How can a team be considered the best in franchise history without finishing the job?
The Chicago Bears have won nine championships in franchise history. The first one coming in 1921 and the last one coming in 1985. If you were looking to pick a greatest Bears team of all time, there are 9 worthy teams right there.
But for some reason CBS Sports used some outside-the-box thinking in picking the 1942 Chicago Bears, that went undefeated in the regular season, but lost to the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship game 14-6.
Here's what they said about the selection.
The Bears have won a Super Bowl and eight NFL championships, but their best team actually lost the championship despite an 11-0 regular season in '42. Cold, Hard Football Facts called this edition of the Bears "the single most dominant team in the history of the NFL," which might not be far-fetched. This is a team that outscored its opponents by an average margin of 34-8 but was suddenly crushed by the Redskins in the championship game. You wonder if that would have happened had head coach George Halas not gone off to fight in World War II only weeks before the title game. Nobody will forget the 1985 Bears and that killer defense, but with 10 Pro Bowlers the Sid Luckman-led '42 Bears were actually better.
How can the single most dominant team in the NFL lose their final game?
Even though they wen't "crushed" like the blockquote claims, I don't see how you can select a team that didn't bring home a title as the best ever, unless the topic is best ever 2nd place finishers.
Had the Bears won the championship in 1942, it would have been their 3rd straight. They also won the crown in 1943, so there are three other perfectly good teams to consider as the franchise's best.
Sure the 1942 Bears team had the best offense in the NFL. Sure they had the best defense in the NFL. And OK, they have the best margin of victory in the history of the franchise at 26.5, but they couldn't finish.
The 1941 team has the second best margin of victory in Bears' history (22.6), but they won the big one 37-9 against the New York Giants to end the season 13-1. That team lost their lone game to the Green Bay Packers 14-16, but they came back and took them out in the playoffs in dominating fashion by a score of 33-14.
Some Bears fans consider the 1963 Championship team the best ever. They had the league's best defense and a margin of victory of 11.2, 8th best in franchise history. They ended the season beating the Giants 14 to 10, which gave them a 12-1-2 final record.
But the team most Bear fans think about being the best ever is Chicago's only Super Bowl Champ, the 1985 team.
Unlike the 1942 crew the '85 Bears finished the job, knocking off the New England Patriots 46-10 to bring their final record to 18-1. Yeah, there's that blemish against the Dolphins in there, but they took that week 13 loss in stride, shook it off, and rolled through the postseason outscoring the three teams 91-10. Their regular season margin of victory of 16.1 was 4th best in Bears' history.
If CBS Sports was picking the greatest regular season team in the long history of the Chicago Bears, then yes, the 1942 team is probably at the top of that list. But they were selecting a team from a "year in which everything clicked and your team was at its absolute best," and in 1942 it all didn't click, the Redskins saw to that.
What are your thoughts, can a best team ever be one that didn't win a league championship?
Which Bears team would you pick as best all time?