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Bears Legend Charles Tillman Reflects On His Favorite ‘Peanut Punch’

Peanut punched his way into Bears’ history and we’ll never forget it.

Charles Tillman Peanut Punch Chicago Bears
Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Any fan of the Chicago Bears knows one of the greatest players in franchise history was Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman, and today is his birthday! Peanut created one of the most iconic defensive plays the NFL has ever seen. The ‘Peanut Punch’ was a crucial weapon in Tillman’s arsenal. He very well may have thrown more strikes at Soldier Field than most fighters do in a three-round bout. The Bears shared a video from Good Morning Football when Peanut described his favorite punch of his entire career. In honor of the legend’s birthday, let’s revisit the game, play, and the outcome that followed.

Peanut Punch Against Detroit

The year was 2007. The NFL’s Week 8 was underway and the Bears were having a dreadful start to the season. After appearing in the Super Bowl only eight months prior, this was not what fans expected. But the Detroit Lions were paying their annual visit to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field and things were bad.

The Bears sported a 3-4 record heading into the Week 8 game with Detroit. They had already lost to the Lions in Week 4 and they desperately needed to get back to .500. Peanut did what he does best though and punched the ball right out of the hands of the Lions’ RB Kevin Jones.

There were just under nine minutes to go and the Bears were only down by a score of 16-7. When Peanut punched the ball out, linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer recovered it and sent a jolt of life back into Soldier Field.

The Chicago Bears lost this game, with a final score of 16-7, but the Peanut Punch at least gave them a chance. No one in NFL history has done it quite like Charles Tillman. Many defensive players adapted the Peanut Punch and for good reason: it works. But there isn’t a single player in the NFL today that could punch out a football the way Peanut did. This Chicago Bears’ legend deserves a giant and fist-shaped statue outside of Soldier Field, even though no one needs it to remember such an iconic move.

Happy Birthday to the G.O.A.T., Charles Tillman!

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