In the Starting Line-Up
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I wouldn't say the Bears were inferior that year.
Agreed. Nobody was running on them thst year, especially late in the year.
Passing was a different matter, though, but it took having a smart attack and a fearless QB to execute it. The Bears spent a ton of time in their base D and blitzed a lot. Miami exploited that in the Bears lone loss, particularly with Nat Moore, finding favorable matchups for him against LBs. Heck, even the Pats scored a 90yd TD when Craig James got behind Singletary on a blitz in week 2 that year. It was a very talented D, but a gambling one, too. The recent Pats probably put up 35+ on it, especially with both Edelman and Gronk, if the Bears didn't adjust out of base D blitz mode.
Teams caught on after 85 and pretty much put the 46 in mothballs. Even the Bears played a more conventional D in 86 after Ryan went to coach the Eagles and were statistically better than 85.