The Patriots were a "Cinderella team during the 1985 season because many sports writers and fans thought they were lucky to make the playoffs at all. New England began the season losing three of their first five games, but won six consecutive games to finish with an 11–5 record. However, the 11–5 mark only earned them third place in the "AFC East behind the "Miami Dolphins and the "New York Jets.
Quarterback "Tony Eason, in his third year in the NFL, was inconsistent during the regular season, completing 168 out of 299 passes for 2,156 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also 17 interceptions. Eason played poorly early on in the game, going 0-for-6 and losing a fumble, and was replaced by backup "Steve Grogan, who was considered one of the best reserve quarterbacks in the league. Grogan was the starter in six of the Patriots' games, and finished the regular season with 85 out of 156 completions for 1,311 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
Wide receiver "Stanley Morgan provided the team with a good deep threat, catching 39 passes for 760 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the other side of the field, multi-talented wide receiver "Irving Fryar was equally effective, catching 39 passes for 670 yards, while also rushing for 27 yards, gaining another 559 yards returning punts and kickoffs, and scoring 10 touchdowns. But like the Bears, the Patriots' main strength on offense was their rushing attack. Halfback "Craig James rushed for 1,227 yards, caught 27 passes for 370 yards, and scored 7 touchdowns. Fullback "Tony Collins rushed for 657 yards, recorded a team-leading 52 receptions for 549 yards, and scored 5 touchdowns. The Patriots also had an outstanding offensive line, led by Pro Bowl tackle "Brian Holloway and future Hall of Fame guard "John Hannah.
New England's defense ranked 5th in the league in fewest yards allowed (5,048). Pro Bowl linebacker "Andre Tippett led the AFC with 16.5 sacks and recovered 3 fumbles. Pro Bowl linebacker "Steve Nelson was also a big defensive weapon, excelling at pass coverage and run stopping. Also, the Patriots' secondary only gave up 14 touchdown passes during the season, second fewest in the league. Pro Bowl defensive back "Raymond Clayborn recorded 6 interceptions for 80 return yards and 1 touchdown, while Pro Bowler "Fred Marion had 7 interceptions for 189 return yards.
In the playoffs, the Patriots qualified as the AFC's second "wild card.
But the Patriots, under head coach Raymond Berry, defied the odds, beating the "New York Jets 26–14, "Los Angeles Raiders 27–20, and the Dolphins 31–14 – all on the road – to make it to the Super Bowl. The win against Miami had been especially surprising, not only because Miami was the only team to beat Chicago in the season, but also because New England had not won in the Orange Bowl (Miami's then-home field) since 1966, the Dolphins' first season (then in the "AFL). The Patriots had lost to Miami there 18 consecutive times, including a 30–27 loss in their 15th game of the season. But New England dominated the Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game, recording two interceptions from quarterback "Dan Marino and recovering 4 fumbles. New England remains the only team to finish third in their division and qualify for the Super Bowl in the same season.
Meanwhile, the Bears became the first and only team in NFL history to shut out both of their opponents in the playoffs, beating the "New York Giants 21–0 and the "Los Angeles Rams 24–0.
Super Bowl pregame hype
Much of the Super Bowl pregame hype centered on Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. First, he was fined by the NFL during the playoffs for a violation of the league's dress code, wearing a head band from "Adidas. He then started to wear a head band where he hand-wrote "Rozelle", after then-league commissioner "Pete Rozelle.
McMahon suffered a strained "glute as the result of a hit taken in the NFC Championship Game and flew his acupuncturist into New Orleans to get treatment. During practice four days before the Super Bowl, he wore a headband reading "Acupuncture". During a Bears practice before the Super Bowl, McMahon mooned a helicopter that was hovering over the practice.
Another anecdote involving McMahon during the Super Bowl anticipation involved "WDSU sports anchor "Buddy Diliberto reporting a quote attributed to McMahon, where he had allegedly referred to the women of New Orleans as ""sluts" on a local morning sports talk show. This caused wide controversy among the women of New Orleans and McMahon began receiving calls from irate fans in his hotel. A groggy McMahon, who had not been able to sleep well because of all the calls he had gotten, was confronted by Mike Ditka later that morning and denied making the statement, saying he would not have even been awake to make the comment when he was said to have done so. He was supported in his claim by WLS reporter Les Grobstein, who was present when the alleged statements were made. WDSU would later retract the statement, have an on-air apology read by the station's general manager during the noon newscast on January 23; and suspended Diliberto for a time.
