10 notes on ’85 Bears Super Bowl anniversary

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Nick Shepkowski
·5 min read
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“I don’t believe in living in the past. The past is for cowards. If you live in the past, you die in the past.” – Mike Ditka

Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears, there isn’t a lot about the present or that has happened in the last 35 years that gives a whole lot of joy.

Today marks 35 years since the Bears won their only Super Bowl, a 46-10 thrashing of the New England Patriots. If you’re reading this you’re already aware that the Bears have been back just once since and aside from the opening kickoff, there wasn’t a whole lot else that went right that evening in Miami.

I wasn’t even born yet when the Bears won that Super Bowl, but it remains as beloved of team as any the NFL has ever seen.

On a snowy day in Chicagoland where snow is falling from every direction, let’s take a look back at 10 things you may have forgotten about that special day in The Big Easy.

10. First time participants

Oct 10, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Duke Blue Devils tight end Jake Marwede (88) is tackled by Syracuse Orange defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu (2) while running with the ball during the third quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Garrett Reid-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl XX remains the last time both teams made their first appearance in the Super Bowl. The only way this could happen again is if the Detroit Lions were to advance as they're the only NFC team to never make it to a Super Bowl. They'd then have to face any of the Browns, Jaguars, Texans in the game as they're the only three AFC teams to never qualify.

9. Patriots set scoring record

Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

After the Bears lost a fumble on the first possession of the game, New England took over with great field position. Despite being stopped on a three-and-out, a 36-yard field goal by Tony Franklin put the Patriots up 3-0 just 1:19 into the game, the fastest a team had ever taken a Super Bowl lead.

8. Fewest rush yards allowed

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We're all aware that the Bears defense dominated that afternoon but just how much? There will be a few different notes to follow but let's start with the run defense that allowed just seven yards all evening, a Super Bowl record. The Patriots being blown out led to a lot of passing but New England never had a run longer than three yards that day, either.

7. Tony Eason's no good, very bad day

Credit: Photo By Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports © Copyright 1986 Malcolm Emmons

Patriots starting quarterback Tony Eason set a Super Bowl record that will never be broken, as long as the game is played. The University of Illinois product was benched for veteran Steve Grogan after starting the game 0-6 passing, being sacked three times, and losing a fumble. No starting quarterback will ever complete fewer passes in a game, that's for certain.

6. Second fewest total yards allowed

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In all, the Bears allowed just 123 total yards that afternoon, the second-fewest ever in a Super Bowl. Only the Steelers in Super Bowl IX held an opponent to fewer as the Vikings put up just 119 total yards in a game also played in New Orleans.

5. Walter Payton's lack of a touchdown

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Much was made of Walter Payton not getting in the end zone in Super Bowl XX, something Mike Ditka says he still regrets. However, Payton not scoring was the norm in his playoff career as the legendary back played in nine playoff games during his career but only scored two touchdowns - both against the Eagles in 1979.

4. Packers legend performed coin toss

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Things haven't gone the Bears way against the Packers for the better part of the last three decades. On that January afternoon however it was Packers legend and MVP of Super Bowl's I and II, Bart Starr who performed the coin toss as all previous game MVP's were honored before kickoff.

3. Richard Dent's MVP Day

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On a day the entire defense shined, nobody shined brighter than game MVP Richard Dent who recorded 1.5 sacks and forced a pair of fumbles in the 46-10 win. Dent would win a second Super Bowl nine years later with the 49ers but played in just two games that season due to injury.

2. Matt Suhey's Big First Half

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With the Bears' defensive dominance, it's easy to look past offensive performances in the blowout victory but while the issue was still in doubt, no offensive player was more valuable than fullback Matt Suhey. Suhey ran 11 yards touchdown for the game's first touchdown that stretched the lead to 13-3 before putting up 35 more yards on the drive that made it 20-3, Bears. A second-quarter fumble seemed to earn him a spot in the doghouse a bit but Suhey's huge first half helped put the Bears in a position to impose their will the majority of the evening.

1. Biggest Super Bowl blowout

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The 46-10 domination was the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history at the time but would be bested just four years later when the 49ers routed the Broncos 55-10 in a game also played in the Superdome. The 36-point margin remains the second-biggest blowout in the history of the Super Bowl to this day.