The Chicago Bears are the National Football League’s keystone franchise. They have a storied and lengthy history. They lead the NFL with 26 Hall of Famers and 13 retired numbers.They have played in some of the NFL’s most storied games.
Their upcoming match-up with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game will become one of the most memorable games in franchise history. What are the most memorable postseason games in Bears history?
10) 1988 NFC Championship Game Vs San Francisco
With a game time temperature of 17 degrees and a wind chill of 26 below zero, most Chicagoans expected a win in “Bear Weather”. The 49ers scored in every quarter and outgained the Bears 406-267 in a 28-3 thrashing to advance to their third Super Bowl in eight years. Joe Montana threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns and Jerry Rice had 133 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Bears were eliminated from the playoffs at home for the third straight year.
9) 2001 Divisonal Playoffs Vs. Philadelphia
This was the last game played at Soldier Field before complete renovation. Native son Donovan McNabb crushed Chicagoans and ended the Bears dream season with a 33-19 victory.Mc Nabb threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 37 and another TD. One of McNabb’s touchdown passes went to Evanston High School Alum Cecil Martin.
The Bears only had 184 yards in total offense and committed four turnovers.
8) 1984 NFC Divisional Playoff at Washington
The Bears returned to the playoffs for only the third time in 21 seasons. They faced the task of trying to win their first playoff game in 21 seasons at RFK stadium in Washington against the defending NFC champion Redskins.
The Bears held leads of 16-3 and 23-10 before holding on for a shocking 23-19 win. Walter Payton finished with 104 rushing yards and a passing touchdown as the Bears earned Mike Ditka his first postseason victory.
7) 1932 NFL Championship Game Vs. Portsmouth
The first playoff game in NFL history was moved indoors to the Chicago Stadium. Fear of a low turnout because of a blizzard and sub-zero wind chills precipitated the move from Wrigley Field. It was also the NFL’s first indoor game and remained that way for decades.
The game was played on a 60 yard field that was also shortened 30 feet on the sidelines. The game also influenced many rule changes including the complete legalization of the forward pass, the goal posts being moved to the goal line and the NFL dropping the collegiate rules and starting to develop their own rule book.
6) 1934 NFL Championship Game Vs. New York Giants
Trailing 10-3 in the third quarter the New York Giants substituted their cleats for sneakers. The thinking was that on a frozen field, the sneakers would give the G-Men better traction. From that point on, the Giants outscored the Bears 17-3 to capture their first NFL Championship.
5) 1963 NFL Championship Game Vs. New York
The Bears hosted the New York Giants seeking their first NFL Championship in 17 years. The game was played at Wrigley Field after George Halas refused to move the game to Soldier Field per the request of NFL commissioner Pete Rozell. Rozell has requested the move because Soldier Field had lights and a much larger seating capacity.
The game matched the Giants top offense (#1 in yards and scoring) against the Bears’ league leading scoring defense.
Despite running 11 fewer plays, the game was played at the Bears tempo. They forced six turnovers while committing just two. A Billy Wade third quarter touchdown provided the winning margin and the Bears captured their own title between 1948 and 1984.
4) 1988 Divisional Playoffs Vs. Philadelphia/ The Fog Bowl
In one of the strangest games in NFL History, the Bears defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 20-12. The second half was played in a dense fog. Other than the players on the field, no one really knew what was happening. Eagles LB Seth Joyner was quoted as saying that it was impossible to audible
3) 1940 NFL Championship Game, Bears 73 Redskins 0
3) 1940 NFL Championship Game- In a game that may never be duplicated, the Bears obliterated the Washington Redskins 73-0 to win the NFL Championship.
The Bears had lost to Washington at the end of the regular season 7-3. Redskins owner George Preston Marshall had called the Bears cry babies after the Bears loss. The Bears raced out to a 28-0 lead at halftime, blitzed the ‘Skins for 45 points in the second half to cruise home to the lopsided victory.
Three interception returns for touchdowns highlighted the Bears win.
2) 1985 NFC Championship Game
2) After shutting out the Giants in the divisonal round a week earlier, the Bears became the only team to ever record back to back shutouts in the playoffs with a 24-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The crowning moment occurred when linebacker Wilbur Marshall returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the snow began to fall.
1) Super Bowl XX
Many thought the Bears were too cocky when the recorded the Super Bowl Shuffle. “We are the Bears Shufflin’ Crew, Shufflin’ on Down, Doin’ it for you” was what they preached. Only a loss to Miami on Monday Night Football in Week 13 kept the Bears from a perfect season.
The New England Patriots upset the Dolphins in Miami in the AFC Championship game in Miami to prevent the rematch the entire country outside of New England wanted.
The Bears scored 44 unanswered points after the Pats took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on their way to a 46-10 victory. Many thought it was Divine intervention that the Bears won scored 46 points in honor of their 46 defense.Defensive End Richard Dent was the MVP after recording 1.5 sacks. Many argued that Quarterback Jim McMahon should have been the MVP with 256 yards passing and two touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.