The Best Chicago Bears Of All Time By Jersey Number: #30-39

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#34-Walter Payton

Tenure: 1975-1987

I could write for days on my favorite player of all time, but I’ll try and keep myself in check. I suppose that I could start by saying that at one point in time, Walter Payton held the NFL records for career rushing yards (16, 726), touchdowns (125), yards from scrimmage (21, 264), and all-purpose yards (21, 803). I could follow up with the facts that he was a six-time First Team All-Pro, a three-time Second Team All-Pro, a nine-time Pro Bowler, a member of the 1970s All-Decade Team, a member of the 1980s All-Decade Team, a member of the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. He was the 1977 NFL MVP, a season which included a game where he ran for 275 yards. But yes, I’m going to take it here. I’m still very upset that he did not score a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. I know giving the ball to The Fridge was funny, but the fact the Bears scored 46 points and Walter Payton didn’t score one of them is a travesty. Nevertheless, Walter Payton remains one of the greatest players in NFL history and will be remembered not just for his great play on the field, but for the way he carried himself off the field as well. His work with charities and his own foundation was truly remarkable and there’s a reason that the award that honors a player’s work with charity bears Payton’s name. There will never be another player like Walter Payton. RIP, Sweetness.

1975: 13 games, 196 carries, 679 yards, 7 TD—33 receptions, 213 yards

1976: 14 games, 311 carries, 1390 yards, 13 TD—15 receptions, 149 yards

1977: 14 games, 339 carries, 1852 yards, 14 TD—27 receptions, 269 yards, 2 TD

1978: 16 games, 333 carries, 1395 yards, 11 TD—50 receptions, 480 yards

1979: 16 games, 369 carries, 1610 yards, 14 TD—31 receptions, 313 yards, 2 TD

1980: 16 games, 317 carries, 1460 yards, 6 TD—46 receptions, 367 yards, 1 TD

1981: 16 games, 339 carries, 1222 yards, 6 TD—41 receptions, 379 yards, 2 TD

1982: 9 games, 148 carries, 596 yards, 1 TD—32 receptions, 311 yards

1983: 16 games, 314 carries, 1421 yards, 6 TD—53 receptions, 607 yards, 2 TD

1984: 16 games, 381 carries, 1684 yards, 11 TD—45 receptions, 368 yards

1985: 16 games, 324 carries, 1551 yards, 9 TD—49 receptions, 483 yards, 2 TD

1986: 16 games, 321 carries, 1333 yards, 8 TD—37 receptions, 382 yards, 3 TD

1987: 12 games, 146 carries, 533 yards, 4 TD—33 receptions, 217 yards, 1 TD

Runner-up: Yeah, right.