Bears 73, Redskins 0: an annotated play-by-play

On Dec. 8, 1940, the Chicago Bears barreled into Washington’s Griffith Stadium and beat the Redskins 73-0 in the NFL championship game — the biggest smackdown in league history. What follows is an attempt to recreate that game, with the help of newspaper accounts, play by plays, video highlights and my own interviews with some of the players. The figures might be a yard off here and there, but they’re mostly accurate. (You’d be amazed at how inexact record keeping was in the prewar years.)

I’ve inserted comments and notes throughout to (hopefully) add to your reading pleasure. Enjoy.


Bears end Ken Kavanaugh: “I bought 26 tickets for friends of mine from Arkansas, Louisiana and around Chicago, and I think three of ’em were picked up. So when we get to Washington, I’ve got 23 tickets at $4 a head in my pocket. Our bus arrives at the stadium, and I go out in front and start selling the tickets. It takes me about a half-hour or so, but I finally get rid of them.
“Later I’m in the locker room getting dressed, and [coach George] Halas says, ‘Where the hell have you been, eating another sandwich?’ He used to get on me because I’d eat a sandwich before games. We didn’t have any pregame meal or anything, you see. We just went out and played. Anyway, I said, ‘George, I had 23 tickets to sell at $4 apiece, and I don’t know if we’re going to make that much playing this game, so I was out front selling ’em. Are we ready to go out [for warmups]?’ And he says, ‘In about 10 minutes.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s all I need.'”

Note: Kavanaugh needn’t have worried. The winning Bears each received $873.99, which would have more than covered the cost of the 23 tickets he got stuck with. 

Weather: Sunny, 40 degrees.

Attendance: 36,034.

FIRST QUARTER

Bears win toss, elect to receive.

Note: Among the officials were referee Red Friesell (he of the famous Fifth Down in the Cornell-Dartmouth game earlier that year) and linesman Irv Kupcinet (the Chicago Times sportswriter and erstwhile Philadelphia Eagle).

(Sound of whistle blowing.)

Redskins kick 55 yards from WAS 40 to CHI 5. Ray Nolting to CHI 25 for 20 yards.
1-10-C25 George McAfee up the middle to CHI 32 for 7 yards.
2-3-C32 Bill Osmanski left end for 68 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Jack Manders extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 7, WASHINGTON 0, 2 plays, 68 yards.

Note: Osmanski’s way was paved by one of the greatest blocks of all time. Bears end George Wilson wiped out not one but two Redskins along the sideline.

Osmanski headline

Bears kick 56 yards from CHI 40 to WAS 4. Max Krause to CHI 40 for 56 yards.
1-10-C40 Jimmy Johnston right tackle to CHI 34 for 6 yards.
2-4-C34 Johnston right tackle to CHI 28 for 6 yards.
1-10-C28 Ed Justice left tackle to CHI 26 for 2 yards.
2-8-C26 Johnston right end to CHI 26 for no gain.
3-8-C26 Sammy Baugh pass to Charlie Malone dropped at CHI 5.
4-8-C26 Bob Masterson 32 yard field goal is NO GOOD.

Comment: Dropping a Baugh pass took some doing. Sammy laid it out there on a pillow. Malone somehow managed, though.

1-10-C20 McAfee left end to CHI 24 for 4 yards.
2-6-C24 Nolting right tackle to CHI 27 for 3 yards.
3-3-C27 Osmanski right tackle to CHI 49 for 22 yards.
1-10-C49 Nolting up the middle to WAS 48 for 3 yards.
2-7-W48 Nolting up the middle to WAS 45 for 3 yards.
3-4-W45 McAfee left end to WAS 39 for 6 yards.
1-10-W39 Nolting right tackle to WAS 37 for 2 yards.
2-8-W37 McAfee left tackle to WAS 31 for 6 yards.
3-2-W31 McAfee left guard to WAS 28 for 3 yards.
Timeout #1 by CHI
1-10-W28 Nolting right tackle to WAS 27 for 1 yard.
2-9-W27 Osmanski right tackle to WAS 21 for 6 yards.
3-3-W21 McAfee to WAS 19 for 2 yards.
4-1-W19 Nolting through tackle to WAS 14 for 5 yards.
1-10-W14 Sid Luckman flat pass to Nolting to WAS 2 for 12 yards.
1-2-W2 Osmanski right tackle to WAS 2 for no gain.
2-2-W2 Osmanski right tackle to WAS 2 for no gain.
FUMBLES (Erny Pinckert hit), RECOVERED by CHI-Joe Stydahar at W3.
Stydahar to W1 for 2 yards.
3-1-W1 Luckman up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
Bob Snyder extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 14, WASHINGTON 0, 17 plays, 80 yards.

Comment: A 17-play drive. Ouch. The Redskins went with a five-man line on defense pretty much the whole way. That’s what had worked for them earlier in the season, when they shut down the Bears’ revolutionary T formation in a 7-3 victory. As teams would soon learn, though, the T — in the early stages, at least — was most vulnerable to a seven-man front, which made it easier to pressure the passer and turn sweeps inside.

