With Jerome Simpson regularly leaping over would-be tacklers this season, including during last week’s playoff loss to the Texans, it seemed like a good time to revisit Darrell Green’s leaping punt return for a touchdown against the Bears that helped propel Washington toward the Super Bowl. Happily, it occurred 24 years ago on Tuesday, which makes this especially appropriate.
The video largely speaks for itself, but here are a few notes from the next day’s coverage.
“Unable to hold a lead, unable to come back, unable to offer excuses, unable to handle Darrell Green jumping over them on his only punt return, the Bears’ second attempt to regain the glory of Super Bowl XX ended with a resounding thud,” Don Pierson wrote in the Chicago Tribune.
“Darrell Green, smaller than William Perry’s appetite and faster than Willie Gault, raced 52 yards with a punt for the winning score, hurdling a diving Cap Boso with such force that he hurt himself,” Bernie Lincicome wrote in the same paper.
Washington “got the physical lift it needed when Green, a swift, star cornerback, hurdled and dashed his way 52 yards with a punt for the game-winning touchdown with 11:40 left in the third quarter,” Christine Brennan wrote in The Post. “Green held his rib cage as he ran the last 30 yards. He returned for one play, but was noticeably bothered by the injury and left. He was replaced admirably by the team’s top draft choice, Brian Davis, who was beaten only once, by speedster Willie Gault on a 44-yard reception.”
“They made a play on special teams to beat us; it’s that simple,” Mike Ditka said.
“[Boso] just flashed all of a sudden," Green said, “and I just responded by jumping. It was just instinct. That was all I could do.”
“I could easily enough have let him push me out of bounds,” Green also said. “Normally, that’s what you'd do. But I just wanted to keep going.”
It was also Walter Payton’s last game, and the second straight year the Skins topped the Bears in the playoffs, which allowed Dexter to issue the best quote of the day.
“Last year they said Doug Flutie was too short,” he said. “This year they’ll say Jim McMahon was too tall.”