Chicago Bears, one of four teams in the NFC North Division. The Bears play at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, and wear uniforms of navy blue, orange and white. The Bears franchise was founded as the Decatur Staleys in 1920 by A. E. Staley of the Staley Starch Company. He hired George Halas to organize, coach and play on the team.
Chicago has collected nine NFL titles and ranks behind only the Green Bay Packers in overall league crowns. The Bears were the NFL's most dominant team during the 1930s and 1940s, earning six league titles. George Halas, a co-founder of the NFL, collected 324 career victories during his 30 seasons as Chicago's head coach. He coached many future Hall of Fame members, including quarterback Sid Luckman and running backs Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski. Chicago made eight trips to the playoffs from 1984 to 1994 and won the Super Bowl in 1986. Running back Walter Payton, the former NFL's all-time leading rusher with 16,726 yards, produced 10 1,000-yard seasons in 11 years.
In 1965, the Bears drafted linebacker Dick Butkus and running back Gale Sayers. Both were eventually elected to the Hall of Fame, but Chicago failed to reach the playoffs during their careers. Halas retired as head coach in 1968. In 1977, the Bears made their first playoff appearance in 14 years. Walter Payton won the second of five consecutive NFC rushing titles, gaining a career-high 1,852 yards. Ditka returned to the club as head coach in 1982 and drove the Bears to six Central Division titles from 1984 to 1990. In 1985, the team achieved a 15-1 record and defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 46-10.
Ditka's Bears led the league in defense three times during the 1980s, led by linebacker Mike Singletary and ends Richard Dent and Dan Hampton. In addition to Payton, Ditka's offense also starred running back Neal Anderson, wide receiver Willie Gault and quarterback Jim McMahon. Payton retired in 1987 with 110 rushing touchdowns.
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