The Philadelphia game plan, which worked so well against the Redskins today, was designed to do basically one thing: avoid Ken Houston.
"He is the key to their defense and if you let him, he can mess up your entire offense," said Eagle quarterback Ron Jaworski. "We weren't going to let that happen."
Jaworski said that Houston was the first man he looked for when he came to the line before each play.
To nullify Houston's deadly safety blitzes, Jaworski three mostly on first down. To neutralize Houston on runs, the Eagles used a new wingback formation giving him an extra blocker in 6-foot-8 Harold Carmichael.
"We felt we could throw on them, but we wanted to do it intelligently," said Jaworski, who threw only 12 passes, completing eight. "We threw on the early downs before they got into the nickel.
"We are a ball-control team and they know it, everybody does. They put Houston on the line and had the other safety, (Mark) Murphy, outside the tackle. It was obvious that they weren't going to give us the run. So we gave them play action on first down and then used Carmichael as an extra blocker."
The strategy worked almost perfectly as Jaworski threw five of his 12 passes on first down, completing four for 80 yards and a touchdown.
He threw only three times on third down and completed one for minus one yard.
"We just threw enough to keep them off balance," Jaworski said.
With Carmichael helping the Eagles' already strong offensive line block, wonder back Wilbert Montgomery ran for 127 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns rushing and a fourth receiving.
The 5-foot-10 Montgomery wasn't at all surprised with his success.
"I ran so well against Pittsburgh, against that Steel Curtain last week, that it gave me a lift," Montgomery said. "I figured if I could get 98 yards against the Super Bowl champs I should be able to get more against Washington."
"Our game plan was to attack them between the tackles on either side," said tackle Stan Walters. "If Houston played up we'd go to the wing and run the ball. We went to the left so much because it worked the best."
Guard Petey Perot, who had a field day against Diron Talbert and his replacement, Paul Smith, said that even when the line wasn't able to blow the Redskins off the line, "Wilbert was getting a crack and that's all he needs."
"The offensive line did a helluva job," added Coach Dick Vermeil. "They gave Wilbert all he needed. He scored two of those touchdowns standing up and you just don't see that very much on short runs up the middle."
Montgomery, who has rushed for 579 yards this season, said he ate something bad for breakfast and had a severe stomach ache before the game.
"I told the coaches and the trainer and they told me to do what I could," Montgomery said. "After the game they told me to get sick every week."
Montgomery, a 195-pound third-year man from Abilene Christian, has scored nine touchdowns in the past three games against the Redskins.
He scored six touchdowns in one college game. "In high school they said I had a nose for the goal line," Montgomery said. "I guess I still have the same nose."
Carmichael took time off from his blocking long enough to catch two passes to keep his streak alive. He has now caught at least one pass in 102 straight games.
His big catch today was a 35 yarder from Jaworski -- on first down, of course -- which set up Philadelphia's third touchdown.
Montgomery scored from the five on the next play.
Montgomery and the Eagles demonstrated their dominance best on an 11-play, 77-yard drive for the final touchdown. The drive consumed 6:31 and it was all on the ground. Montgomery carried six times for 33 yards, including the last four for the touchdown. All of Montgomery's runs were to the left side of the Eagles' line.
"That drive was something special," Jaworski said. "You have to credit the line for great blocking, the backs for great running and me for great handoffs."