Did you know that the record for the most points scored by one team in a NFL game was set in the playoffs? The Chicago Bears dismantled the Washington Redskins with an astonishing score of 73-0! The National Football League Championship Game was the eighth in league history and was the first National radio telecast of the game.
This game marked the beginning of a four-year run by the Bears in the title game, winning three times and beating the Redskins two out of three times in that span. They beat the New York Giants in the other game. In fact, the last three times prior to the 1985 Super Bowl the Bears won the NFL Championship they played and beat the Giants. All told from 1920 through 1969, the Bears appeared in 17 title games, winning eight times. Their seventeen appearances in the title game ties the New York Giants for most appearances prior to 1970.
There were two main reasons for the success of the Bears in the 40’s. George Halas and Clark Shaughnessy pioneered the T-formation and quarterback Sid Luckman ran the T-formation as well as it has ever been run. The first four years of Luckman’s career saw the Bears post a 37-5-1 record with three titles in four appearances. The high point was, in some ways, the only season they didn’t win the Championship as they delivered an unbeaten season at 11-0 only to lose the Championship game. These were also the teams that first gained recognition as the “Monsters of the Midway”.
The Bears were one of the original teams in the NFL and George Halas is attributed as the main driving force of the early years in the NFL. Starting in 1919 as the Chicago Staleys, a company team for a food starch company, the franchise as been in continuous operation ever since. In 1920, the company sold the team to George Halas who kept the name Staleys for one year as part of the contract. In 1921, George decided to rename the team the Bears in honor of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. “Da Bears” have been an icon since, winning more championships overall than all but the Green Bay Packers.
There are many team records held by the Bears’ franchise but the two that I find the most intriguing are the highest overall winning percentage at .575. That is over 93 years which has certainly included many losing seasons, yet they have won a higher percentage of their games than any other team in the history of the NFL. In addition, they have won more games than any other team at 712. One final category that, while I am not surprised at the Bears holding the record, I was surprised by the year of the club that set the record for sacks in a season. No, I guessed the 85 Bears also, but it was actually the 84 team that set the record with 72.
The Chicago Bears rich history is well documented, but can they turn it all around and become that dominant team once again?
Steven Mallory is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at SMallory@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com