Regret was not one of the emotions the Chicago Bears felt yesterday after shattering the thin playoff hopes of the Redskins and former Bear Coach Jack Pardee.
"We went out to play football, to do what we had to do to win," said running back Roland Harper, whose 74 yards rushing left him eight short of 1,000 for the season. "Even though we were out of the playoffs, we weren't going to just sit down."
Steve Schubert, whose 73-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter provided the Bears with the winning points, explained the team's incentive:
We hadn't had a great year," Schubert said, referring to Chicago's eight-game losing streak that followed three consecutive victories to open the season. "Our incentive was to open the season. "Our incentive was to be spoilers. We beat Green Bay last week and this time we had another opportunity to beat a potential playoff team."
His punt return was especially satisfying, Schubert said, since it came against a Redskin specialty team cached by John Hilton, who performed the same chores last season for the Bears.
"We just took advantage of what they were doing on their punt coverage," explained Schubert, who joined the Bears as a free agent in 1975. He had returned one other punt for a touchdown before yesterday.
"Their contain man was running to the inside so we just took it outside him. (Brian) Beaschnagel did a good job holding up their end and then I got behind a wall. I guess I broke a couple of tackles but mostly it was a team effort."
Schubert said the Redskins seemed to be playing with sufficient playoff-seeking intensity but that they might have been pressing too hard.
Chicago Coach Neill Armstrong credited both punter Bob Parsons' 53-yard boot from his end zone and yard boot from his end zone and stopping the Redskins on a fourth-and-inches at the Bear 30 as key plays.
Parsons' effort came in the third quarter, four plays after Redskin Terry Anderson had downed a Mike Bragg punt at the Bear one. The kick, combined with a clipping penalty on Gerard Williams, pushed the Redskins back to their 25.
Linebacker Doug Buffone and strong safety Gary Fencik combined to stop Benny Malone for no gain on the fourth-down plunge early in the second quarter. Fencik was in on 11 tackles and returned an interception of a Joe Theismann pass 59 yards to blunt a Redskin drive.
Buffone compared the Bear losing streak early in the season to the recent woes of the Redskins.
"When we were having problems, we were hurting ourselves by making mistakes. Mistakes have been similarly killing the Redskins. Today, we were the luckier team. Things just went our way."