1985 Bears Coverage: Bears, Singletary happy with defensive ‘victory’

SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears, Singletary happy with defensive ‘victory’
SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears, Singletary happy with defensive ‘victory’

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Bears, Singletary happy with defensive ‘victory’

Brian Hewitt

Originally published Aug. 27, 1985

IRVING, Texas – The Bears lost the war 15-13 last night at Texas Stadium. But they won the battle on defense.

And that, said middle linebacker Mike Singletary, was “a joy.”

Singletary ended a bitter and prolonged contract holdout Wednesday. Five days later he ended a summer of anxiety. It took him exactly 10 minutes. That’s when he shed the double-team block of

Dallas offensive linemen Glen Titensor and Tom Rafferty, burst through a Dallas screen on second down and dumped running back Tony Dorsett for a four-yard loss.

It was the same play Dorsett had turned into a 58-yard touchdown in Dallas’ 23-14 victory over the Bears last September at Soldier Field. “I had watched that play on film three or four times this week,” said Singletary who departed after two periods. “I was supposed to make the play last year.”

Earlier in the evening Singletary had resorted to country music in a vain attempt to calm his pre-kickoff nerves. “Willie Nelson,” he explained.

All-Pro Bear defensive tackle Dan Hampton also made his 1985 debut, playing the entire first period and parts of the second. “I think he’s a little rusty,” said Bear coach Mike Ditka. “But that’s only normal.”

Hampton is recovering from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. “It’ll be nice when he gets his game back,” said tackle Steve McMichael. “Tonight he was standing up and floundering around. But he’ll be all right.”

McMichael recovered a William Perry-induced fumble early in the second half and rumbled five yards to the Cowboy five. Kevin Butler’s 28-yard field goal came moments later and cut the Cowboy lead to 9-6.

The Bear defense forced two other Cowboy turnovers. But it allowed a 98-yard touchdown drive and 321 total yards.

“That was pitiful,” said McMichael of the touchdown drive. “Nobody’s done that since I’ve been here.”

But for the first time last night nobody was talking about the absence of defensive holdouts Todd Bell and Al Harris.

Perry, the Bears’ No. 1 choice, collected his second quarterback sack in three games and destroyed a Cowboy blocker en route. “It’s great to be going in the right direction,” he said.

No. 2 draft choice Reggie Phillips didn’t fare as well. The Cowboys repeatedly threw in his direction.

“Reggie doesn’t lack desire,” said Ditka. “He’s just gotta figure out where the hell he’s going. He played hard. But he got beat. It’s a good baptism for him. He learned.”

And the Bears learned they can still count on the defense that led the league in most of its important statistical categories last year. They only sacked Dallas quarterbacks twice. But they survived four offensive turn overs to allow only 15 points.

“I’m not disappointed in the way we played,” said Ditka.

And he meant it. He got answers to questions last night. And for one night at least that was better than winning the war.

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