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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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Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

MOBILE — Kirk Cousins remains the best option to be the Redskins quarterback of the future, but that future isn't very secure. For the past two seasons, Washington has been unable to get a long-term deal done with Cousins and optimism is low heading into the 2018 negotiating period. 

At this point, after consecutive franchise tags, it might be time for the Redskins to look at options beyond Cousins. Colt McCoy is under contract for 2018, and head coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly voiced confidence in the famed Texas product. 

Big picture, however, the Redskins need to find their QB for 2018, and beyond. Perhaps that will be Cousins, but it's time for serious due diligence. 

That means the Washington contingent heading to Mobile, Alabama, this week for the Senior Bowl needs to be watching the quarterbacks. And there's a lot to watch. 

Senior Bowl rosters are loaded with future NFL talent at all different positions. NBC Sports will have much more on that later in the week, but to kick things off, start with the passers. 


  • 1) Baker Mayfield - Nobody will have a brighter light on them in Mobile than Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner made big splashes on the field for Oklahoma, posting video game numbers. He threw for more than 4,600 yards in 14 games to go with 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He completed a crazy 70 percent of his throws, which is very high for a college passer. There was some off-field immaturity, and a February 2017 arrest, but those issues aren't expected to cause him to slide in the draft. A number of draft experts predict Washington drafting Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, but there will be plenty of teams ahead of the Redskins that need a passer. Mobile will give the Redskins brass a chance to meet and learn who Mayfield is off the field, and that will be vitally important, along with figuring out if there are reasons to be concerned about his height on the pro football level. 
  • 2)  Josh Allen - Big arm and traditional pocket passer, Allen will ace the eyeball test from talent evaluators. His 2017 numbers from Wyoming will not, however, and he will need a strong showing at pre-draft workouts. Mel Kiper suggested Allen could go as high as No. 1 overall, and at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., there is clearly not a lack of physical talent. In his last two seasons at Wyoming, Allen threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 44 TDs against 21 INTs. Don't try too hard to compare Mayfield and Allen's stats, as comparing the talent and situations at Oklahoma and Wyoming are wildy different. Many NFL scouts love Allen, but some worry about his accuracy. In college, he completed just 56 percent of his passes. He may be a boom or bust type pick, but after the success of Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, teams will be more willing to roll the dice on the Wyoming Cowboy in Allen. 
  • 3) Mason Rudolph - Upstaged by Mayfield's success at Oklahoma, Rudolph put together a terrific season of his own at Oklahoma State. A prolific passer for three seasons in Stillwater, as a senior, Rudolph tossed 37 TDs against nine interceptions along with nearly 5,000 passing yards. At 6-foot-5, Rudolph faces no questions about NFL size, and he certainly has a strong enough arm to play in the pros. Rudolph won't be practicing at the Senior Bowl but is expected to interview with NFL teams. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said before the interviews are arguably the most important part of the pre-draft process, and this could be a big meeting. Rudolph isn't expected to go quite as high as Allen or Mayfield, and could even be drafted in the back half of the first round. 

There will be other quarterbacks playing in Mobile, including Washington State's Luke Falk, Nebraska's Tanner Lee, Virginia's Kurt Benkert, Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White and Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond. There is some intrigue surrounding Lauletta and White, especially as small school QBs continue to thrive in the NFL and both passers have NFL size and play best from the pocket. Not for nothing, Bruce Allen played football at Richmond too. 

It's a little weird that both Allen and Mayfield are on the same team, splitting reps in practice and snaps in the game. Then again Allen might not even play, so it could be irrelevant. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the week for updates from the Senior Bowl. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!


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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.

Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.

Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.

In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.

Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.

Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly. 

Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.

Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.

Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.

Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.

Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.

Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.

There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.

Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game. 

Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.

The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.

May the best fanbase win.