1986 Chicago Bears season

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1986 Chicago Bears season
Chicago Bears logo.svg
Head coach Mike Ditka
(5th season)
General manager Jerry Vainisi
(Since 1983)
Owner The McCaskey Family
(Family control since 1921; Virginia McCaskey since 1983)
Home field Soldier Field
Results
Record 14–2
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (Redskins) 27–13
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros

The 1986 Chicago Bears season was their 67th regular season and 17th post-season completed in the National Football League. The Bears entered the season looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, as they had won in 1985. Chicago managed to finish 14–2, one game off of their 1985 record of 15–1, and tied the New York Giants for the league's best record.

After winning the championship in 1985, the team seemed like a dynasty in the making. However, quarterback Jim McMahon showed up to training camp 25 pounds overweight – the product of the post-Super Bowl partying he'd partaken in. Nonetheless, he was once again named as the starter. Injuries, however, derailed his season. McMahon played in only six of the team's first 12 games.

In week 12, McMahon was on the receiving end of one of the most vicious hits in NFL history. In a game against the Green Bay Packers, McMahon was blindsided by Packers defensive lineman Charles Martin. Martin had gone into the game with a hit list of Bears players. McMahon was his first victim. After McMahon threw an interception, Martin hoisted the quarterback into the air and slammed him into the ground, a few seconds after the play had ended. McMahon writhed on the ground in pain, having suffered a separated shoulder. He was out for the remainder of the year. Still, the Bears won that game, and went undefeated for the rest of the regular season as well. McMahon's loss may have been a blessing in disguise, as by any standard, he was having a horrible season.

Aided by a strong offensive line, the Bears were once again led on offense by Walter Payton. Payton remained his usual stellar self, posting his 10th and final 1000-yard season. With McMahon's poor play, as well as the equally poor play of backups Mike Tomczak, Steve Fuller and Doug Flutie, Payton was the sole spark on offense, which ranked 13th in the NFL.

As had been the case the year before, the Bears were once again led by their explosive defense. Any shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball were more than made up for on the defensive side. They once again were ranked #1 in the NFL. The Bears' defense became the third defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest points allowed and fewest total yards allowed for two consecutive seasons.[3] The Bears' 187 points allowed is the fewest surrendered by any team in the 1980s (other than the strike-shortened 1982 season) – even fewer than the 198 points the Bears allowed in their historic 1985 season.

However, the Bears were not able to recapture their magic from the season before and were bounced from the playoffs in their first game by the Washington Redskins.

1986 NFL Draft[edit]

Main article: 1986 NFL Draft
1986 Chicago Bears draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 27 Neal Anderson *  Running back Florida
2 55 Vestee Jackson  Cornerback Washington
3 82 David Williams  Wide receiver Illinois
4 110 Paul Blair  Tackle Oklahoma State
5 138 Lew Barnes  Wide receiver Oregon
6 166 Jeff Powell  Running back Tennessee
7 194 Bruce Jones  Defensive back North Alabama
8 221 Maurice Douglass  Defensive back Kentucky
9 249 John Teltschik  Punter Texas
10 277 Barton Hundley  Defensive back Kansas State
11 305 Glen Kozlowski  Wide receiver Brigham Young
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Preseason[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record
1 August 3, 1986 Dallas Cowboys W 17–6 Wembley Stadium 1–0
2 August 9, 1986 Pittsburgh Steelers W 33–13 Three Rivers Stadium 2–0
3 August 16, 1986 Indianapolis Colts W 38–21 Soldier Field 3–0
4 August 23, 1986 St. Louis Cardinals L 7–14 Soldier Field 3–1
5 August 30, 1986 Buffalo Bills W 31–17 Notre Dame Stadium 4–1

