NFL Network’s slate of NFL 100 programming kicked off Friday night with the premiere of the NFL 100 Greatest series with back-to-back one-hour episodes of NFL 100 Greatest Plays, Parts 1 and 2.
Over the two-hour block, Nos. 31-100 of the greatest plays in NFL history were unveiled through NFL Films video and sound, intermixed with memories and recollections from celebrities, NFL legends, coaches and current players on what made each moment one for the ages.
Six Bears plays were featured among the top 31-100 plays in league history:
34. Gale Sayers’ 85-yard punt return touchdown
The Kansas Comet tied an NFL record with his sixth touchdown of the game on a dazzling 85-yard punt return in a 61-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 12, 1965 at Wrigley Field. Sayers, who was named NFL rookie of the year in 1965 after scoring 22 touchdowns, caught the punt at his own 15, broke to his right, eluded a tackler and cut all the way back across the field. | Watch
37. Walter Payton runs through the Chiefs
It was only 18 yards. But Walter Payton’s trek around, through and over the Kansas City Chiefs defense in a 28-27 comeback win on Nov. 13, 1977 at Soldier Field was arguably the greatest run of his illustrious 13-year career with the Bears. Sweetness followed his “Never Die Easy” mantra on the play, breaking a half dozen tackles before being dragged down from behind. | Watch
56. Harlon Hill’s incredible TD reception from Ed Brown
Receiver Harlon Hill’s spectacular 56-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ed Brown late in a 1956 game against the New York Giants enabled the Bears to rally from a 17-0 second-half deficit and forge a 17-17 tie. Running down the left sideline, Hill made a juggling, diving catch that is still considered one of the best in NFL history. | Watch
69. Mike Ditka’s amazing catch and run against Steelers
No single play better exemplified Ditka’s toughness and tenacity as a Hall of Fame tight end than his 63-yard reception against the Steelers on Nov. 24, 1963—two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Ditka caught a short pass from quarterback Bill Wade, turned up field and eluded several Pittsburgh defenders, including one he bowled over before being dragged down from behind after he ran out of gas. | Watch
79. William Perry’s rushing TD in Super Bowl XX
The world’s largest running back put an exclamation point on what was then the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history when he took a handoff from quarterback Jim McMahon and thundered into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter of a 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome. | Watch
96. Wilber Marshall’s fumble return TD in 1985 NFC Championship Game
With snowflakes symbolically floating to the ground at Soldier Field, Marshall scooped up a fumble by Los Angeles Rams quarterback Dieter Brock and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown that clinched the Bears’ first trip to the Super Bowl with a 24-0 victory in the 1985 NFC Championship Game. | Watch
The NFL joined forces with the Associated Press to select the 100 greatest across five categories: Plays, Games, Characters, Game Changers and Teams. The 80-person blue-ribbon panel was comprised of experts selected by the AP and NFL Media.
For the NFL 100 Greatest series, NFL Films conducted more than 400 interviews with celebrities, current NFL stars and legends that will air across 20, one-hour episodes with four episodes dedicated to each topic.