Bears kick 60 yards from CHI 40 to end zone, Touchback.
1-10-W20 Baugh flat pass to Johnston to W14 for -6 yards.
2-16-W14 Baugh pass incomplete over middle. (Bulldog Turner nearly intercepts.)
3-16-W14 Baugh pass through hands of Bob McChesney at W42.
4-16-W14 Baugh punts 28 yards to W42 (partially blocked).

Comment: Are you getting the impression this isn’t the Redskins’ day? They’ve already had two drops, a missed field goal, a near INT and a deflected punt. And it’s still the first quarter.

1-10-W42 Joe Maniaci left end for 42 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Phil Martinovich extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 21, WASHINGTON 0, 1 play, 42 yards.

Note: This was essentially the same play Osmanski scored on. Again, a five-man line wasn’t as effective against the wide stuff the T threw at you (thanks, among other things, to the quick-strike capability of the man-in-motion).

Bears kick out of bounds. Redskins ball at WAS 45.
1-10-W45 Frank Filchock flat pass to McChesney. FUMBLES,
RECOVERED by WAS-Bo Russell at WAS 39 for -6 yards.
2-16-W39 Filchock pass incomplete to Bob Hoffman.
3-16-W39 Filchock long pass incomplete to Wilbur Moore.
4-16-W39 Filchock punts 36 yards to CHI 25, McAfee to CHI 42 for 17 yards.

Comment: Baugh shared the quarterback duties with Filchock, so it was never unusual to see Frankie come into the game. Despite the change, though, the Redskins continued to kill themselves on first down. They’d begun two straight series with a 6-yard loss — and would begin their next with an interception.

1-10-C42 Luckman overthrows lateral pass to Nolting,
ball goes out of bounds at CHI 28 for -14 yards.
2-24-C28 Luckman quick-kicks 58 yards to WAS 14. Moore to WAS 20 for 6 yards. Quarter ends.

Comment: A rare goof by the Bears. So what did they do? They played it safe with a three-touchdown lead and punted on second down. Welcome to 1940s strategy.

SECOND QUARTER

1-10-W20 Filchock long pass for Moore INTERCEPTED by Scooter McLean at 50. No return.

Note: McLean dropkicked an extra point in the ’41 title game — the last successful dropkick in the NFL until Doug Flutie booted one for the Patriots in 2005.

1-10-50 Harry Clark right tackle to WAS 49 for 1 yard.
2-9-W49 Off fake reverse, Maniaci right tackle to WAS 43 for 6 yards.
3-3-W43 Maniaci right guard to WAS 39 for 4 yards.
1-10-W39 Luckman pass to Maniaci to WAS 11 for 28 yards.
1-10-W11 McLean FUMBLES handoff from Luckman,
RECOVERED by WAS-McChesney at W19 for -8 yards.

Comment: Another reminder the Bears didn’t play a perfect game.

1-10-W19 Filchock up the middle to WAS 22 for 3 yards.
2-7-W22 Filchock pass incomplete down middle to Dick Todd.
3-7-W22 Filchock flat pass to Hoffman to WAS 29 for 7 yards.
1-10-W29 Filchock long pass to Wayne Millner to CHI 29 for 42 yards.
1-10-C29 Filchock pass incomplete to Todd.
2-10-C29 Filchock pass incomplete (Dick Plasman pressuring him).
3-10-C18 Filchock pass to Millner to CHI 18 for 11 yards.
Timeout #2 by CHI
1-10-C18 Filchock pass batted down by Plasman.
2-10-C18 Filchock pass to McChesney dropped at CHI 5.
3-10-C18 Filchock pass incomplete to Moore in end zone.
4-10-C18 Filchock pass incomplete to McChesney.

Note: McChesney reportedly played with his right hand in a splint. That might explain his problems on the second down play.

1-10-C18 Manders right end to CHI 18 for no gain.
2-10-C18 Luckman pass to Bobby Swisher to WAS 46 for 36 yards.
1-10-W46 McLean left end to WAS 26 for 20 yards.
1-10-W26 Osmanski runs to WAS 26 for no gain.
2-10-W26 McLean runs to WAS 24 for 2 yards.
3-8-W24 Luckman pass to Plasman at WAS 12 knocked down by Todd
4-8-W24 Martinovich 32-yard field goal is NO GOOD.

Note: Plasman, a 6-foot-3, 218-pound end, was the last NFLer to play without a helmet. He went bareheaded through the ’41 season. As he explained it, whenever he looked up for a pass, “the flap [of his headgear] always fell down over my eyes so that I couldn’t follow the flight of the ball. . . . One day, after a pass bounced off my chest, Halas said I wouldn’t have to wear a helmet anymore.”

1-10-W20 Filchock scrambles to WAS 37 for 17 yards.
1-10-W37 Filchock pass nearly intercepted by Plasman.
2-10-W37 Filchock long pass to Millner INTERCEPTED by Nolting at CHI 34.
Nolting for 10 yards to CHI 44.

