Chapter 4, Page 152

It was the most points ever scored by a Redskins team in the playoffs — and it was the largest margin of victory in any playoff game since 1957.

"It's always embarrassing to get beat that bad," Rams rookie running back Eric Dickerson told reporters after that game. The NFL's leading rusher that season, Dickerson gained only 16 yards that day. "Their defense is so odd," he said. "They do one thing one week, something different the next. Sometimes there was a linebacker on me, sometimes there was a defensive back there. I never knew."

The Redskins then defeated Bill Walsh's 49ers, 24-21, to move on to Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa. The opponent was the Raiders, a team the Redskins had beaten, 37-35, in October at RFK. The Redskins were confident — too confident, as it turned out.

"It came back to bite us, and we forgot to show up," Jacoby said.

Unlike the earlier Redskins-Raiders meeting that year, Raiders running back Marcus Allen was healthy this time. Oakland also had added cornerback Mike Haynes, and he and Lester Hayes proved how well they could cover the Redskins receivers.

"To us, the whole thing was stopping their offense, and the whole thing there was stopping Riggins," former Raiders linebacker Matt Millen said in 1997. Millen, who also played on the 1991 Redskins team that went to the Super Bowl before becoming a TV analyst, added: "Mike Haynes made us really good, and we didn't have to worry about the secondary. We could let both corners play and have the safety help against the run."

As a result, they shut down most of what the Redskins had succeeded in doing all season. They held Riggins to just 64 yards on 26 carries, ending his streak of six playoff games with at least 100 yards. Charlie Brown had only three catches in the game. Art Monk had only one. The Raiders sacked Theismann six times. The Raiders' Derrick Jensen blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead — the only blocked punt against the Redskins all season. It was getting ugly.

Oakland also tripped up Washington on a play that had worked well for the Redskins in their last meeting. It happened after a touchdown catch by the Raiders' Cliff Branch made the score 14-0 and a Moseley field goal cut the lead to 14-3. That was when Jack Squirek became famous.

The Redskins had first down at their 12-yard line, with 12 seconds left in the second quarter. Gibbs didn't want to kill the clock.

Page 152 | Next Page: 153

Other Pages in Chapter 4:
113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171

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