An example of Ditka's meatheadedness I had overlooked
by ShermanOaksND (2019-01-28 12:02:30)
Edited on 2019-01-28 12:04:15

In reply to: And Coach Ditka so overrated.  posted by dfw

On YouTube, I watched bits and pieces of the Bears' 1984 home loss to Dallas (linked). This was a big deflation, as the Bears entered the game 3-1, Summerall and Madden made a then-rare appearance in Chicago, and it was supposed to be the Bears' big coming-out party as a new powerhouse. It also was the first coaching meeting of Tom Landry against Ditka, his former player and longtime assistant. Statistically, the Bears outplayed the Cowboys, but after a very exciting first half which ended with Dallas up 17-14 (and with the Bears squandering a scoring opportunity with poor clock management at the end of the half), the second half was mostly a dud. The Cowboys kicked 2 FGs to go up 23-14.

The Bears had one last drive late in the game. They needed a TD and a FG, with an onside kick between one or the other, to win it. Madden was pointing out that the Bears could've gone for a FG and then try the onside kick. Instead, when the Bears got 1st and goal, they tried for the end zone 4 times. On 4th down from the 5, Rusty Lisch underthrew Willie Gault, whose feet were in the end zone but the ball never crossed the plane. Dallas took a knee and won 23-14.