Redskins, Allen put Bears on the run Back gains 125 yards in grinding 31-8 victory

November 03, 1997|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

CHICAGO -- Before the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears began play yesterday at Soldier Field, television actors dressed in the teams' uniforms staged a mock game for a soon-to-be-aired area show. The key scene had the Bears' kicker repeatedly falling down a la Charlie Brown while approaching the ball.

When the real game began, things quickly got worse for the Bad News Bears, who dropped to 1-8 after being trampled, 31-8.

The erratic Redskins offense suddenly looked awesome, rolling up 388 total yards. By the end of the first quarter, they had outgained the Bears, 189-32, setting the tone for this cold, windy day.

Gus Frerotte, who cried openly after losing to the Ravens last week, consistently found open receivers in the Bears' porous secondary to complete 14 of 20 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

He was 9-for-11 in the first half when the Redskins (5-4) scored touchdowns on their first three possessions.

But the key to Washington's success was the bruising ground game (203 yards), buoyed by the return of Pro Bowl running back Terry Allen. After missing the past two games with a knee injury, Allen rebounded to rush for 125 yards, averaging 6.3 yards a carry.

"This was by far our best game of the year," Redskins coach Norv Turner said. "We're a different team when Terry Allen is in the game. We have to keep him healthy the rest of the year."

Offensive tackle Shar Pourdanesh added: "Allen is our MVP. When you have a Pro Bowler who hits the holes as hard as he does, it puts the defense back on its heels and makes it easier for all of us."

Everything the Redskins did came easy against a Bears defense that has allowed 33 points a game. Oddsmakers had expected a close game after Chicago had rallied to beat the Miami Dolphins in overtime last Monday, but the Bears reverted to form yesterday, drawing boos from the crowd for their inept play as early as the first quarter.

There were 13,912 no-shows, and after the score ballooned to 31-0 in the opening minutes of the second half, only a few die-hards in the announced crowd of 53,032 remained to see the Bears avert a shutout with five minutes left.

"You sure don't think after winning only one game that anyone could be overconfident," said Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, who has three years remaining on his contract. "I really thought we'd come out from the git-go. But we played badly in all areas -- mentally and physically."

Linebacker Bryan Cox was more succinct.

"We got a good, old-fashioned butt-kicking. They just flattened us. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

How bad were the Bears?

On their only scoring threat in the first half, they marched to a first down on the Redskins' 15. Three plays later, they were back on the 40 after receiver Curtis Conway drew two unsportsmanlike penalties and an ejection for jostling an official.

Kick returner Tyrone Hughes bobbled a punt right into the hands of the Redskins' Darryl Pounds on the Bears' 16 to set up a Scott Blanton field goal.

Pass interference calls against defensive backs Walt Harris and Marty Carter led to two Redskins touchdowns.

Hughes and Bears guard Todd Burger began pushing each other and pointing fingers in the third quarter.

"I knew on that first Redskins drive [76 yards in eight plays], that if we didn't wake up, it was going to be a long day," defensive tackle Carl Simpson said.

The loss was costly for the Bears, who lost their best defensive lineman, John Thierry, for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

"The biggest thing I emphasized to the team last week was not to get caught up in this win- two, lose-two pattern," Turner said. "Now that we're a lot healthier, it's time to start building a winning streak."

Pub Date: 11/03/97

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