Surviving Barstool | Ep. 3 Premieres Wednesday (11/29) at 8PM ETWATCH EP. 2 NOW

On This Date in Sports January 26, 1986: Shuffle Up

In collaboration with the

The Chicago Bears complete a dominant season with a Lombardi Trophy as they crush the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX at the Louisiana Superdome. The Patriots scored first in the game, kicking a field goal after a fumble by Walter Payton. The Bears scored the next 44 points, forcing six turnovers as Richard Dent was named the game's MVP. The 46-10 set a record for points and margin of victory in the Super Bowl, as the Bears celebrated by giving both coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan a victory ride off the field. 

The Chicago Bears had one of the great seasons in NFL history, posting a record of 15-1 as they set a record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season. The Bears allowed 198 points on the season, with two shutouts as they held teams to ten or fewer points in 11 games. They released a music video titled "The Super Bowl Shuffle," which became a cultural phenomenon. In the playoffs, the Bears, who had not won a championship since 1963, dominated, beating the New York Giants 21-0 in the Divisional Round and beating the Los Angeles Rams 24-0 in the NFC Championship Game.

The Bears had been on the rise in recent years, the New England Patriots trip to Super Bowl XX was unexpected. Led by coach Raymond Berry. The Patriots posted a record if 11-5 and slipped into the playoffs as a Wild Card. They beat the New York Jets 26-14 in the Wild Card Game. After upsetting the Los Angeles Raiders 27-20 in the Divisional Round, the Patriots had to face the ghosts and demons of the Orange Bowl. The Patriots had never won a game in Miami, since 1966 but by forcing six turnovers, they upset the Dolphins 31-14 to reach the Super Bowl. The upset win in Miami prevented a rematch with the Dolphins and Bears, the only team to beat Chicago in the regular season. 

The Bears entered the game as a ten-point favorite as quarterback Jim McMahon created controversy referring to women hanging around the team's hotel as "sluts" and wearing an Adidas headband, which led to a fine from the NFL. In response, McMahon started wearing a headband with Rozelle written on it in reference to commissioner Pete Rozelle. The Patriots' upset of Miami began with a fumble and a field goal. The same script began Super Bowl XX as Walter Payton lost the ball on his second carry of the game. The fumble led to a 36-yard field goal by Tony Franklin, giving New England a 3-0 lead. The Bears responded with a drive that ended with a 28-yard field goal by Kevin Butler. The Bears would begin taking control late in the first quarter as Tony Eason lost the ball on Dan Hampton's strip-sack. The Bears would settle for a 24-yard field goal by Butler taking a 6-3 lead. Moments later, Craig James lost the ball to Mike Singletary; this time, the Bears would take full advantage as Matt Shuey had an 11-yard touchdown run to make it 13-3 at the end of the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, the Bears extended the lead to 20-3 with a long drive that was capped by a touchdown from Jim McMahon, who scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak. The Bears made life miserable for Tony Eason, as the Patriots' quarterback did not complete a pass in six attempts as Steve Grogan came off the bench in the second quarter. Grogan would not fare much better as the Bears ended the half with a third field goal from Kevin Butler to hold a 23-3 lead at the half. 

After the Patriots were stopped on their first drive, the Bears continued their domination, marching down the field and making it 30-3 as Jim McMahon leaped over the pile and went into the end zone head first. Moments later, Reggie Phillips had a pick-six to make the score 37-3, as midnight had struck for the Cinderella Patriots. The Bears quickly got the ball back as Wilber Marshall took the ball away from Stanley Morgan. The Bears would become the first team in Super Bowl history to top 40 points, adding insult to injury as William Perry, affectionately known as the Refridgerator, scored from the one. The touchdown was somewhat controversial as Walter Payton was seemingly frozen out after his first quarter fumble. Payton was the focus of the New England defense and held to 61 yards on 22 carries and did not score a touchdown. 

The Patriots would go on a time-consuming drive, which helped stem the Bears tide. Aided by penalties, the Patriots found the end zone in the fourth quarter as Steve Grogan connected with Irving Fryar on an eight-yard touchdown pass. After the Bears turned the ball over on downs deep in Patriots' territory, the Bears defense capped the scoring as Stephen Starring sacked Grogan in the end zone for a safety. The final score was 46-10 in favor of the Bears. Richard Dent, credited with one and a half sacks, was named MVP as the Bears defense dominated, forcing six turnovers, while the Patriots had 123 yards total offense.