When the Chicago Bears Ravaged the Green Bay Packers
By Wanda Wiedman
Special to Pro Football Guru
On opening day of this year, the Chicago Bears played the Green Bay Packers and owned a lead in the third quarter. In typical Aaron Rodgers’ fashion, the veteran quarterback connected with Randall Cobb for a 75-yard touchdown and the team eeked out a 24-23 win. The rivalry between these two teams go way back, but that loss was quite painful. But since then, Matt Nagy’s team is 9-3 and firmly entrenched in first place in the NFC North.
But in 1980, the Bears opened in similar fashion against the Packers as a blocked field goal landed in the arms of Packers’ kicker Chester Marcol. Running to his left, the opportunistic specialist took it in for a touchdown and the Packers squeezed out a 12-6 overtime win. Once again, heartbreak for the team from the Windy City.
The Bears had to wait three full months before they could redeem themselves against their division rivals and for Bears fans, it was worth the wait.
On December 7, 1980, the temperature at Soldier Field was in the mid ‘50s. The Bears offense was inside the 10-yard line as the first quarter came to a close. The Bears were on the Packers’ one-yard-line, in the first play of the second quarter. The great Walter Payton scored his first of two TDs of the game. It was a beauty as he flipped over the Packers defensive wall, clearing with ease.
Fullback Roland Harper would add another TD to make the score, 21-0. Green Bay answered back on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Lynn Dickey to James Lofton. But that didn’t last long as the Bears went on to add their 4th TD of the quarter when quarterback Vince Evans found wide receiver Brian Baschnagel on a four-yard toss, ending the half with the Bears on top, 28-7.
But it just gets better. In the third quarter the Bears extend their lead to 41.7 as Evans would have his best day in a Bears uniform, connecting on pass plays of nine yards to tight end Robin Earl and a 53-yard bomb to wide receiver Ricky Watts. The Packers were held to just 81 rushing yards and 285 yards through the air.
The Bears continued to ravage the Packers by adding three more touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Payton would carry the ball 22 times for 130 yards, his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing game of that season. The running game accounted for 267 yards and five TDs in that game. Willie McClendon came up with the final score on the ground.
As for Evans, he threw for a high 316 yards, three TDs, completing 18-of-22 throws. His passer rating on that day was a perfect 158.3. Even the Bears’ defense got into the scoring act on a pick-six midway through the fourth quarter, when Len Waltershceid returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown.
Final score; Chicago Bears 61, Green Bay Packers 7.
This Sunday, the Bears host the Packers in Chicago’s final regular-season home games of 2018. So how epic would it be if Nagy’s team had a day like this?
It can happen on any given Sunday.
Wanda Wiedman is a longtime Chicago Bears’ writer and currently does that forOur Turf Football. She also co-hosts “The Bears 46 Podcast” onFor the Fan Radio Network. You can find her on Twitter at@WandaW63.