Dick Vermell, the Philadelphia Eagles coach, summed up what happened to his team at RFK Stadium yesterday this way:
"We got our butts whipped, they just kicked our butts completely," he said. "We got outcoached and outplayed. No one guy on his team lost this game. We all lost it. They did a hell of a job."
Two weeks ago in Veterns Stadium, Washington Coach Jack Paradee said much the same thing. That day, Wilbert Montgomery ran amok and quarterback Ron Jaworski passed almost at will. The best way for a redskin lineman to reach Jaworski would have been a mailgram.
In yesterday's 17-7 victory the Redskins used a variety of stunts -- known as "games" -- to hold Montgomery to 33 yards on 11 carries. They sacked Jaworski seven times.
"Geez, yes I was surprised they put so much pressure on me," said Jaworski, who played with a ligament injury in his right ankle. "I couldn't say what they were doing until I look at the film. But they certainly killed us in every way imaginable.
"If you had asked me what I thought of their defense two weeks ago I would have said 'not very much.' Today I'd have to say I think they have a very good defense. And a very good team."
Jaworski said his injured ankle didn't bother him during the game and said he felt pain in it only once -- after being hit by Washington middle linebacker Neal Olkewicz early in the second quarter, a play on which he fumbled with the score 0-0.
"He sort of bent me back and I felt it," Jaworski said. "I thought I was down before I fumbled on the play. He hit me awfully hard. They all hit hard today."
Like V ermell, the Eagle linemen had no explanation for their inability to handle the rush. Pardee had accused the Eagle linemen last week of holding, and not getting caught by officials, during the first matchup with his team.
"Sure they were playing games," said center Guy Morriss. "But they didn't do anything we hadn't already seen this year going back to training camp. It wasn't anything new.
"But they changed up a lot, there wasn't a steady diet of anything. Once we got behind and they knew we had to pass they were in the driver's seat. We didn't know what was coming next.
"We had to throw the ball too much. There was no ground game so they were able to do what they wanted to with the rush."
The lack of a running game, usually supplied by Montgomry, who had 339 yards in his last three games against the Redskins, was a mystery to all the Eagles, including Montgomery.
"My right hand was bruised, it gave me some trouble, that's why I fumbled," Montgomery said of his three fumbles. "But that didn't affect my running. They were just more mentally prepared to play than we were, I think that was the difference.
"No, they weren't tackling any harder or hitting any harder but they did do a great job on pursuit and ball watching. We have to have a running game mixed with our passing game. First they took one away, then they took the other away.
"I don't have any excuses. They just did a great job of pursuit. If I slipped one tackle there was always another guy there to hit me."
The Eagles had so little success with their running game that they practically abandoned it in the second half. What's more, they never attempted to work fullback Leroy Harris into the offense. He carried only twice for six yards.
"I think we need about 60 yards a game from our fullback to really be effective," said Jaworski. "The whole key to the game was first down. Last time we did great things on first down. Today, we did absolutely nothing. That certainly set things up for them.
"We tried everything. We tried different formations. We tried different looks, different blocking angles. You name it, we tried it. They were ready for everything.
"There's no sense making any excuses. We just got our butts handed to us. They were better than we were."
By now, Jaworski was starting to sound like Vermeil, who was circling the room, shaking hands with his players and offering them quiet words of encouragement. There were no bowed heads in the Eagle locker room.
"They called the right play at the right time," said offensive tackle Stan Walters. "They played harder than we did. They deserved to win. It's that simple."
As he walked out, Vermeil was asked by a Philadelphia writer if his team had perhaps had a letdown after winning so easily two weeks ago.
Vermeil smiled. "Every time a team loses in the league people say it's because you played poorly. That wasn't it. They just played better and whipped the hell out of us.
"What you saw was no letdown. It was a butt-kicking."