Home Sports Brrrrr down: A look at the coldest Chicago Bears games at Soldier Field

Brrrrr down: A look at the coldest Chicago Bears games at Soldier Field

by staff

Temperature is recorded at kickoff in NFL games, which doesn’t take into consideration any fluctuations that happen after the game starts. USA Today has reported late-in-the-season games are likely to end at a lower temperature.

The Packers played in the NFL’s coldest game, referred to as “The Ice Bowl”: 13 degrees below zero on Dec. 31, 1967. The Bears are 6-4 during their 10 coldest games at Soldier Field since they began playing their home games there in 1971 — including 3 wins and 2 losses against the Packers.

12 degrees

Texans win, 24-5

Dec. 19, 2004, start time: 12:02 p.m.
22 degrees below normal

“Sunday’s temperature was announced as 12 degrees at kickoff, with a minus-8 windchill. On days like this, the Bears are supposed to have the advantage over a team from a place that might confuse snow with cotton. But the Texans prevailed handily.” — Lew Freedman

(Charles Cherney / Chicago Tribune)

12 degrees

Bears beat Falcons, 16-3

Dec. 18, 2005, start time: 7:37 p.m.
22 degrees below normal

“The improbable play that ruined the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night was challenged, reviewed, dissected — and didn’t even involve points going up on the scoreboard. It happened in the fourth quarter when the Falcons trailed the Bears by the same 16-3 margin as the final score. Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick completed a pass to receiver Michael Jenkins for what should have been a gain to the 10-yard line. Instead, Bears safety Mike Green creamed Jenkins, flipping the ball into the air and into the arms of teammate Nathan Vasher. Falcons coach Jim Mora tossed the red replay flag onto the field. The officials ruled against him, and Mora gave them enough what-for to earn a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. More than 12 minutes remained, but the Falcons never got within the same ZIP code of the end zone again. Asked about the officials’ decision, Mora said only, ‘I think they do a wonderful job.’ The Bears spent the frigid evening smothering the Atlanta offense. Yet the Falcons, most of whom wore long sleeves and spend much of their football lives in a climate-controlled dome, refused to admit being bothered.” — Lew Freedman

Bears quarterback Rex Grossman comes off the field during the Dec. 18, 2005, game. (Jim Prisching / Chicago Tribune)

11 degrees

Bears beat Buccaneers, 27-14

Dec. 23, 1990, start time: 12:01 p.m.
22 degrees below normal

“The cold, hard realities of football and life were at once addressed Sunday afternoon on the frozen tundra of Soldier Field. The Bears resurrected the momentum of their remarkable season with a 27-14 defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front of 46,456 hearty fans. … ‘That’s life. It is a tough thing,’ said linebacker Mike Singletary, ‘The injuries, the (death of) Fred Washington in the car wreck. It is the harsh reality of life. What are you going to do when that happens?’ … With the thermometer reading 11 degrees and a wind-chill factor of minus-3, the Bears overcame the slippery field conditions to run up 368 total yards.” — Fred Mitchell

(From Chicago Tribune archives)

11 degrees

Packers win, 30-27

Dec. 18, 2016, start time: 12:02 p.m.
25 degrees below normal

“It was cold. It was blustery. It was another Bears loss. The Bears fell short with a rally against their archrivals when they fell to the Green Bay Packers 30-27 on Sunday at frigid Soldier Field. With the game-time temperature of 11 and a wind chill of 4 degrees below zero, the Bears fell behind the Packers 27-10 after three quarters before roaring back behind the arm of quarterback Matt Barkley. The Packers won it as time expired on Mason Crosby’s 32-yard field goal.” — Chris Kuc

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson makes a 60-yard reception to set up the game-winning field goal ahead of Bears cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc in the fourth quarter. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

