Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is the National Football League's leading passer and Buddy Hardeman its leading punt returner.

That Theismann is No. 1, with a lofty rating of 109.8, does not surprise Coach Jack Pardee.

"As long as our offensive line can keep coming," Pardee said yesterday, as the team took the day off since it plays Monday night against New York, "as long as we can run the ball that successfully, there's no reason Joe can't keep the rating."

The rating is drawn from a point scale in four categories: percentage of completions, average yards, percentage of touchdown passes and percentage of interceptions. Each statistic has a point value. These points then are added and the total matched against a conversion table to give the rating.

In the current ratings, Theismann is 9.3 points better than Minnesota's second-place Tommy Kramer, at 100.5, followed by New England's Steve Grogan at 100.2 and Dallas' Roger Staubach at 94.7.

Theismann has thrown the fewest passes (33) by far of the leading quarterbacks. However, his completion percentage (60.6), average yards per pass (7.24) and interception percentage (3.0) all are above average on the rating scale. His percentage of touchdown passes is 12.1 percent, which is actually off the board. The table stops at 11.9 per cent.

That is the key figure in his rating. If his percentage of touchdown passes was 6 percent -- a figure surpassed by only three of the next nine passers in the National Conference -- Theismann's rating would 79.8.

Hardeman's 22.8-yard punt return average is more than 80 percent higher than that of anyone else in either conference.

Lemar Parrish is tied with nine other players for the league lead in interceptions with two and tight end Jean Fugett and kicker Mark Moseley are tied with wide receiver Wallace Francis of Atlanta for second place in scoring in the NFC with 18 points each.