Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who's #1: '85 Bears '07 Pats

Now it has been said, many times over the last 20 years, that the 85 Bears were the best team to play the game. And those ranking shows/articles/whatever that don't have them at number one have consistently put them in the top 3. With an 11-0 record and the fact that this team is destroying everyone, the 07 Pats are coming into that debate. I think it appropriate to analyze these two teams to determine once and for all based on many different factors which team was better.

One thing to consider is a bigger league with more players means lesser competition for these ’07 Pats to go up against, as well as training room quick fixes and techniques that get players out onto the field faster, and miss less time, and a changed game revolved around explosive offenses rather than stout defenses. And that is without mentioning the substance problems associated with many of today’s players, sure there were illicit substances in the locker rooms in the 80’s but it wasn’t HGH it was in the form of fine white powder.

First the position by position matchups:
Head Coach: Bears, No argument necessary but Ditka did it without a telescopic lens.
Coaching Staff: Bears, Buddy Ryan was a great defensive coordinator, he engineered the unstoppable 46 defense.
QB: Pats. McMahon’s QB rating in ‘85 was 82 and change, and Brady’s about to set some serious passing records.
RB: Bears, Payton and Suhey were dangerous, and you could probably add Perry in this category. Maroney has 2 TDs on 105 carries, “Fridge” had 2 TDs in 5 regular season carries.
OLine: Bears. They protected McMahon and led Payton to over 1550 yards rushing.
WR: Pats, come on Randy Moss when he wants to play is as good as anyone in the game right now. And though Willie Gault was a world class sprinter and averaged over 21 y/c, it’s no contest, not to mention that the Bears leading receiver was Payton with 49 receptions.
TE: Bears, Moorehead and Wrightman combined for 59 catches and over 15 y/c, NE’s Watson has more TDs but a lower y/c and he is in a pass happy offense.
LB: Bears, Samurai Mike is in the Hall, Otis Wilson should be and if Wilbur Marshall wouldn’t have been slowed by injuries he was on pace for a HoF career, the three combined for 20 sacks in 85. I love former Kitty Kat Tedy Bruschi but I don’t think he’ll be in the Hall anytime soon, and no one really fears or game-plans around the Pats Linebackers.
DLine: Bears with a slight edge. Mongo McMichael was the originator of the quick Lineman, “Fridge” was one of the biggest to play the game at the time and he still managed to run a sub 5 second 40, and who can forget this years HoF inductee and SB XX MVP Richard Dent who had 17 sacks that season.
DB: Bears, Gary Fencik led the storied 46 defense out onto the field and Lesley Frazier had 6 picks on the year, the Bears DB’s had 20 INTs total. The only Pats DB anyone knows is Rodney Harrington and it’s because of his involvement with HGH.

The Bears Defense was #1 in points allowed, held teams to a 47% comp. rating, allowed only 22 total scores (16 passing, 6 rushing), just over 6000 total yards and were #1 or 2 in 7 major defensive categories, including 34 INTs. They also made it through the entire post season giving up 10 total points, all 10 in the Super Bowl rout and 7 of which were off of a turnover. And who can forget they went through opposing quarterbacks like that one girl at a Frat House.

Their offense wasn’t the most potent they were only #2 in points scored, #1 in 3/4 top rushing categories, and scored 44 total TDs on offense and 16 INTs (5 of which belonging to the backup Fuller).

The 2007 Pats (with 5 games remaining) have already allowed 21 total scores (15 passing and 6 rushing), 3400 yards, and a 60% pass completion rate. They have 16 INTs and are ranked 8th or lower in 7 major defensive categories.

The Pats are a dominating offensive force this season there is no doubt. They have put in 51 TDs with 5 games to play, and are just under 4900 yards for the season. They rank in the top 3 in 6 major offensive categories and #1 in 3/6 passing categories.

But many of those points have come in the waning minutes of a blowout game while the Pats are running up the score, where as when the Bears where winning by large margins they were not trying to set records. And the ’85 Bears were missing their staring QB for 3 games, I doubt the ’07 Pats would be nearly this successful without their GQ coverboy.

The numbers don’t matter, everyone can look at this astounding offense that the Pats are fielding and give them a lot of very deserved credit but when the chips are down that Bears defense would have eaten Brady’s lunch, and the Colts proved this season that if you get to Brady you can rattle him by picking him off twice (half of his season total). Plus their running game is so rusty from Maroney never seeing the field that the Pats would never get anything going. The Bears offense would definitely struggle against the Pats defense, but stopping Payton just would not have happened. The ’07 Pats are allowing over 4 y/c and that isn’t to anyone of Walter Payton’s status it’s to Cordell Buckhalter and Jamal Lewis. This game would be a first half slugfest but the ‘85 Bears would quickly take over.

The last thing to consider is environment, since Chicago and New England aren’t the nicest places to play in February this game would be in a very neutral territory and everyone loved the ’85 Bears, they were brash, fun, popular, and even recording artists. No one outside of New England likes the Pats and most wish their demise. People loved Ditka and hate Belichick.

The Bears would win this game, they’re Grabowskis.