20th Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game since 1979
Bears 17, Raiders 6: November 4, 1984
For what is pointed to as the first game in which the mid-80′s Bears juggernaut reared its head, it’s odd that although I attended this game, I don’t remember anything specific about it. To me as a 13-year old, I hoped and thought the Bears would win every game, and perhaps for this reason I didn’t even notice that they were doing so on a more regular basis and with more and more dominance.
This is the game that many of the ’85 Bears themselves point to as when they began to be taken seriously. The Raiders had won the Super Bowl in 1983 and were still a dominant, 11-5 team in 1984.
But they did absolutely nothing at Soldier Field on this day. The Bears jumped to a 14-0 lead on two Walter Payton touchdowns, and would only muster two field goals in this game which the Bears won 17-6.
The real story to this game are the defensive statistics. Defensive end Richard Dent, who would lead the NFL in sacks, registered a whopping total of 4.5 in this game. The unit as a whole registered 9 total, plus 3 interceptions. Raider starting quarterback Marc Wilson was knocked from the game and replaced by David Humm, but both only totalled 126 yards passing.
The Raiders did do one thing that may have sealed Chicago’s playoff fate. They did give a grotesque injury to Bear quarterback Jim McMahon, when we went down with a lacerated kidney. The injury would end McMahon’s season in November. While the Bears won the NFC Central and advanced to the NFC Championship game at San Francisco, their lack of offense behind Steve Fuller there was apparent.
But on this day, Chicago roared back to NFL prominence for the first time since the 1960′s, and they would stay at the forefront of America’s minds for most of the next 10 years.