Although the Redskins will not know their playoff opponent until after today's wild card game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants, Coach Joe Gibbs held practice yesterday to "work out some stuff and review some of the things that have bothered us lately."
The wild card winner plays the division champion with the best record, unless that team is from the same division. Therefore, if the Rams win their second straight wild card game -- last year they defeated Dallas -- they would play at Washington (11-5), and San Francisco (15-1) would host Chicago (10-6).
Should the Giants win, they would play at San Francisco, and the Bears would come to Washington.
"Last year, we tried to guess who we would be playing and it didn't work out the way we had planned," said Gibbs. "It wound up being counterproductive."
Regardless, Washington would play a team with an offense solidly based on an explosive running game. Los Angeles' second-year running back Eric Dickerson broke O.J. Simpson's single-season rushing record this season; Chicago's Walter Payton set the all-time NFL career rushing record.
"One guy is the leading rusher of all time and the other probably will be when he's finished," the Redskins' defensive coach, Richie Petitbon, said.
The Bears, whose 72 sacks this season set an NFL record, have the NFL's top-rated defense. "We worked a little bit on pass protection," Gibbs said.
"The Rams and the Bears both have excellent defenses. . . .and the Rams have been playing particularly well lately," he said. "But they have contrasting styles so it's hard to work on any one thing."
Running back John Riggins, who has been hampered by a lower back strain, worked out yesterday but did not take part in contact drills. Special teams standout Otis Wonsley was the only player who did not dress in full gear.
"It's just a precautionary measure (with Wonsley)," Gibbs said. "He has a bump on the front part of his shin, and we're going to give him as much rest as he needs until Monday."
The Redskins will take today off, practice Monday -- the first full practice since ending the regular season -- rest on Christmas Day, then get on a normal schedule.