Best Defense Ever – 80’s Bears vs. 70’s Steelers

So EVERY TIME I post a photo of a Bear defender on Facebook, I get Steeler fans talking about 4 Super Bowls….these post have NOTHING to do with Super Bowls…just complimenting a player, and they start up.


Can any of you SHOW me other than winning 4 Super Bowls (which the defense didn’t win…the Steelers had an epic offense too!) how the Steelers were better defensively?

Let’s just talk DEFENSE – not the team! Not Super Bowl wins. Stats vs. stats. Facts vs. facts.

Now the Bears offense was very average….without Jim McMahon they were almost worthless… The Bears offense during those years couldn’t wipe the Steelers’ offense’s a**! That’s a fact!

I mean…..DT William Perry had as many TD receptions as their #1 WR Willie Gault had in 1985 with 1! I’m just talking defense.

1) When did Pittsburgh ever break a QB Sack record?

The Bears still own that with 72 QB sacks in 1984. The most ANY Steeler team had was 52…in 1974. Oh I hear Steeler fans say.. “Well….they weren’t built for that!!” Well…when did Pittsburgh ever hold the record for fewest points allowed in a season? The Bears did that in 1986! I suppose the Steelers defense wasn’t built around stopping TDs either?

2) The Steelers defense was never ranked #1 three years in a row.

From 1984-’86 (3 seasons) the Bears defense was ranked #1. Again…I’m a huge fan of the Steelers. The Bears, Raiders & Steelers are my favs, but I’m also a realist. If the 1976 Steelers were their best team like many Steeler fans say….then the 1976 Raiders are better than any of those Steelers teams, cause in 1976 they swept the Steelers 2 games to 0!

3) Those Steelers played during the era when DBs could maul WRs down field.

In 1978 the NFL put an end too it…they even called it “The Mel Blount Rule”! Yes…in 1978 & ’79 they went to Super Bowls, but that defense wasn’t breaking records…then after 1980 they were DONE because of these rule changes!

Here some props to that 1976 squad though:

The Steelers in 1976 started out 1-4, then the defense kicked in….. big-time! This **defense had 5 *Shutouts in the last 8 weeks of the season. Terry Bradshaw missed 4 games in ’76 due to a wrist injury.

Here’s the thing….out of the 4 losses the Steelers endured during the 1976 season, 3 of those games were decided by a FG or less! If Terry Bradshaw was healthy (this is starting to sound like the ’86 Bears!:) …who knows what would of been the outcome!

They might have won those games going 13-1! The only two teams that beat Pittsburgh by more than a TD in 1976, was the Minnesota Vikings & Oakland Raiders….the two teams that went to the Super Bowl that year! So …if your gonna get beat…it might as well be by the best two teams in the league!

*One of those shutouts was vs. the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who everyone basically shutout.

**This was before the “1978 Rule Changes” that prevented DBs from chucking WRs down field. The 5 yard bump rule was instilled in 1978 when the NFL went from 14 to 16 game seasons.

They even named it “The Mel Blount Rule” cause of how physical Blount was on WRs down field. The 1976 Steelers are DEFINITELY one of the greatest defenses of the pre-1978 era! I’d like to compare them to the 1977 “Gritz Blitz” Falcons, who allowed just 129 points (9 points per game).

Back to the Bears defense…

If that Bears defense played with the same rules, they’d of even been better!…..them being “even better” would make them unreal! No one would score!

They had 72 (1984), 64 (1985), 62 (1986,while allowing the fewest points in NFL history in a 16 game season that only the 2000 Ravens have since beaten) & 70 sacks (1987 in only 15 games) with that 5yrd bump rule! If those Bear CBs were allowed to hold up receivers longer for that front 7 to get to the QB like the Steelers could…I’d be blocked by Facebook for posting such violence!

4) 1976 Steelers lost to Brian Sipes, & Steve Grogan.

One of their shut outs was vs. the Buccaneers who everyone shut out! Steeler fans also bring up how the Bears would lose to the 49ers in the playoffs.

When Jim McMahon was healthy, the Bears were 3-0 vs those 49ers. In that 1988-’89 playoff game, Mike Ditka decided to play him after he’d missed over a month, & was still injured…he couldn’t even finish the game! However….in 1981 a healthy Steelers team lost to a young 49ers team….why? Oh maybe cause the rule changes exposed a weakness? I dunno.

5) So again….SHOW me how a team that played 14 game seasons, with prehistoric rules is better than the most copied defense ever… Ya gotta use the 1978 or 1979 Steelers to do it…1978 the Steelers defense was ranked 3rd and had 44 QB sacks….in 1979 the Steelers defense was ranked 2nd with 49 QB sacks. 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers were ranked 12th in defense…. In 1984 the Bears defense was ranked 1st with a record 72 QB sacks. 1985 they were ranked #1 with 64 QB sacks. In 1986 they were ranked #1 with 62 QB sacks…

Below is not opinions. These are facts.

In 1988 Bears DT asked Terry Bradshaw how many games he missed during the 4 Super Bowl seasons? 0! The Bears won a record 52 games in 4 seasons without their starting QB 54% of that time!

In 1988 the Bears lost Walter Payton (ret), Willie Gault (Raiders), Wilber Marshall (Redskins), Otis Wilson (IR), Gary Fencik (Ret). Mike Ditka had a heart attack and Jim McMahon was injured 46% of the season…they STILL went 12-4 and played in the NFC Championship Game!

Why? That defense! I’m a fan of the Steelers too. I just get sick of their fans trolling my posts. It’s hilarious. Oh yeah! One more thang! Historically the Bears lead that series 19-7-1! The Bears also have more Hall Of Famers, so stop!

Below is a graph that shows how the Bears defense dominated the entire 1980’s. 16 outta 23 categories they ranked #1!

1980’s NFL Team Defensive Statistics

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