Television and entertainment
The "NBC telecast of the game, with "play-by-play announcer "Dick Enberg and "color commentators "Merlin Olsen and "Bob Griese (who was not in the booth with Enberg and Olsen), garnered the third highest "Nielsen rating of any Super Bowl to date, a 48.3 but it ended up being the first Super Bowl to garner over 90 million viewers the highest to date up to that point. While Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen and Bob Griese called the game, "Bob Costas and his "NFL '85 castmates, "Ahmad Rashad and "Pete Axthelm anchored the pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. Other contributors included "Charlie Jones (recapping "Super Bowl I) and "Bill Macatee. Also, the pregame coverage included what became known as "the silent minute"; a 60-second countdown over a black screen (a concept devised by then-NBC Sports executive Michael Weisman); a skit featuring comedian "Rodney Dangerfield and an interview by "NBC Nightly News anchor "Tom Brokaw of "United States President "Ronald Reagan at the "White House (this would not become a regular Super Bowl pregame feature until "Super Bowl XLIII; when "Today show host "Matt Lauer interviewed U.S. President "Barack Obama).
To celebrate the 20th Super Bowl game, the Most Valuable Players of the previous Super Bowls were featured during the pregame festivities. This would start a tradition occurring every ten years (in Super Bowls "XXX, "XL and "50) in which past Super Bowl MVPs would be honored before the game.
After "trumpeter "Wynton Marsalis performed the national anthem, "Bart Starr, MVP of "Super Bowl I and "Super Bowl II, "tossed the coin.
The performance event group "Up with People performed during the halftime show titled "Beat of the Future". Up with People dancers portrayed various scenes into the future. This was the last Super Bowl to feature Up with People as a halftime show, though they later performed in the "Super Bowl XXV pregame show. The halftime show was dedicated to the memory of Dr. "Martin Luther King Jr. (the first observance of "Martin Luther King Jr. Day had been held the previous Monday).
"The Last Precinct debuted on "NBC after the game.
Super Bowl XX was simulcast in Canada on "CTV and also broadcast on "Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
Super Bowl XX is featured on "NFL's Greatest Games under the title Super Bears with narration by "Don LaFontaine.
The national radio broadcast was aired by "NBC Radio, which outbid CBS Radio for the nationwide NFL contract in March 1985. "Don Criqui was the play-by-play announcer, with "Bob Trumpy as the color anlayst. "WGN-AM carried the game in the Chicago area (and thanks to WGN's 50,000-watt clear-channel signal, to much of the continental United States), with "Wayne Larrivee on play-by-play, and "Jim Hart and "Dick Butkus providing commentary. "WEEI carried the game in the Boston area, with "John Carlson and "Jon Morris on the call.
Super Bowl Golf
The suburban "Village of Frankfort has hosted an annual "Super Bowl Sunday" golf outing for over 30 years starting on the morning of Super Bowl XX. The tradition began when two neighbors Alan Heath and Bill Holley broke onto the local golf course to ease their nerves before the game. The first outing lasted 14 holes in the snow with temperatures hovering around 9 degrees.
In the aftermath of the Bear's Super Bowl victory the two made a pact that they would return to the golf course every year until the Bears repeated as Super Bowl Champions. With the dominance of the 1985 Bears squad the pair didn't think they would be starting a local tradition still going strong 30 years later.
The outing has taken place every year in all types of weather and will continue every year until the Bears repeat as Champions. Depending on the weather, the attendance hovers between 2 & 20 people each year.
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 (the Bears themselves would break this record in "Super Bowl XLI when "Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown). Bears quarterback "Jim McMahon took responsibility for this fumble after the game, saying he had called the wrong play. This 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). "I looked up at the message board", said Chicago linebacker "Mike Singletary, "and it said that 15 of the 19 teams that scored first won the game. I thought, yeah, but none of those 15 had ever played the Bears." Chicago struck back with a 7-play, 59-yard drive, featuring a 43-yard pass completion from McMahon to wide receiver "Willie Gault, to set up a field goal from "Kevin Butler, tying the score 3–3.
After both teams traded punts, "Richard Dent and linebacker "Wilber Marshall shared a sack on Eason, forcing a fumble that lineman "Dan Hampton recovered on the Patriots 13-yard line. 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. Two plays later, Bears fullback "Matt Suhey scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 13–3.
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 (a 3-yard run by James).
But after an incomplete pass and a 4-yard loss, the Patriots had to send in punter "Rich Camarillo again, and receiver "Keith Ortego returned the ball 12 yards to the 41-yard line. The Bears subsequently drove 59 yards in 10 plays, featuring a 24-yard reception by Suhey, 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 and teammate "Leslie Frazier suffering a knee injury, which ended his career.
