1988 Chicago Bears season

The 1988 Chicago Bears season was their 69th regular season and 19th postseason completed in the National Football League. This season marked the first time since 1974 that Walter Payton was not on the Bears' opening day roster. The Bears looked to improve on an 11–4 finish that won them the NFC Central Division but ended abruptly when they were eliminated for the second consecutive year by the Washington Redskins.

1988 Chicago Bears season
Head coachMike Ditka
Home fieldSoldier Field
Local radioWGN–AM 720
Division place1st NFC Central
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Eagles) 20–12
Lost NFC Championship (vs. 49ers) 3–28
The Bears playing against the Philadelphia Eagles in the famous Fog Bowl divisional playoff game.

The Bears won 12 games and lost 4, tying for the best record in the league with the Buffalo Bills and the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals. They earned home field advantage in the NFC. However, the Bears failed to advance to the Super Bowl XXIII as one of the top two seeds for a third straight season, falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field. This was the second time that the 49ers and Bears had met for a trip to the Super Bowl during the decade, with the 49ers previously defeating the Bears in the 1984 NFC Championship Game on their way to Super Bowl XIX.

Coach Mike Ditka suffered a heart attack during the season, but was back on the sidelines 11 days later. Ditka was named coach of the year for the second time in his career. 1988 also marked Jim McMahon's last season as starter for the Bears, as he was traded during the following offseason to the San Diego Chargers.

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