1980sBob CostasChicago BearsDick EnbergMerlin OlsenNBCNew England PatriotsNFLNFL Hall of FameRonald ReaganSuper Bowl XX

NFL – 1986 – Super Bowl XX – Chicago Bears VS New England Patriorts – NBC PreGame & 1st Half

DOG COMMENTARY:

NBC was the network that hosted Super Bowl XX on January 26, 1986 live from the Louisiana Superdome in New Orlean, LA….as their broadcast crew featured Bob Costas, Ahmad Rashad, Bill Macatee, Pete Axthelm….with Dick Enberg, Bob Griese and Merlin Olsen calling the game….as their pre-game telecast included NFL 1985 Season highlights….along with interviews of Tom Brokaw, US President Ronald Reagan, comedian Bill Cosby…..and Bears QB Jim McMahon, RB Walter “Sweetness” Payton, DE Richard Dent and Coach Mike Ditka…..along with Patriots LB Andre Tippett, QB Tony Eason and Coach Raymond Berry.

After the opening kickoff….the Patriots took the then-quickest lead in Super Bowl history after linebacker Larry McGrew recovered a fumble from Walter Payton at the Chicago 19-yard line on the second play of the game….as Bears QB Jim McMahon took responsibility for this fumble after the game….saying he had called the wrong play. This opening series fumble set up Tony Franklin’s 36-yard field goal 1:19 into the first quarter after three incomplete passes by Tony Eason….the first of which starting tight end Lin Dawson went down with torn ligaments in his knee….then the Bears struck back on a 7-play, 59-yard drive….which featured a 43-yard pass completion from McMahon to wide receiver Willie Gault to set up a field goal from Kevin Butler….and tied the score 3–3. After both teams traded punts, Richard Dent and linebacker Wilber Marshall shared a sack on Eason….which forced a fumble that lineman Dan Hampton recovered on the Patriots 13-yard line….as Chicago then drove to the 3-yard line….but had to settle for another field goal from Butler after rookie defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry was tackled for a 1-yard loss while trying to throw his first NFL pass on a halfback option play. On the Patriots’ ensuing drive, Dent forced running back Craig James to fumble….which was recovered by Singletary at the 13-yard line….and two plays later, Bears fullback Matt Suhey scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 13–3….as New England took the ensuing kickoff and ran one play before the first quarter ended….which resulted in positive yardage for the first time in the game with a 3-yard run by James. 

After an incomplete pass and a 4-yard loss to start the 2nd half….the Patriots had to send in punter Rich Camarillo again….and punt returner Keith Ortego returned the ball 12 yards to the 41-yard line….after which the Bears subsequently drove 59 yards in 10 plays, featuring a 24-yard reception by Suhey….only to score on McMahon’s 2-yard touchdown run to increase their lead, 20–3.  After the ensuing kickoff, New England lost 13 yards in 3 plays and had to punt again….but got the ball back with great field position when defensive back Raymond Clayborn recovered a fumble from Suhey at their own 46-yard line. On the punt, Ortego forgot what the play call was for the punt return….and the ensuing chaos resulted in him being penalized for running after a fair catch….as  teammate Leslie Frazier suffered a knee injury, which ended his career, on the play.

Patriots coach Raymond Berry then replaced QB Eason with Steve Grogan….who had spent the previous week hoping he would have the opportunity to step onto NFL’s biggest stage….but on his first drive….Grogan could only lead them to the 37-yard line….and the Pats decided to punt rather than risk a 55-yard field goal attempt….after which the Bears then marched 72 yards in 11 plays….moving the ball inside the Patriots’ 10-yard line….but New England kept them out of the end zone….as Butler kicked his third field goal on the last play of the half to give Chicago a 23–3 halftime lead.

The end of the first half was controversial….for with 21 seconds left before halftime…. McMahon scrambled to the Patriots’ 3-yard line and was stopped inbounds….and with the clock ticking down….players from both teams were fighting….and the Bears were forced to snap the ball before the officials formally put it back into play….which allowed McMahon to throw the ball out of bounds and stop the clock with three seconds left…after which The Bears were penalized five yards for delay of game….but according to NFL rules….10 seconds should have also been run off the clock during such a deliberate clock-stopping attempt in the final two minutes of a half.  In addition, a flag should have been thrown for fighting….also according to NFL rules….so, this would have likely resulted in offsetting penalties….which would still allow for a field goal attempt. Meanwhile, the non-call on the illegal snap was promptly acknowledged by the officials and reported by NBC sportscasters during halftime….but the resulting three points were not taken away from the Bears…and because of this instance….the NFL instructed officials to strictly enforce the 10-second run-off rule at the start of the 1986 season.

The Bears had dominated New England in the first half, holding them to 21 offensive plays….with only four of which resulting in positive yardage….as the Pats had a total of −19 offensive yards with two pass completions….while only getting one first down and 3 points. During QB Easons’ six 1st half possessions….one play out of 15 was for positive yardage, with no first downs while managing only 3 points…but having 3 punts, 2 turnovers, no pass completions and -36 yards of total offense.  Meanwhile, Chicago gained 236 yards and scored 23 points themselves.

Super Bowl XX probably featured the greatest Chicago Bears team of all time….which showcased 6 future Hall of Fame players and coaches in DE Richard Dent, DT Dan Hampton, RB Walter Payton, LB Mike Singletary, Head Coach Mike Ditka and Assistant Coach Dick Stanfel….as the Patriots had G John Hannah, LB Andre Tippett and Head Coach Raymond Berry….which for this reason alone….makes this video worth watching over and over again.

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