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1986 Cleveland Browns W 41–31
66,030
2 September 14, 1986 Philadelphia Eagles W 13–10
65,130
3 September 22, 1986 at Green Bay Packers W 25–12
55,527
4 September 28, 1986 at Cincinnati Bengals W 44–7
55,146
5 October 5, 1986 Minnesota Vikings W 23–0
63,921
6 October 12, 1986 at Houston Oilers W 20–7
46,026
7 October 19, 1986 at Minnesota Vikings L 23–7
62,851
8 October 26, 1986 Detroit Lions W 13–7
62,064
9 November 3, 1986 Los Angeles Rams L 20–17
64,877
10 November 9, 1986 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 23–3
70,097
11 November 16, 1986 at Atlanta Falcons W 13–10
55,520
12 November 23, 1986 Green Bay Packers W 12–10
59,291
13 November 30, 1986 Pittsburgh Steelers W 13–10
61,425
14 December 7, 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 48–14
52,746
15 December 15, 1986 at Detroit Lions W 16–13
75,602
16 December 21, 1986 at Dallas Cowboys W 24–10
57,256

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: vs. Cleveland Browns[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 7 7 7 10 31
• Bears 21 3 7 10 41

[4]

Week 2: vs. Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
1 2 3 4 OT Total
Eagles 3 0 0 7 0 10
Bears 0 0 10 0 3 13
  • Date: Sunday, September 14
  • Location: Soldier Field, Chicago
  • Game start: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game attendance: 65,130
  • Game weather: 66°F, (Cloudy) wind 12 mph

Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers[edit]

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 0 0 3 7 10
Bears 2 7 0 3 12

Week 15: at Detroit Lions[edit]

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 3 0 13 16
Lions 3 3 7 0 13

Week 16: at Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 7 14 3 0 24
Cowboys 0 0 0 10 10

Roster and staff[edit]

Staff[edit]

Coaching Staff of 1986 season

Front office

Coaches

 

Position coaches

Trainers

 

Scouts

Roster[edit]

Complete Roster of 1986 season

Quarterbacks

Offensive backs

Receivers

Tight ends

 

Kickers

Offensive line

Defensive line

 

Linebackers

Cornerbacks

Defensive backs

Safeties

 

Reserve Lists

Rookies in italics

Depth chart[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 3, 1987 Washington Redskins L 27–13
65,141

Game Summary[edit]

NFC Divisional Playoff: Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Redskins 7 0 7 13 27
Bears 0 13 0 0 13

at Soldier Field, Chicago

  • Date: January 3, 1987
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 33°F, relative humidity 85°F, round (wind) 7 MPH
  • Boxscore [1]
Game information

The 1986 Bears earned a first round playoff bye, but in their opening playoff game, they were upset at home by the Washington Redskins. A holding penalty and a missed field goal by Kevin Butler frustrated the Bears in the first quarter. They still, however, managed to take a 13–7 lead into halftime. But their usually stout defense fell apart in the second half, allowing the Redskins to score 20 unanswered points.

"Maybe my dreams didn't come true", said Chicago Coach Mike Ditka. "The defense has to play outstanding and today they were just not up to the way the Redskins were playing."

Despite injuries to Redskins offensive linemen Joe Jacoby and Russ Grimm, the Washington offensive line was able to pick up the Bears patented blitzes. Washington quarterback Jay Schroeder was sacked only twice. He was also able to use the blitzes to his advantage, completing passes while being chased out of the pocket.

Trailing 14–13 in the 4th quarter, the Bears good fortune ran out, when the usually dependable Payton lost a fumble, which led to an 83-yard touchdown drive by the Redskins. The long drive perpetrated against the NFL's best defense seemed to take the wind out of the Bears' sails. A few minutes later, the Bears muffed a punt return which set up an easy field goal for the Redskins. The Bears lost 27–13.

Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Chicago Bears(2) 14 2 0 .875 7–1 10–2 352 187 W7
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 6–2 8–4 398 273 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 3–5 4–8 277 326 L4
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 3–5 3–9 254 418 L1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 0 .125 1–7 1–13 239 473 L7

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1986 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 
  2. ^ "1986 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 
  3. ^ The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.294, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jun-06.

External links[edit]