Today in Sports History: January 26

By Jonah Sharf

On January 26, 1986, the Chicago Bears — led by head coach Mike Ditka, a legendary defense headed by Richard Dent, and an incredible running game with Walter Payton — won Super Bowl XX. The 1985 season was the Bears’ most successful season to date since the NFL-AFL merger, not just in that they won their first and only Super Bowl, but they also finished the season at an incredible 15-1. The Bears’ defense, the “46 defense”, allowed the fewest points (198), fewest total yards (4,135), and fewest rushing of any team during the regular season (1,319), also leading the league in interceptions (34) and ranked third in sacks (64). Payton also had a typical season for him, recording 2,034 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns. After giving up the first score to the New England Patriots on a field goal, the Bears scored an incredible 44 straight points to go up 44-3 before giving up a touchdown to the Patriots, then earned a safety for the final score of 46-10. Payton actually only had 61 rushing yards on 22 carries and no touchdowns, but fullback Matt Suhey added one TD, as did William “the refrigerator” Perry, while quarterback Jim McMahon added two rushing touchdowns. Defensive End Richard Dent blocked a pass, recorded 1.5 sacks, and forced two fumbles to be named Super Bowl MVP.


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