Patriots coach "Raymond Berry then replaced Eason with "Steve Grogan, who had spent the previous week hoping he would have the opportunity to step onto NFL's biggest stage. "I probably won't get a chance", he had told reporters a few days before the game. "I just hope I can figure out some way to get on the field. I could come in on the punt-block team and stand behind the line and wave my arms, or something." But on his first drive, Grogan could only lead them to the 37-yard line, and they decided to punt rather than risk a 55-yard field goal attempt. The Bears then marched 72 yards in 11 plays, moving the ball inside the Patriots' 10-yard line. New England kept them out of the end zone, but 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. With 21 seconds left, McMahon scrambled to the Patriots' 3-yard line and was stopped inbounds. 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, allowing McMahon to throw the ball out of bounds and stop the clock with three seconds left. 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). 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 (because of this instance, the NFL instructed officials to strictly enforce the 10-second run-off rule at the start of the 1986 season).["citation needed]
The Bears had dominated New England in the first half, holding them to 21 offensive plays (only four of which resulted in positive yardage), −19 total offensive yards, two pass completions, one first down, and 3 points. While Eason was in the game, the totals were six possessions, one play of positive yardage out of 15 plays, no first downs, 3 points, 3 punts, 2 turnovers, no pass completions, and -36 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Chicago gained 236 yards and scored 23 points themselves.
After the Patriots received the second-half kickoff, they managed to get one first down, but then had to punt after Grogan was sacked twice. Camarillo, who punted four times in the first half, managed to pin the Bears back at their own 4-yard line with a then-Super Bowl record 62-yard punt. But the Patriots' defense still had no ability to stop Chicago's offense. On their very first play, McMahon faked a handoff to Payton, then threw a 60-yard completion to Gault. Eight plays later, McMahon finished the Super Bowl-record 96-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to increase the Bears' lead to 30–3. On New England's second drive of the quarter, Chicago cornerback Reggie Phillips (who replaced Frazier) intercepted a pass from Grogan and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 37–3.
On the second play of their ensuing possession, the Patriots turned the ball over again, when receiver "Cedric Jones lost a fumble after catching a 19-yard pass from Grogan, and Wilber Marshall returned the fumble 13 yards to New England's 37-yard line. A few plays later, McMahon's 27-yard completion to receiver "Dennis Gentry moved the ball to the 1-yard line, setting up perhaps the most memorable moment of the game. "William "The Refrigerator" Perry was brought on to score on offense, as he had done twice in the regular season. His touchdown (while running over Patriots linebacker "Larry McGrew in the process) made the score 44–3. The Bears' 21 points in the third quarter is still a record for the most points scored in that period.
Perry's surprise touchdown cost Las Vegas "sports books hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses from "prop bets.
The Patriots finally scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, advancing the ball 76 yards in 12 plays and scoring on an 8-yard fourth-down pass from Grogan to receiver "Irving Fryar. But the Bears' defense dominated New England for the rest of the game, forcing another fumble, another interception, and defensive lineman "Henry Waechter's sack on Grogan in the end zone for a "safety to make the final score 46–10.
One oddity in the Bears' victory was that Walter Payton had a relatively poor performance running the ball and never scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX, his only Super Bowl appearance during his Hall of Fame career. Many people including Mike Ditka have claimed that the reason for this was due to the fact that the Patriots' defensive scheme was centered on stopping Payton. Although Payton was ultimately the Bears' leading rusher during the game, the Patriots' defense held him to only 61 yards on 22 carries, with his longest run being only 7 yards. He was given several opportunities to score near the goal line, but New England stopped him every time before he reached the end zone (such as his 2-yard loss from the New England 3-yard line a few plays before Butler's second field goal, and his 2-yard run from the 4-yard line right before McMahon's first rushing touchdown). Thus, Chicago head coach "Mike Ditka opted to go for other plays to counter the Patriots' defense. Ditka has since stated that his biggest regret of his career was not creating a scoring opportunity for Payton during the game.["citation needed]
McMahon, who completed 12 out of 20 passes for 256 yards, became the first quarterback in a Super Bowl to score 2 rushing touchdowns.["citation needed] Bears receiver "Willie Gault finished the game with 129 receiving yards on just 4 receptions, an average of 32.3 yards per catch. He also returned 4 kickoffs for 49 yards. Suhey had 11 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, and caught a pass for 24 yards. Singletary tied a Super Bowl record with 2 fumble recoveries.