10 degrees

Bears beat Packers, 21-10

Dec. 11, 1977, start time: 2 p.m.
26 degrees below normal

“The Bears failed to lose for the fifth game in a row Sunday, and it is still hard to tell whether they are getting easier or harder to believe. But get ready to believe. By Sunday’s 21-10 victory over Green Bay in frigid Soldier Field, they are one more victory from the playoffs unless the unbelievable happens again in an unbelievable season.” — Don Pierson

Bears running back Walter Payton (34) picks his way through the line to pick up four yards in the first quarter of a Dec. 11, 1977, game. (Larry Stoddard / AP)

10 degrees

Packers win, 40-28

Dec. 17, 1989, start time: 12:02 p.m.
24 degrees below normal

“Without having to loft nary a punt, the Packers dispatched the Bears 40-28 in front of 44,781 hearty souls, who braved a minus-7 degree wind chill factor and five Bear turnovers. In losing their fifth straight for the first time since 1978, the Bears (6-9) assured themselves a losing record for the first time since 1981.” — Fred Mitchell

(From Chicago Tribune archives)

8 degrees

Bears beat Cowboys, 45-28

Dec. 9, 2013, start time: 7:40 p.m.
29 degrees below normal

Mike Ditka didn’t bring the 1985 Bears defense with him down the red carpet to midfield at halftime Monday night. Because of the 2013 offense, he didn’t have to. Backup quarterback Josh McCown accounted for five touchdowns, three before the Bears retired their iconic coach’s jersey No. 89 at intermission, and their beleaguered defense benefited from playing with the lead in a 45-28 victory over the Cowboys at frigid Soldier Field.” — Rich Campbell

Mike Ditka speaks during a halftime ceremony to retire his number at the Dec. 9, 2013, game. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

4 degrees

Redskins win, 21-17

Jan. 10, 1988, start time: 11:32 a.m.
27 degrees below normal

“A whole bunch of eras ended for the Bears Sunday in Solder Field, where the Washington Redskins knocked them out of the NFC divisional playoffs for the second year in a row, 21-17. It was a cold thing coach Joe Gibbs and the Redskins did, pulling the magic carpet out from under Jim McMahon just when everything appeared warmed up for a National Conference title game next week against the Minnesota Vikings.” — Don Pierson

Bundled up Bears fans watch the Jan. 10, 1988, game. (Rusty Kennedy / AP)

3 degrees

Bears beat Packers, 23-21

Dec. 18, 1983, start time: 12:02 p.m.
31 degrees below normal

“Jim McMahon and the Bears put on their gloves Sunday for more than warmth. When they just as easily could have gone stiff in the zero-degree cold of Soldier Field, the Bears proved that they, too, can be 8-8. Scoring twice in the final four minutes — three times in the last 22 minutes — they overcame the Packers 23-21 on a 22-yard field goal by Bob Thomas with 10 seconds left. McMahon threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score and set up a kick by Thomas with a masterful two-minute drive that warmed what was left of the crowd of 35,807 (29,986 no-shows). The Bears knocked Green Bay out of the playoffs and joined the clamor for anonymity in the National Five Hundred League, where it matters not whether you win or lose because everybody does.” — Don Pierson

Gary Lewis looms in front of the ball kicked by the Bears’ Bob Thomas in the closing seconds of the Dec. 19, 1983, game. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)

2 degrees

Bears beat Packers, 20-17 (OT)

Dec. 22, 2008, start time: 7:40 p.m.
31 degrees below normal

“With a chance to earn a spot in the postseason, the Bears looked early on like they had their minds on the off-season. If revenge is a dish best served cold, the Bears didn’t put it on the menu against the team that had beaten them by 34 points a month ago until the final course. But it tasted sweet as ever after Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal through the uprights in the south end zone to keep the Bears’ playoff hopes alive.” — David Haugh

Bears place kicker Robbie Gould celebrates after kicking a 38-yard game-winning field goal to defeat the Packers in overtime at Soldier Field on Dec. 22, 2008. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

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