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1985 Bears Coverage: Secondary comes up big for Bears

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.

Secondary comes up big for Bears

Herb Gould

Originally published Sept. 9, 1985

Leslie Frazier’s 29-yard interception for a touchdown early in the second half turned the game around, the Bears agreed. But Jim McMahon’s nine-yard touchdown pass to Matt Suhey turned the Bears’ heads around.

“I don’t know how Jim ever found Suhey,” said coach Mike Ditka. “Matt’s so short, I don’t even know how Jim saw him,” said Walter Payton. . .McMahon’s stats in his last three games against Tampa Bay: 51-of-74 passes (69 percent) for 631 yards and six touchdowns.

Special teams leader Brian Cabral, who left with a knee injury in the first half, was the only Bear casualty. . .The Bears have won 11 of their last 13 against the NFC Central, 10 of their last 12 in
Soldier Field and 13 of the last 17 games in which McMahon has started.

Gary Fencik’s interception was the 31st of his career and 10th against Tampa Bay. . .Frazier’s interception was his 15th, his second for a touchdown. . .CB Mike Richardson, who got beat deep for
the Bucs’ second TD, said he wasn’t thinking about defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan’s offseason criticism.

“I just got beat on one play. Those things are going to happen,” said Richardson, who came within inches of a couple of interceptions. . .Shaun Gayle credited his block of a punt to a quick start off the line.

“You’re always trying for the block,” he said. “I just got off the ball well and got around my man.” . . .Tampa Bay quarterback Steve DeBerg was whistled for three false starts. . .Tampa Bay’s 28 first-half points were its most in the franchise’s 10-year history. . .The Bears’ 38 points were their most in a season opener since beating Green Bay 45-7 Sept. 26, 1948. . .Next week, the Bears host New England at noon Sunday and travel to Minnesota for a Thursday (Sept. 19) night national TV
appearance.