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1985 Bears ranked third best Super Bowl champions ever

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As Chicago’s only Super Bowl winners, the 1985 Bears are unequivocally the greatest Bears team ever assembled. But where do they rank among all 49 Super Bowl champions?

According to new rankings from For The Win, the team behind the Super Bowl Shuffle is the third greatest Super Bowl champ ever, after only the 1991 Redskins and 1984 49ers.

Via For The Win:

One of the greatest defenses in history mixed with one of the three greatest running backs ever? How are the Bears not No. 2, let alone No. 1? For as great as Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense was (61 turnovers!) they didn’t set marks for fewest points allowed or turnover margin and the offense was solely dependent on (Walter) Payton. Then, in the team’s biggest game of the year (not the Super Bowl, against a mediocre Patriots team, but the famed Monday night battle against Miami) the Bears had a 31-10 halftime deficit. Neither of the teams above faced a larger deficit all season.

What For The Win doesn’t mention is that both starting quarterback Jim McMahon and backup Steve Fuller battled injuries during Chicago’s Week 13 loss to the Dolphins. McMahon played sparingly that night, attempting just six passes.

With a healthy quarterback, the Bears trounced the Patriots 46-10 in the Superdome and finished with a 18-1 record.

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Led by coach Ron Rivera, a second-year linebacker on coach Mike Ditka’s ’85 team, the 2015 Panthers have a chance to become just the fourth team in NFL history to reach 18 wins.

Aside from the Bears, the previously mentioned 49ers and the 2007 Patriots have also accomplished the feat.

Should Carolina defeat Denver next Sunday, Rivera’s team would have a serious case for cracking the ranking’s top five

Rounding out the top five on the list now are the 1978 Steelers and the 1998 Broncos, led by John Elway.

The worst Super Bowl champions of all time, according to the rankings? The 2011 Giants. The 2006 Colts, who defeated the Love Smith-led Bears, come in at No. 36.

Check out the complete rankings here.

16 of the best photos from the 1985 Super Bowl

Stats via Pro-Football-Reference