Tag Archives: chicago bears

Dec. 8, 1940 – Bears beat the Redskins, 73-0, in the 8th NFL Championship Game

image

The game was played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., and broadcasted on radio by Mutual Broadcasting System, the first NFL title game broadcast nationwide. The Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins, 73–0, the most one-sided victory in NFL history.

The Redskins had beat the Bears 7–3 in a regular season game three weeks earlier. After the contest, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall told reporters that the Bears were “quitters” and “cry babies” when the going got tough. As the Bears prepared for the rematch, Chicago head coach George Halas fired up his team by showing them newspaper articles of Marshall’s comments.

Less than a minute into the game, the Bears’ running back Bill Osmanski ran 68 yards to score the first touchdown. After the Redskins narrowly missed an opportunity to tie the game, the Bears clamped down and began to dominate, leaving the field at halftime with a 28-0 lead. Things only got worse for the Redskins, and by the end of the second half officials were asking Halas not to let his team kick for extra points, as they were running out of footballs after too many had been kicked into the stands.

The Bears followed their history-making win with two more consecutive championships, including a game against the New York Giants just two weeks after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Many great football players were subsequently drafted into World War II, and Halas himself would leave in 1942 for a tour of duty in the Pacific. In 1946, after the war ended, Halas and a number of former players returned to the team, and the Bears won their fourth NFL Championship in seven years.

Nov. 20, 1977 – Walter Payton ran for a then NFL-record 275 yards

image

In the first half alone, Walter Payton carried the ball 26 times for 144 yards and scored one touchdown. The Chicago Bears built a 10-0 halftime lead and hung on for a 10-7 victory over their NFC Central Division rivals. But, that wasn’t the story on this day. A Soldier Field crowd of 57,359 could feel that history was being made. With just a bit more than three minutes to play in the game, Payton broke loose for a 58-yard run to the Minnesota Vikings‘ 9-yard line. Not only did he put the Bears in scoring position but also put him within five yards of O. J. Simpson‘s single-game rushing record of 273 yards. Payton carried the ball two more times and gained seven yards to claim the record.

In that record-setting game, Payton was suffering with a 101-degree fever and intense flu. His longest run was for 58 yards, and he caught one pass for 6 yards. His record stood for 23 years until Corey Dillon of the Cincinnati Bengals ran for 278 yards in 2000.

Payton was once asked what defenses could do to stop him. His response: “The night before the game, I guess they’d have to kidnap me.”

SOME OF PAYTON’S NUMEROUS NFL RECORDS:

  • Most Yards Gained, Career – 16,726
  • Most Seasons, 1000 or More Yards Rushing (tied) – 10
  • Most Games, 100 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 77
  • Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 3,838
  • Most Combined Yards Gained, Career – 21,803
  • Most Combined Yards Attempts, Career – 4,368

via profootballhof.com

Oct. 7, 1984 – Walter Payton passed Jim Brown to become the NFL leading rusher

Walter Payton finished Chicago Bears‘ victory over the New Orleans Saints with 154 yards on 32 carries, giving him a career total of 12,400 yards, 88 more than Brown.

Many modern NFL running backs have cited Payton as a source of inspiration. Emmitt Smith tearfully paid homage to Payton after breaking Payton’s rushing record. LaDainian Tomlinson, who set numerous records during the 2006 NFL season, named Payton as one of his foremost mentors and inspirations.

Payton was the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing yards and all-purpose yards prior to the 2002 NFL season, when Emmitt Smith broke his record. He also held the single game rushing record until the 2000 NFL season, when it was broken by Corey Dillon. Payton led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns in the 1977 NFL season. Also, he was among the top-ten players for rushing attempts during his entire career, including 1976, 1977, and 1978, leading the category in 1979. As of 2006, he was the NFL’s second all-time rusher, and he ranked third in rushing touchdowns scored. Along with Frank Gifford, Payton threw six interceptions, more than any other non-quarterback position in NFL history. He also passed for eight touchdowns.