"He was a great athlete, but he was his own worst enemy," Jurgensen said. "He wanted to play, and I certainly could understand that. One day in the training room where he was getting his ankles taped, he said something like, 'I should be playing ahead of those two old guys.' We heard about it. We also heard he was telling people that the only reason he didn't win the Heisman Trophy was that Jim Plunkett got a sympathy vote because his parents were blind. What a terrible thing to say. That's where it all started. It was not a very good relationship. It got to a point where Billy and I had this understanding that we didn't care which one of us started, as long as it wasn't Theismann."
That was not a concern in 1974, when Theismann ran the scout team in practice and got most of his game action as a part-time punt returner. Kilmer started the first four games. But after going 2-2 and with the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Dolphins coming to town, Allen sat him down, using Kilmer's bruised leg as the rationale.
Would he turn to Jurgensen? "George told me that most coaches wouldn't start a 40-year-old quarterback," Jurgensen said. "I told him if you want to win, you will."
He did, and that day Jurgensen rallied his team from an early 10-point deficit to a dramatic 20-17 victory. Trailing 17-13 with 1:44 remaining, Jurgensen drove the Redskins 60 yards to a touchdown, hitting fullback Larry Smith with a six-yard scoring pass for a the winning points. He would finish that game with 26 completions in 39 attempts for 303 yards and two touchdowns plus the satisfaction of helping the Redskins avenge their 1972 Super Bowl defeat.