1984 Chicago Bears season
Head Coach Mike Ditka
Home Field Soldier Field
Record 10-6
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Won NFC Divisional Playoff
Lost NFC Championship
Previous season Next season
1983 1985

The 1984 Chicago Bears season was their 65th regular season and 15th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 10-6 record, earning them a spot in the NFL playoffs. The Bears went on to lose in the NFC Championship Game 23-0 to the eventual Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers.

Great expectations Edit

The Bears opened 1984 in a new place- Platteville, Wisconsin. Coach Mike Ditka needed his team to get away from any distractions they might face at home, and they spent August 1984 in the cornfields getting ready for the campaign ahead. The team was on the verge of discovering a group of young leaders for the first time, began to show the most dominating defense the league would ever see, and pushed much farther than anyone expected them to go.

The first 5 games of 1984 Edit

There would be no opening day letdown in 1984. Chicago started the season by throttling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-14. Then they blanked the Denver Broncos 27-0 behind a huge day from Walter Payton. This game featured a famous image from Payton's career - a 50+ yard run down the sideline, led by 2nd-year guard Mark Bortz, an 8th round pickup that was converted from defensive tackle. The next week, with Jim McMahon out as the Bears visited Green Bay, reserve quarterback Bob Avellini took the reins. Chicago's offense performed poorly, but managed a 9-7 victory. This contest marked the first meeting of Mike Ditka and Forrest Gregg - a rivalry that would go down in history as arguably the dirtiest era in Chicago-Green Bay football. The next week, the Bears' lack of offensive power was evident as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks 38-9. After this loss, Ditka cut Avellini. The move didn't seem to matter because the following week the Bears lost to the Dallas Cowboys 23-14. A season that started at 3-0 was becoming dimmer, as the team was suddenly 3-2.

Record breaker and quarterback problems Edit

Walter Payton reached a major milestone as he surpassed Jim Brown as the game's all-time leading rusher in yards, he did it in the third quarter of an October 7 game at home against the New Orleans Saints. The Bears beat the Saints 20-7. Then they lost 38-21 to the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. Following this loss, they beat Tampa Bay 44-9, and the Minnesota Vikings at home, 16-7. Following the Minnesota win came the biggest challenge for the Bears - a showdown with the world champion Los Angeles Raiders.The Bears beat the Raiders 17-6, a game that showcased the NFL's leading sacker, Richard Dent, who collected three against Raiders QB Marc Wilson. The Bears victory was marred by a kidney laceration received by their QB Jim McMahon, sending him to the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

Who's really playing quarterback Edit

Six-year veteran QB Steve Fuller had been acquired from the Los Angeles Rams prior to the '84 season for insurance in case McMahon was injured. The investment paid off. Fuller guided the Bears to a 2-1 record over the next 3 games. In the third game at Minnesota's new Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on November 25, the team clinched its first NFC Central Division title. After the Minnesota game, Fuller was injured, and Chicago was faced with another quarterback problem. Ineffective Rusty Lisch replaced the injured Fuller and lost the December 3 game at San Diego, then started the following week against Green Bay at home. Lisch was again ineffective, so Ditka inserted none other than Walter Payton behind center in the shotgun formation. Payton was unsurprisingly ineffective as well, and the Bears lost to the Packers 20-14.

"Plan Z" to the playoffs Edit

Fuller was expected to return by the playoffs, but Ditka didn't want to enter the postseason with another loss. Ditka went to "Plan Z", and signed 14-year journeyman Greg Landry to start his last NFL game against the Detroit Lions (his old team), which he helped the Bears win 30-13. Chicago was poised to enter the postseason for the first time since 1979.

The postseason Edit

The first-round matchup sent the 10-6 Bears to Washington, a team that had lost to the Los Angeles Radiers in Super Bowl XVIII. Washington was heavily favored, but Chicago came away with a 23-19 victory that featured TD passes from Fuller as well as Payton on a halfback option pass. The momentum was clearly in the Bears' favor as they travelled to San Francisco for their first appearance in a championship game of any sort since their championship year in 1963. The line for the game came down steadily as the week wore on, but the Bears were shut out 23-0. Fuller had performed poorly in games against tough opponents, and the offense sputtered as the 49ers were able to stop Walter Payton all day long. The team had gone farther than many had expected them to go in 1984, and the season set the stage for their Super Bowl winning 1985 season.

Regular seasonEdit


Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 September 2, 1984 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 34-14 Soldier Field 1-0 58,789
2 September 9, 1984 Denver Broncos W 27–0 Soldier Field 2-0 54,335
3 September 16, 1984 at Green Bay Packers W 9-7 Lambeau Field 3-0 55,942
4 September 23, 1984 at Seattle Seahawks L 38-9 Kingdome 3-1 61,520
5 September 30, 1984 Dallas Cowboys L 23-14 Soldier Field 3-2 63,623
6 October 7, 1984 New Orleans Saints W 20-7 Soldier Field 4-2 53,752
7 October 14, 1984 at St. Louis Cardinals L 38-21 Busch Stadium 4-3 49,554
8 October 21, 1984 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 44-9 Tampa Stadium 5-3 60,003
9 October 28, 1984 Minnesota Vikings W 16-7 Soldier Field 6-3 57,517
10 November 4, 1984 Los Angeles Raiders W 17-6 Soldier Field 7-3 59,858
11 November 11, 1984 at Los Angeles Rams L 29-13 Anaheim Stadium 7-4 62,021
12 November 18, 1984 Detroit Lions W 16-14 Soldier Field 8-4 54,911
13 November 25, 1984 at Minnesota Vikings W 34-3 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 9-4 56,881
14 December 3, 1984 at San Diego Chargers L 20-7 Jack Murphy Stadium 9-5 45,470
15 December 9, 1984 Green Bay Packers L 20-14 Soldier Field 9-6 59,374
16 December 16, 1984 at Detroit Lions W 30-13 Pontiac Silverdome 10-6 53,252


NFC Central
view · talk · edit W L T PCT PF PA STK
Chicago Bears 10 6 0 .625 325 248 W1
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 390 309 W3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 0 .375 335 380 W2
Detroit Lions 4 11 1 .281 283 408 L3
Minnesota Vikings 3 13 0 .188 276 484 L6


Round Date Opponent Result Game site TV Attendance
Divisional Round December 30, 1984 at Washington Redskins W 23-19 R.F.K. Stadium CBS 55,431
NFC Championship January 6, 1985 at San Francisco 49ers L 23-0 Candlestick Park CBS 61,040


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1984 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XIX

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