Buddy Ryan was a member of two Super Bowl-winning coaching staffs in his career: the 1968 New York Jets in Super Bowl III as a defensive line coach and the 1985 Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX as defensive coordinator.
His ’85 Bears defense will always be remembered as one of the best in NFL history.
Near-perfect regular season
Ryan devised the 46 defense, which helped the Bears post a 15-1 record during the 1985 regular season. Their only loss came on the road in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins.
Ryan’s defense led the NFL in seven defensive categories that season.
The ’85 Bears ran away from the pack with their defense. The 198 points they allowed led the league by 65 points (or 4.1 points per game). Their point differential of plus-258 was 110 points better than the next-closest team in the NFL that season.
Elias Sports Bureau research notes that the 1985 Bears own the third-best point differential of any team to win the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 16-game regular season. The only teams that rank higher than the Bears on that list are the 1999 St. Louis Rams (plus-284) and 1991 Washington Redskins (plus-261).
Ryan’s ’85 Bears defense is the only one in NFL history to record two shutouts in a single postseason. They held the New York Giants to 181 total yards in a divisional round shutout before an even more dominant shutout performance against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game in which they let up just 130 total yards.
The Bears allowed 10 points to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The only other team in NFL postseason history that allowed fewer than 20 total points in at least three postseason games is the 1971 Dallas Cowboys (18 points in three games).
Bears opponents scored 3.3 points per game that postseason, 2.5 points per game better than the next-closest team in NFL history with a minimum of three postseason games played (2000 Baltimore Ravens).
They had the same number of takeaways (10) as points allowed that postseason.
Three defensive players on the 1985 Bears team went on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame –- Richard Dent, Mike Singletary and Dan Hampton.
Don’t forget about Ryan’s ’84 Bears
The Bears ranked third in sacks in 1985, but their 72 sacks under Ryan in the 1984 season are the most by any team in a single season since sacks became an official stat in 1982.