There is never a more endless debate among NFL fans than which was the best team of all-time. Lots of people love to pick the undefeated Miami Dolphins in 1972 for obvious reasons. Others claim the 2007 Patriots came one game from going 19-0 or the 1989 49ers who delivered the greatest beatdown in Super Bowl history. Yet none of these debates can start without the 1985 Chicago Bears.
To this day that team had what many feel was the greatest defense in NFL history. They also had the #1 rushing attack in the league and some explosive options in the passing game as well. It was a complete football team that nobody could stop. So where do they rank among the best of the best?
Mike Sando of The Athletic built a list of the top 25 most dominant teams of the past 25 years. He did so through five criteria: regular season win-loss record, regular season points per game ratio, postseason winning percentage, postseason points per game ratio, and points differential vs. teams with winning records. After crunching the numbers, it was official.
The ’85 Bears reigned supreme.
“Record: 15-1 (.938)
How they fared: Defeated Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX
Not only did the Bears go 8-1 against winning teams in 1985, but Walter Payton and Co. also outscored those teams by a combined 188 points, or 20.9 points per game. That includes a 21-0 win over the Giants in the divisional round, a 24-0 win over the Rams in the NFC Championship Game and the shellacking of the Patriots in the Super Bowl. They scored 9.1 times as many points as their playoff opponents, by far the largest ratio for any team. The Bears defense, with Mike Singletary, Steve McMichael and Richard Dent, is among the greatest in league history and was the driving force behind the most dominant single-season NFL team performance in the past 50 years.”
The 1985 Chicago Bears endure because of how good they were
A lot of people to this day wonder why fans in Chicago celebrate the ’85 Bears so much. Sure they won a Super Bowl but it’s not like they were a dynasty or anything. That just doesn’t tell the story. It’s one thing to just have a good season and win a championship. It’s another to make most of your opponents look like junior varsity squads by comparison. That is what they did. Teams didn’t want to play them and it showed every single Sunday.
It was also filled with an unforgettable cast of characters. All of whom continue to entertain to this day. They still lament not being able to win another title. Yet that hasn’t stopped them from taking pride in what they accomplished. Considering no other team since then has come close to what they achieved, it’s easy to understand why.