Chapter 5, Page 181

Plotting Plays Plotting plays: Offensive coach Jim Hanifan maps strategy with Jeff Bostic, Don Warren (85), Ralph Tamm (62) and Joe Jacoby in the October 27, 1991 game against the Giants. The Redskins' victory was the first in 10 non-strike games against the New Yorkers.
(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
The Cowboys, who arrived at RFK with a 6-5 record, were coming off close, back-to-back losses to the Oilers and the Giants. But Johnson told his team to forget their record and go have some fun against Washington. The Cowboys were going to take some chances, go for some fourth downs, let it all hang out.

"You don't hit a gorilla with a small stick," Johnson said.

He hit the Redskins hard, among other things completing a Hail Mary pass for a touchdown, recovering an onsides kick and catching the NFL's best team on a day when they were a bit off their game. Dallas ended up with a 24-21 win.

Even in that defeat, though, the Redskins found something that ultimately would help them. After falling behind by 14 points, Gibbs had gone to a no-huddle offense to get back in the game. Rypien was so proficient at it that Gibbs decided to install it as a permanent part of his playbook. The Redskins used it several more times down the stretch as well as in the Super Bowl.

They entered the final regular-season game, against the Eagles, with a 14-1 record and with home field advantage already wrapped up. After watching Rypien take a hard shot from a blitzing linebacker in the third quarter, Gibbs pulled many of his starters and allowed reserves to finish a game that ended with a 24-22 loss.

Page 181 | Next Page: 182

Other Pages in Chapter 5:
172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205

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