Redskins ring up 30-7 rout of Lions Sanders moves into third on all-time rushing list

November 10, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- On a day when Barry Sanders continued to run into the NFL record books, the Washington Redskins proved they could win a football game under Norv Turner the week before meeting the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins shoved the Detroit Lions all over Jack Kent Cooke Stadium yesterday on the way to a 30-7 rout that sends Washington against Dallas next week off a victory for the first time in the four years Turner has been the head coach.

Washington is now 1-13 under Turner the week before and after meeting Dallas and will travel to Texas Stadium next week for a 4 p.m. game.

Turner has often called the pre-Dallas losses "coincidental" and his players all played down the end of the losing streak yesterday.

"That's just some mumble-jumble from the media," said kick returner Brian Mitchell.

It was also a very productive day in the NFC East standings for the Redskins (6-4) as they climbed into a first-place tie with the New York Giants (6-4), who lost a 10-6 decision to the Tennessee Oilers yesterday.

The Redskins maintained their longtime dominance over the Lions, beating Detroit for the 18th straight time overall and giving them a 19-0 all-time record against the Lions in games played at home.

Sanders climbed past Tony Dorsett into third place on the NFL's all-time rushing list yesterday, gaining 105 yards on 15 carries for a career mark of 12,828 in less than nine seasons compared to 12,739 for Dorsett in 12 years.

After a rather ordinary first half, Sanders showed his talents on a 51-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that had the Redskins players buzzing in the locker room after the game.

"Barry Sanders is like the Michael Jordan of football. He's of that caliber, but we did a good job on him. Good backs are bound to get some yards," Washington linebacker Ken Harvey said.

Sanders was spectacular on Detroit's lone score of the afternoon.

He took a handoff from backup quarterback Frank Reich, faked defensive end Rich Owens at the line of scrimmage to find TC huge hole off the right side, then exploded past strong safety Jesse Campbell with ease at the Washington 30-yard line, and cruised the rest of the way into the end zone with free safety Stanley Richard futilely chasing him from far back.

Sanders also yesterday became the first player in NFL history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing nine straight years and he broke Marcus Allen's all-time NFL record for consecutive 100-yard road rushing games.

Sanders has run for 100 or more yards eight straight times on the road and he has 1,103 yards this season.

Often-injured wide receiver Michael Westbrook returned to action, making four catches for 93 yards.

Washington backup cornerback Darryl Pounds was the defensive star among a cast of standouts, coming off the bench early in the fourth quarter to intercept two passes, returning one 22 yards for a touchdown.

For Sanders, it was a bittersweet afternoon.

"I hope it's the lowest point we get to," said Sanders. "We didn't show up today. The touchdown was a good call. A gut play to the left. I saw the cutback. I had to contain the safety and once I got around him it was a foot race."

For Detroit coach Bobby Ross, it was a dismal return to the Washington area for his first time as a head NFL coach and he promised his team a long film session today.

"We took a good licking today and we didn't play very well," said Ross, who coached at the University of Maryland from 1982 to 1986. "I'm going to see how hard we played, too, because I think that's very important at this stage. Every player on this team is going to see exactly what happened on every play in this game. They need to be prepared for a very long film session."

(All-time rushing leaders, 8C)

Pub Date: 11/10/97

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