per rush attempt
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||Bears|
|Fewest first downs rushing||1||Patriots|
|Most points scored in
any quarter of play
|21 points (3rd)||Bears|
|Largest halftime margin||20 points|
|Most touchdowns, game||5|
|Most (one point) PATs||5|
|Most Safeties, Game||1|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0|
|Most touchdowns scored by
|Fewest rushing touchdowns||0||Patriots|
|Most times sacked||7|
|Most fumbles lost, game||4|
|Most kickoff returns, game||7|
|Records Set, both team totals |
|Points, Both Teams|
|Most points, third quarter||21 points||21||0|
|Passing, Both Teams|
|Most times sacked||10||3||7|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Most field goals made||4||3||1|
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||4||0|
|Most fumbles lost||6||2||4|
|Most kickoff returns||11||4||7|
|Willie Gault||WR||Stanley Morgan|
|Jim Covert||LT||Brian Holloway|
|Mark Bortz||LG||John Hannah‡|
|Jay Hilgenberg||C||Pete Brock|
|Tom Thayer||RG||Ron Wooten|
|Keith Van Horne||RT||Steve Moore|
|Emery Moorehead||TE||Lin Dawson|
|Dennis McKinnon||WR||Stephen Starring|
|Jim McMahon||QB||Tony Eason|
|Matt Suhey||FB||Tony Collins|
|Walter Payton‡||RB||Craig James|
|Dan Hampton‡||LE||Garin Veris|
|Steve McMichael||LDT||NT||Lester Williams|
|William Perry||RDT||RE||Julius Adams|
|Richard Dent‡||RE||LOLB||Andre Tippett‡|
|Otis Wilson||LLB||LILB||Steve Nelson|
|Mike Singletary‡||MLB||RILB||Larry McGrew|
|Wilber Marshall||RLB||ROLB||Don Blackmon|
|Mike Richardson||LCB||Ronnie Lippett|
|Leslie Frazier||RCB||Raymond Clayborn|
|Dave Duerson||SS||Roland James|
|Gary Fencik||FS||Fred Marion|
The 1985 Chicago Bears season was their 66th regular season and 16th post-season completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears entered 1985 looking to improve on their 10–6 record from 1984 and advance further than the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers. Not only did the Bears improve on that record, they put together one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.
The Bears won fifteen games, as the 49ers had the year before, and won their first twelve before losing. The Bears' defense was ranked first in the league and only allowed 198 total points (an average of 12.4 points per game). The Bears won the NFC Central Division by seven games over the second place Green Bay Packers and earned the NFC's top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs at Soldier Field. In their two playoff games against the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams, the Bears outscored their opponents 45–0 and became the first team to record back-to-back playoff shutouts. Then, in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans against the New England Patriots, the Bears set several more records. First, their 46 points broke the record that had been set by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984 with 38 and tied by the 49ers the following year. Their 36-point margin of victory topped the 29-point margin of victory that the Raiders had put up in Super Bowl XVIII and stood as a record until the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIV, also in New Orleans, by 45 points over the Denver Broncos. It was the Bears' first NFL World Championship title since 1963.
The 1985 Chicago Bears are one of the few teams to consistently challenge the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins for the unofficial title of the greatest NFL team of all time. In 2007, the 1985 Bears were ranked as the second greatest Super Bowl championship team on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, ranking behind the 1972 Dolphins. Other sources rate the 1985 Chicago Bears as the greatest NFL team ever.1985 NFL season
The 1985 NFL season was the 66th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XX when the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46–10 at the Louisiana Superdome. The Bears became the second team in NFL history (after the previous season's San Francisco 49ers) to win 15 games in the regular season and 18 including the playoffs.1985–86 NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 1985 season began on December 28, 1985. The postseason tournament concluded with the Chicago Bears defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, 46–10, on January 26, 1986, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Because the Jets and Giants both used Giants Stadium as their home field, the two wild card playoff games were held on different days.Bear Down, Chicago Bears
"Bear Down, Chicago Bears" is the fight song of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. It was written in 1941 by Al Hoffman under the pseudonym Jerry Downs, though Hoffman appeared to have little connection to Chicago. The song was written during the early stages of the "Monsters of the Midway" Era, as well as the year after the Bears had shocked the professional football world by defeating the Washington Redskins in the league championship game by the score of 73-0, which remains the largest win margin in any game in the history of the NFL.At home games, a version of the song recorded in 1993 by Bill Archer and the Big Bear Band is played every time the Bears score.
The lyrics are as follows:Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory;
Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.
We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation with your T-formation.
Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you're wearing the crown.
You're the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.
