The best Chicago Bears team in franchise history
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The best Chicago Bears team in franchise history

Bears

The Chicago Bears have only won one Super Bowl title, which makes narrowing down the best team in franchise history pretty simple. However, it is somehow even easier than that for Chicago as the 1985 Bears are one of the best NFL teams of all time.

Not only that, but this team could make a really solid argument for the best single-season effort in the history of the NFL alongside the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins and a few other talented teams from over the years. Regardless of where the 1985 Bears ultimately stack up as far as NFL history goes, there is no doubt that this is the best football team that the “Windy City” has ever produced. Period.

The Bears began the 1985 campaign with three consecutive preseason losses before edging out the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field to wrap up the offseason. Despite a lopsided 1-3 preseason record, it would be quite a while until the Bears lost another game as Chicago would go on to rattle off 12 consecutive victories to begin the 1985 regular season. Defeating the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and especially the arch-rival Green Bay Packers twice apiece during that 12-game stretch, the Bears would finally drop a game at the hands of the Miami Dolphins — ironically enough — come Week 13. However, the 38-24 loss at home to the Dolphins would be the sole defeat of the team’s season as Chicago then strung together three consecutive wins to close out the regular season.

Entering the 1985 postseason at a stellar 15-1, it appeared as though things couldn’t get any better for the surging Bears. Think again, though, as the Bears would kickoff the playoffs with back-to-back shutout wins over the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams before absolutely dismantling the New England Patriots, 46-10, as a result of Super Bowl XX.

As if things couldn’t get any better for the Super Bowl Champion Bears in 1985, head coach Mike Ditka was tabbed as the league’s Coach of the Year with linebacker Mike Singletary being named as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and defensive end Richard Dent being crowned Super Bowl XX MVP.

Adding to the team’s long-lasting legacy, the 1985 Bears — like a few other North American professional sports teams of the 1980s — performed well both on and off the field. In addition to producing a 15-1 regular season record en route to another three wins come playoff time, the Bears’ roster sported a laundry list of eccentric personalities that made this team all the more interesting. Whether it was rookie defensive tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry, star quarterback Jim McMahon, legendary running back Walter Payton, or the aforementioned Ditka, among others, this team always managed to find itself right in the thick of the NFL spotlight during the mid-1980s.

As for the Bears organization as a whole, Chicago has reached just one Super Bowl since that memorable 1985 season while coming up just shy of a title back in 2006 against the Indianapolis Colts. The 1985 Bears remain the organization’s only Super Bowl Champion with 2020 serving as the 35th anniversary of this title.