Down to the final two today…finally!
Second Most Memorable Chicago Bears Game Since 1979
Bears 24, Rams 0: NFC Championship: January 12, 1986
The stage was set for the Chicago Bears to return to the NFL Championship game for the first time since 1963. Most everyone in the nation did believe that the Bears would win. Most, that is, other than famous prognosticator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, who sat on the Soldier Field sidelines just prior to gametime and predicted the Rams would upset the home team. Those that did give Los Angeles a shot pointed to Ram running back Eric Dickerson’s 248 yards rushing the previous week against Dallas. But as we saw earlier in the season, the Bears were in a different class than the Cowboys in 1985.
Dickerson mustered only 46 yards and fumbled twice in the Bears devastating 24-0 victory. The Rams could only muster 130 total yards and crossed the Bear 35 only once, after the Bears fumbled a punt. Leading 17-0 with the final minutes in the game ticking off, a light snow began to fall. Players began to celebrate on the sideline. Ram quarterback Dieter Brock dropped back to pass, was hit and stripped, and the fumble was picked up by lightning-fast Bear linebacker Wilber Marshall. Marshall raced 52 yards for the Bears final touchdown, led at times by rookie phenom William Perry, in one of the most indelible scenes in Chicago Bears history.
After the game, Bear defensive lineman Dan Hampton was asked when he thought the Bears took control of the line of scrimmage. His answer: “Kickoff.” That’s exactly how the game went.
Bear quarterback Jim McMahon also put on an unforgettable performance, on the sideline as well as off the field. Prior to the conference championship game, McMahon was warned about wearing his trademark “Adidas” headband by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, and the quarterback responded by donning a headband that read “Rozelle.” “[McMahon] was a crazy nut out there,” Bear Hall of Famer Walter Payton said, “he did everything but take his clothes off.”
The streets of Chicago were happily mad after the victory, and it would only get better two weeks later.