Eason became the first Super Bowl starting quarterback to fail to complete a pass,["citation needed] going 0 for 6 attempts. Grogan completed 17 out of 30 passes for 177 yards and 1 touchdown, with 2 interceptions. Although fullback "Tony Collins was the Patriots' leading rusher, he was limited to just 4 yards on 3 carries, and caught 2 passes for 19 yards. New England receiver "Stephen Starring returned 7 kickoffs for 153 yards and caught 2 passes for 39 yards. The Patriots, as a team, only recorded 123 total offensive yards, the second-lowest total in Super Bowl history.["citation needed]
Sources: NFL.com Super Bowl XX, USA Today Super Bowl XX Play by Play, Super Bowl XX Play Finder Chi, Super Bowl XX Play Finder NE
|Chicago Bears||New England Patriots|
|First downs rushing||13||1|
|First downs passing||9||10|
|First downs penalty||1||1|
|Third down efficiency||7/14||1/10|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/1||1/1|
|Net yards rushing||167||7|
|Yards per rush||3.4||0.6|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||12/24||17/36|
|Times sacked-total yards||3–15||7–61|
|Net yards passing||241||116|
|Total net yards||408||123|
|Punt returns-total yards||2–20||2–22|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||4–49||7–153|
|Interceptions-total return yards||2–75||0–0|
|Time of possession||39:15||20:45|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
The following records were set in Super Bowl XX, according to the official NFL.com boxscore and the Pro-Football-Reference.com game summary.
|Player Records Set |
|Most kickoff returns, game||7||"Stephen Starring(New England)|
|Longest punt||62 yds||"Rich Camarillo(New England)|
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||2||Jim McMahon(Chicago)|
|Most fumbles recovered, game||2||"Mike Singletary(Chicago)|
|Most fumbles recovered, career||2|
|Most interceptions returned for td, game||1||"Reggie Phillips(Chicago)|
|Most safeties, game||1||"Henry Waechter(Chicago)|
|Most (one point) extra points, game||5||"Kevin Butler(Chicago)|
|Team Records Set |
|Most points, game||46 points||Bears|
|Largest margin of victory||36 points|
|Most points scored, second half||23 points|
|Most points, third quarter||21 points|
|Largest lead, end of 3rd quarter||41 points|
|Longest touchdown scoring drive||96 yards||Bears|
|Fewest rushing yards (net)||7||Patriots|
|Lowest average gain
per rush attempt
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||Bears|
|Fewest first downs rushing||1||Patriots|
|Most points scored in
any quarter of play
|21 points (3rd)||Bears|
|Largest halftime margin||20 points|
|Most touchdowns, game||5|
|Most (one point) PATs||5|
|Most Safeties, Game||1|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0|
|Most touchdowns scored by
|Fewest rushing touchdowns||0||Patriots|
|Most times sacked||7|
|Most fumbles lost, game||4|
|Most kickoff returns, game||7|
|Records Set, both team totals |
|Points, Both Teams|
|Most points, third quarter||21 points||21||0|
|Passing, Both Teams|
|Most times sacked||10||3||7|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Most field goals made||4||3||1|
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||4||0|
|Most fumbles lost||6||2||4|
|Most kickoff returns||11||4||7|
Hall of Fame‡
|"Willie Gault||WR||"Stanley Morgan‡|
|"Jim Covert||LT||"Brian Holloway|
|"Mark Bortz||LG||"John Hannah‡|
|"Jay Hilgenberg||C||"Pete Brock|
|"Tom Thayer||RG||"Ron Wooten|
|"Keith Van Horne||RT||"Steve Moore|
|"Emery Moorehead||TE||"Lin Dawson|
|"Dennis McKinnon||WR||"Stephen Starring|
|"Jim McMahon||QB||"Tony Eason|
|"Matt Suhey||FB||"Tony Collins|
|"Walter Payton‡||RB||"Craig James|
|"Dan Hampton‡||LE||"Garin Veris|
|"Steve McMichael||LDT||NT||"Lester Williams|
|"William Perry||RDT||RE||"Julius Adams|
|"Richard Dent‡||RE||LOLB||"Andre Tippett‡|
|"Otis Wilson||LLB||LILB||"Steve Nelson|
|"Mike Singletary‡||MLB||RILB||"Larry McGrew|
|"Wilber Marshall||RLB||ROLB||"Don Blackmon|
|"Mike Richardson||LCB||"Ronnie Lippett|
|"Leslie Frazier||RCB||"Raymond Clayborn|
|"Dave Duerson||SS||"Roland James|
|"Gary Fencik||FS||"Fred Marion|
- Referee: "Red Cashion #43 first Super Bowl
- Umpire: "Ron Botchan #110 first Super Bowl
- Head Linesman: Dale Williams #8 first Super Bowl
- Line Judge: Bama Glass #15 first Super Bowl
- Field Judge: Jack Vaughan #93 first Super Bowl
- Side Judge: Bob Rice #80 second Super Bowl (XVI)
- Back Judge: "Al Jury #106 first Super Bowl
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