Undefeated seasons by the Bears

History Published on : 1/1/2005

The Chicago Bears, charter members of the National Football League, were among the elite of the league in the early years. In fact, the Bears suffered just two losing seasons in its first 27 years. Along the way, they claimed seven league championships during that span (1920-1946). 

(The 1934 Bears featured Beattie Feathers, the first 1,000-yard rusher in NFL  history.)

Feathers_100-100There are two seasons during that time, however, that deserve attention. In 1934, and again in 1942, the Bears posted undefeated and untied regular season records. Shocking losses suffered in the championship games in both seasons are what have kept their name from being mentioned in the same breath as the 1972 Miami Dolphins (Related story:  Undefeated Teams).

In 1934, the Bears were heavy favorites to win their third straight league title. The team opened the season at Green Bay where they made easy work of the Packers with a 24-10 win. More lopsided scores followed including three shutouts. The biggest scare of the season came against the Giants in New York on November 18. The Bears slipped past New York with a narrow 10-9 win with just three games remaining in the season. Chicago made history when they bested the Detroit Lions, 10-7, in the season finale. 


The 1934 Bears featured Beattie Feathes (48), the first 1,000-yard rusher in NFL history

Famiglietti_Gary_150-188Chicago finished the season with a 13-0 record as they outscored their opponents by a whopping 286-86. The Bears looked to cap the season with another victory over the Giants in the title game. However, the dreams of the NFL’s first “perfect” season went out the window when New York dominated the Bears, 30-13, in the championship game.   

(With three fullbacks serving in World War II during the ’42 season,  fourth-stringer Gary Famiglietti led the team in rushing, and scored 8 TDs to earn All-Pro honors.)

Eight seasons later, the same scenario presented itself to the “Monsters of the Midway.” The 1942 Bears were coming off of back-to-back championship seasons that included the famous 73-0 drubbing of the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game, and a 37-9 manhandling of the Giants in the ’41 title game.

Unlike the first time, the Bears marched to a perfect 11-0 season without any bumps along the way. The narrowest margin of victory for Chicago all season was two touchdowns. The Bears outscored its opponents, 376-84.

But, yet again, the hopes of the league’s first undefeated, untied season ended when the Redskins clipped the Bears 14-6 in the 1942 championship game.

Date Opponent
Sept. 23 at Green Bay Packers
Sept. 30 at Cincinnati Reds
Oct. 7 at Brooklyn Dodgers
Oct. 10 at Pittsburgh Pirates
Oct. 14 Chicago Cardinals
Oct. 21 Cincinnati Reds
Oct. 28 Green Bay Packers
Nov. 4 New York Giants
Nov. 11 at Boston Redskins
Nov. 18 at New York Giants
Nov. 25 Chicago Cardinals
Nov. 29 at Detroit Lions
Dec. 2 Detroit Lions


Date Opponent
Sept. 27 at Green Bay Packers
Oct. 4 at Cleveland Rams
Oct. 11 Chicago Cardinals
Oct. 18 New York Giants
Oct. 25 Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 1 Detroit Lions
Nov. 8 at Brooklyn Dodgers
Nov. 15 Green Bay Packers
Nov. 22 at Detroit Lions
Nov. 29 Cleveland Rams
Dec. 6 at Chicago Cardinals