Redskins, Vikings Get Defensive

Posted: January 18, 1988

WASHINGTON — The Redskins and Vikings have one of the higher-scoring rivalries in the NFL these days. In their last three regular-season meetings, the two teams have scored a total of 181 points. The average final score was 34-26, Redskins.

So what happened yesterday?

What caused 17-10, Redskins?

"We've had some high-scoring games against them in the past," Minnesota quarterback Wade Wilson said. "But when you get to the championship game, the defenses always rise to the occasion. That's frustrating, but that's what happens."

So, low-scoring was to be expected. What wasn't? The eight sacks on Wilson, who had scrambled so effectively against the Redskins in last month's regular- season finale.

"You just don't go into a game thinking you're going to get sacked that many times," Wilson said.

They didn't go in thinking a lot of things - for example, that rookie Reggie Rutland would get beat on a key pass play in the fourth quarter, a 43- yard pass to Gary Clark that set up the winning touchdown. Rutland, who returned an interception for a touchdown last week against San Francisco, was just put in the game and bit badly on a stop-and-go move by Clark.

"I was in bump-and-run coverage," Rutland said. "I just read an out and he turned upfield on me. I was fresh in the game and it's natural to pick on a guy who's younger and fresh in the game."

NFC NOTES: On the subject of money, the Vikings will have some pretty decent consolation prizes. Each of the Vikings will receive $18,000 for their efforts . . . For the Redskins, the stakes are significantly higher. If they lose Super Bowl XXII to the Denver Broncos, the Redskins will receive $36,000 apiece. If the Redskins win, they will get $54,000 apiece.

More for the record: The Redskins are the first NFL team this decade to compete in four conference finals (in playoffs following 1982, 1983, 1986 and 1987 regular seasons). Miami, Dallas and San Francisco each have played in three . . . Before yesterday, the previous three NFC championship games had been shutouts . . . Washington is 10-3 in the playoffs under coach Joe Gibbs.

Where was Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman yesterday? He had one tackle and one assist and never really heard his name called. Redskins left tackle Joe Jacoby must have been superb. "I don't know what Jacoby did on Doleman," Washington quarterback Doug Williams said. "I didn't get a chance to watch the game. I was in it." Oh.

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