After the Bears' Super Bowl XX-winning 1985 season, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed the song.The song was featured in Madden NFL 11's soundtrack.Brad Anderson (American football)
Bradley Stewart Anderson (born January 12, 1961 in Glendale, Arizona) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. Anderson was an 8th round selection (212th overall pick) in the 1984 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
He played two seasons for the Bears (1984–1985) after attending both Brigham Young University and the University of Arizona. Anderson was part of the 1985 Bears team that won Super Bowl XX.Chicago Honey Bears
The Chicago Honey Bears were a cheerleading squad for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The group performed at Bears games at Soldier Field, and also at one away game in Tampa Bay Florida with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their Cheerleaders the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Swashbucklers until Super Bowl XX, which was their final appearance. The Chicago Honey Bears donated numerous hours of service to charities, as well as made guest appearances on T.V, including the Richard Simmons Show, the WGN Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon and performed and signed autographs at various other events, including at the Great Lakes Naval Station for the Navy Servicemen. They did various ads and posters, including a Kodak film ad, a Chicago Buckingham Fountain Post Card, a Stroh's Beer poster, and a poster of The Chicago Honey Bears official head shots featuring hair and make up by Vidal Sassoon, who was the official hair stylist of the NFL Chicago Honey Bears. Vidal Sassoon , selected Chicago Honey Bear line Captain/ and assistant choreographer Sharon Shackelford to be a hair model and he cut, colored and styled her hair live on the Phil Donahue Show. These examples are just a few of the numerous charities, T.V shows and events that the Honey Bear squad participated in. Aside from the Chicago Honey Bears being dancers and cheerleaders, at the Honey Bear auditions, Cathy Core and a panel of judges, including talent agents, narrowed their search by making the contestants display an additional talent , such as singing, playing instruments, acrobatic abilities or other dance forms and talents, before making their final selections of who would be on the squad each season. They also did modeling , including an incident when a member of the squad appeared topless in a Playboy magazine. After this incident, the Cheerleaders signed contracts that forbade posing nude and also forbade fraternizing with the Chicago Bears Football players except at approved events. After Super Bowl XX the squad was disbanded, and currently, the Bears are one of the six NFL teams that do not have cheerleaders, along with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.Dennis Gentry
Dennis Louis Gentry (born February 10, 1959) is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 4th round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the Bears from 1982 to 1992, and was a part of the Bears team that was victorious in Super Bowl XX versus the New England Patriots. He was also a member of the "Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew" in the video "The Super Bowl Shuffle," which featured him pantomiming on the bass.
In 2001, he was the running backs coach for the XFL's Chicago Enforcers until the league folded. Later that year he was hired as a BLESTO regional scout for the Detroit Lions until 2011.Gentry finished his career with 171 receptions for 2,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 764 yards and five touchdowns. But his main contribution came as a kick returner, and is currently ranked third in return yardage (4,353) for the Bears. Dennis is also tied for the club's all-time kick returns with 192. In 1986, he led the NFL with a 28.8-yards-per-return average.Greg Hawthorne
Greg Hawthorne (born September 5, 1956) is a former American football player with the National Football League. Drafted out of Baylor University, Hawthorne played 9 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as a rookie, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV over the Los Angeles Rams. He also played for the New England Patriots (including playing in Super Bowl XX), and also played for the Indianapolis Colts. As a running back, tight end, and wide receiver, he accumulated 527 rushing yards and 92 receptions between 1979 and 1987.Johnny Rembert
Johnny Lee Rembert (born January 19, 1961) is a former professional American football player who played linebacker for ten seasons for the New England Patriots. Rembert was a key member of the 1985 AFC champions who played the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. He was also selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team twice (1988 and 1989). He has recently retired as the Director of Athletics at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida and also the Quality Control Representative for the NFL.Keith Ortego
Bryant Keith Ortego (born August 30, 1963) is a former American football wide receiver for the Chicago Bears of the NFL. He was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX following the 1985 NFL season. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle.He attended McNeese State University.Larry McGrew
Lawrence McGrew (July 23, 1957 – April 2, 2004 ) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League.Maury Buford
Maury Anthony Buford (born February 18, 1960) is a former American football punter in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers, the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. Buford attended Texas Tech and was selected by the Chargers in the 1982 NFL Draft. He won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew Band" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle, "playing" cowbell.
During Super Bowl XLIV, Buford joined other members of the 1985 Chicago Bears in resurrecting the Super Bowl Shuffle in a Boost Mobile commercial.He now lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and is the owner of Buford Roofing, Inc. He is a licensed insurance adjuster in the State of Texas where he provides residential and commercial roofing services.Mike Hartenstine
Michael Albert Hartenstine (born July 27, 1953) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
Prior to entering the NFL, Hartenstine played high school football at Liberty High School in Bethlehem.
