MIAMI — If the unbeaten Chicago Bears hope to match the Miami Dolphins perfect season of 1972, they've got to beat the injury-prone but still proud Dolphins of 1985.
From the Miami standpoint, the game tonight with the Bears could be subtitled "Pride and the Playoffs."
None of the current players were around for the 17-0 season of 1972. Still, they feel a kinship to that group, the only National Football League team ever to complete a season unbeaten. The same man, Coach Don Shula, is coaching them.
"We've got a lot of pride in the perfect season," Shula said. "It would be nice to knock off the Bears and stop them from doing it. But what's more important for this team is what a win does for us, or what a loss would mean to us."
With a victory, the 8-4 Dolphins could move into a tie with the New York Jets for the AFC East lead.