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Redskins throwback: Knocking the champion Bears out of the playoffs

Associated Press

Redskins throwback: Knocking the champion Bears out of the playoffs

On this date in 1987, the Redskins went to Chicago to face the Bears, just a year removed from pillaging and plundering the NFL on their way to doing the Super Bowl Shuffle, in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Chicago media didn’t give the Redskins much of a chance.

Here is the account of that game from the pages of my book The Redskins Chronicle.

Soldier Field--The headline in the Chicago paper read: “Bears ReadyIf Redskins Show Up."

As the game unfolded, it became clear that the first part of that statement was problematic—and there was not any question about the second part. The Redskins clearly came to play and they knocked off the defending champions in the Bears' own house by a score of 27-13.

The Bears had been on a 32-3 run over the previous two seasons thanks in large part to their ability to snuff the opposing passing game with blitzes. Late in the first quarter, Jay Schroeder made them pay for that strategy when the offensive line gave him enough time to toss a 28-yard scoring pass to Art Monk to put the Redskins up 7-0.


The second quarter belonged to the Bears. Receiver Willie Gault beat Darrell Green badly on a 50-yard touchdown catch from first-year quarterback Doug Flutie, who was starting in place of the injured Jim McMahon. That and two Kevin Butler field goals had the home team up 13-7 at halftime.

It would make for great dramatic reading to say that Green made a super, clutch play by getting revenge on Flutie by intercepting a pass that set up the Redskins’ go-ahead score. The truth is, though, that Green merely accepted a gift, intercepting a lollipop that Flutie tossed up somewhere in between Gault and tight end Tim Wrightman. Green's 17-yard return to the Bears' 26 woke up the Redskins' offense.

Three plays later, on third and seven, Schroeder pumped left, Monk broke right, and the quarterback found the receiver for 23 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins were ahead for good at 14-13.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

It wasn't over yet, though. Gary Gentry returned the ensuing kickoff 48 yards and shortly after that, the Bears were in possession at the Washington 18. From there, though, Darryl Grant got his helmet on the ball, knocking it out of the arms of Walter Payton. Safety Alvin Walton recovered at the 17. Soon, it was over.

The Redskins drove 83 yards to the clinching TD. Monk should have had his third touchdown of the day, but cornerback Michael Richardson grabbed him in the end zone, so the score had to come via a one-yard George Rogers run.

The margin widened and the celebration on the sidelines grew more jubilant as Jess Atkinson kicked two fourth-quarter field goals.

The Redskins went on to lose the NFC championship game to the Giants the following week. But the next year they went to Chicago for the divisional round again and this time it was a stepping stone to the Super Bowl. More on that one next week.



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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.