He played at Penn State University, where he was a collegiate All-American.
Oldest player on the Super Bowl XX winning Bears team.Raymond Clayborn
Raymond DeWayne Clayborn (born January 2, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas) is a former American Football cornerback who played for the New England Patriots (1977–1989) and Cleveland Browns (1990, 1991) of the National Football League (NFL). Before his NFL career, attended Green B. Trimble Technical High School and played for the University of Texas at Austin.Clayborn made the Pro Bowl three times with the Patriots. From 1977-1982, he was paired with Hall of Fame player Mike Haynes. For his first three seasons, he also played kick returner. As a rookie, he returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and a league-leading 3 touchdowns, giving him an NFL-best and Patriots franchise record 31.0 yards per return average. He was a key player on three playoff teams, including 1978, 1982, and most notably 1985, recording a career-high six regular season interceptions (one for a touchdown) as the Patriots won three road playoff games en route to an improbable appearance in Super Bowl XX. In the Patriots 31-14 Conference Championship win over the Miami Dolphins, Clayborn helped frustrated Miami quarterback Dan Marino into having a terrible game during which he completed only 20 of 48 passes for 248 yards. Clayborn made one of two Patriots interceptions during the upset. In the subsequent 46-10 loss against the Bears in Super Bowl XX, the Patriots were undone by turnovers and smothered by Chicago's crushing 46 defense. Though Bears quarterbacks completed only 12 passes for 258 yards with no touchdowns, New England's secondary was beaten several times on catches for big gains. Clayborn recovered one of two Chicago fumbles while watching his offense turn the ball over six times.
Clayborn was involved in an infamous incident early in the 1979 season involving Boston Globe reporter Will McDonough. Clayborn, who had twice been involved in fights with teammates the week leading up to a 56-3 rout of the New York Jets, began snapping at reporters in the locker room after the game and threatening them. When McDonough tried to intervene and settle the situation, Clayborn poked him in the eye; McDonough responded by punching Clayborn twice. The National Football League handed down a $2,000 fine to Clayborn for "conduct involving members of the news media" over the incident. That followed another incident a week prior, in which Clayborn threatened Associated Press writer Bruce Lowitt for trying to ask Clayborn a question after the Patriots' season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.Clayborn finished his career with 36 interceptions, which he returned for 555 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and 3 touchdowns, and recovered 4 fumbles. At the time of his retirement, his 36 interceptions were a Patriots record. He is currently the NFL Uniform Program Representative for the Houston Texans.
He was elected to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame in 2017. On July 29, 2017, he signed a 1-day contract (at his request) prior to being inducted to officially retire as a New England Patriot.Reggie Phillips
Reginald Keith Phillips (born December 12, 1960) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears (1985–1987) and Phoenix Cardinals (1988). Phillips attended Southern Methodist University and Jack Yates Senior High School in Houston.
Phillips was a member of the 1985 Bears that won Super Bowl XX, returning an interception for a touchdown in that game. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle.Richard Dent
Richard Lamar Dent (born December 13, 1960) is a former American football defensive end, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was the MVP of Super Bowl XX. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.Shaun Gayle
Shaun Lanard Gayle (born March 8, 1962) is a former American football cornerback/safety in the NFL. He played twelve seasons, eleven for the Chicago Bears (1984–1994), and one for the San Diego Chargers (1995). He was a member of the Bears squad that won Super Bowl XX in 1985. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle. Gayle attended Ohio State University.
Gayle owns the distinction of returning the shortest punt for a touchdown in NFL history, when he returned a punt five yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants in the Bears 1985 divisional playoff victory. He is now appearing at the Chicago Bears Fan Convention. He currently works as an NFL analyst for Sky Sports, appearing on the weekly NFL broadcast.Thomas Sanders (American football)
Thomas Derrick Sanders (born January 4, 1962) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League for six seasons for the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. He was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX following the 1985 NFL season. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew" in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle. He played college football at Texas A&M University. Sat next to Richard Davies in Drafting at A&M.Tom Andrews (American football)
Thomas Edward Andrews (born January 11, 1962 in Parma, Ohio) is a former professional American football offensive tackle and center in the National Football League. He played three seasons in the NFL, two for the Chicago Bears (1984–1985) and one for the Seattle Seahawks (1987). He was a member of the 1985 Bears Super Bowl XX winning team.
Andrews is currently the senior director of development for Papa John's Pizza.
Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX champions
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (9)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (11)|
|League championships (6)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
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