(WBBM NEWSRADIO) It's time to fire up the time machine. We take you back to Jan. 26, 1986 and to the Superdome in New Orleans, the host of Super Bowl XX and the site of the Bears' last championship.
Thursday marked the 37th anniversary of the Bears' crowning achievement. They clobbered the Patriots, 46-10, clinching the franchise’s first and only Super Bowl victory. After a somewhat uneasy start in which legendary running back Walter Payton fumbled on the team’s opening drive, the Bears (18-1) dominated, scoring 44 consecutive points. The game became more like a celebration of a juggernaut than a tense, competitive battle.
The Chicago defense, just as it had done for the entire 1985 season, toyed with the New England offense. Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent spearheaded a defensive effort that registered several Super Bowl records that still stand today. The Bears terrorized Patriots quarterbacks Steve Grogan and Tony Eason, sacking them seven times (a Super Bowl record) and picking them off twice, one which was a touchdown return by defensive back Reggie Phillips. The Patriots were held to a measly seven rushing yards, a Super Bowl low.
The Bears' offense complemented the defense’s heroics by amassing 408 yards and rushing for four touchdowns. Punky quarterback Jim McMahon, the center of attention all week for mooning a local news helicopter while at a practice in New Orleans, rushed for two of those scores. But perhaps the most memorable moment came late in the third quarter, when Bears defensive tackle William “The Refrigerator” Perry took a handoff and plunged forward for a one yard touchdown, making the score 44-3. It's still the biggest lead after three quarters in Super Bowl history.
When the clock hit zero and head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan were both hoisted onto players' shoulders, it was easy for Bears fans to believe that this was the beginning of a dynasty. Alas, it didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean the Super Bowl XX anniversary isn’t worth remembering every year.
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