Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game 13B

Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game #13B since 1979

Dolphins 38, Bears 24: December 2, 1985

It was, almost literally, the Monday Night Football matchup of the century.  The 12-0 Chicago Bears visiting the 8-4 Dolphins in Miami, with the home team defending their legacy as the only team to have ever finished with a perfect season.  The Bears were fast becoming America’s team, and had just shutout the Falcons (36-0) and Cowboys (44-0) in the previous two weeks.

The one wildcard for the Bears was that starting quarterback Jim McMahon would be missing his fourth consecutive game with shoulder and back problems.  It was felt with one more week of rest, he would be ready to start again, and would even be available in a pinch in this game.

The pinch most certainly came.  The Dolphins scored on every first half possession and led 31-10 at halftime.  During the intermission, it has been vaguely said by players that Bears head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan came to blows in the locker room, allegedly over Ryan’s refusal to play nickel defense against Miami’s all-world passing attack.

McMahon did enter the contest late in the game with hopes of a comeback, but it was not to be.  The final score in what is still the most watched Monday Night Football game in history was Miami 38, Bears 24.

Many Bears had recorded the audio version of the Super Bowl Shuffle the prior week, and many more would meet to record the video the very day after the loss.  In Kevin Lamb’s Portrait of Victory, defensive lineman Dan Hampton was quoted as saying “Any time you start patting yourself on the back, you’ve only got one hand to play with.  We’ll talk about how good we are when it’s over.”  Hampton refused to take part in the song or video.

One Response to “Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game 13B”

  1. It also didn’t help that a twice tipped ball went for a Dolphins’ TD. I think it even bounced off Wilbur Marshall’s helmet. Ditka said in later years that they were unprepared for the ambush they faced in Miami, helped by many of the ’72 Dolphins on the sideline. With a healthy McMahaon I don’t know if the Bears win this one, but the score would definitely have been a lot closer than a 14 pt. spread.

    The 1972 Dolphins were a great team, but certainly not the best ever. During that season they only beat two teams with winning records, and both those teams were 8-6.

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