Two of Dent's sacks came from wide inside loops, with Simms set in a deep drop—a definite no-no against the Bear defense. He got another one and a piece of a fourth when linebackers Otis Wilson and Wilber Marshall rushed from the other side, leaving Simms no escape route. At times, Simms tried to shorten his drop and throw, but it's pretty tough to change an entire offensive scheme on short notice.
"It's almost impossible to prepare for our defense in one week," said the Bears' defensive coach, Buddy Ryan. "I've had a lot of coaches tell me that. Two weeks, yes. One week, no."
The Bears added a new wrinkle to their notorious 46 defense, pulling Perry, substituting nickelback Shaun Gayle and rushing Marshall and Wilson from defensive end spots.
"All I'm doing with that," Ryan said, "is getting my five best pass rushers coming at once, across the board."
Simms tried to attack it with wide receiver Phil McConkey taking Gayle deep into the post, but the Bears' rush plus a stiff wind turned that operation into zero completions in five tries until late in the fourth quarter. "Everything worked to our advantage," Wilson said. "Our fans, our great weather, our great team. That should be enough."
The great weather, which the Los Angeles Rams will taste this Sunday in the NFC championship game was 14� at kickoff, with a wind chill of—13, about average for Soldier Field in January. It was nippy enough to cause McMahon to play with baseball batting gloves on. Simms also used gloves, but unlike McMahon he didn't have extensive practice with them.
"I love 'em," McMahon said. "I can throw a spiral with them. I think I'll wear them for the rest of my career."
"What kind of gloves?" someone wanted to know.
"Black gloves." he said.
The way the Bears were playing defense he could have used a catcher's mitt. Middle linebacker Mike Singletary called the Bears' performance—they held the Giants to only 181 yards for the day—their best of the season. "I'd grade it 8� on a scale of 10," he said. "I'm looking for a 9� next week, and I think you might see a 10 before it's all over."