Note: The Redskins’ eight interceptions are still the all-time record for the postseason. But get this: In the previous year’s title game, the Packers threw six INTs and won, 28-0. It was, indeed, a different time. Offenses were much looser with the ball.

1-10-C44 Nolting right tackle to WAS 47 for 9 yards.
2-1-W47 Nolting up the middle to WAS 42 for 5 yards.
1-10-W42 Osmanski runs to WAS 42 for no gain.
2-10-W42 Luckman laterals to Osmanski, who runs to WAS 31 for 11 yards.
1-10-W31 Nolting right tackle to WAS 28 for 3 yards.
2-7-W27 Osmanski runs to WAS 29 for -2 yards.
3-9-W29 Luckman pass to Ken Kavanaugh in end zone for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Snyder extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 28, WASHINGTON 0, 7 plays, 56 yards.

Comment: Kavanaugh was surrounded by so many top players during his years with the Bears that he’s never been properly appreciated. Look at it this way: 52 of his 168 receptions in the NFL, regular season and postseason, went for touchdowns — 31 percent. You won’t find a higher TD rate in league history (among receivers with that many catches, anyway). Jerry Rice’s rate was less than half that.

Bears kick 60 yards to goal line. Filchock to WAS 25 for 25 yards.
1-10-W25 Filchock pass incomplete to Millner.
2-10-W25 Baugh pass complete over middle to Andy Farkas to WAS 44 for 19 yards.
1-10-W44 Baugh pass to Johnston to CHI 49 for 7 yards.
2-3-C49 Baugh pass to Hoffman to CHI 48 for 1 yard.
3-2-C48 Baugh long pass incomplete to Johnston.
4-2-C48 Baugh pass complete over middle to Johnston to CHI 41 for 7 yards.
1-10-C41 PENALTY on WAS, delay of game5 yardsenforced at CHI 41.
1-15-C46 Baugh long pass complete to Malone to CHI 5 for 41 yards.
1-5-C5 PENALTY on WAS, delay of game5 yardsenforced at CHI 5.
1-10-C10 Baugh pass to Farkas INTERCEPTED by Osmanski at CHI 6. Half ends.

Note: Judging from the newspaper stories, the Redskins were penalized for calling timeouts they didn’t have, not for taking too much time to get off plays. When you were out of timeouts in those days, you either faked an injury or took a five-yard penalty.

THIRD QUARTER

Bears kick 35 yards from CHI 40 to WAS 25. Malone to WAS 34 for 9 yards.
1-10-W34 Johnston right end to WAS 34 for no gain.~~PENALTY on WAS, holding, 15 yards, enforced at WAS 34.
1-25-W19 Baugh flat pass to Johnson INTERCEPTED by Hamp Pool at WAS 19.~~Pool for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Plasman extra point is GOOD.
CHIGAGO 35, WASHINGTON 0.

Note: No fewer than 11 players in the game — enough for a team — went on to be NFL or AFL head coaches. Pool (Rams) was one, along with teammates Scooter McLean (Packers), Bob Snyder (Rams), Joe Stydahar (Rams), Bulldog Turner (New York Titans), George Wilson (Lions, Dolphins) and, on the Redskins side, Sammy Baugh (New York Titans, Houston Oilers), Turk Edwards (Redskins), Frank Filchock (Broncos), Wayne Millner (Eagles) and Dick Todd (Redskins). Stydahar (1951 Rams) and Wilson (’57 Lions) even won championships.

Bears kick from CHI 40. PENALTY on CHI, offside, 5 yards, enforced at CHI 40.
Bears kick from CHI 35 to end zone. Ed Justice FUMBLES and recovers, Touchback.
1-10-W20 Baugh pass to Malone to WAS 31 for 11 yards.
1-10-W31 Baugh flat pass to Masterson to WAS 38 for 7 yards.
2-3-W38 Baugh pass to Johnston incomplete.
PENALTY on CHI, Pass Interference, Spot of Foul, enforced at WAS 43 — No Play.
1-10-W43 Johnston up the middle to WAS 46 for 3 yards.
2-7-W46 Baugh pass to Justice to 50 for 4 yards.
3-3-W50 Baugh FUMBLES snap. RECOVERED by WAS-Johnston for -16 yards.
4-19-W34 Baugh long pass to Malone incomplete.

Notes: Down 35-0, the Redskins went for it on fourth-and-forever in their own territory. This is how bad becomes worse. . . . Botched snaps by Washington in this quarter resulted in losses of 16 and 17 yards — and soon were followed by Bears touchdowns.,

1-10-W34 On reverse, Nolting right end to WAS 23 for 11 yards.
1-10-W23 Nolting up the middle for 23 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Plasman extra point is NO GOOD.
CHICAGO 41, WASHINGTON 0, 2 plays, 34 yards.

Comment: Two plays, 68 yards. One play, 42 yards. Two plays, 34 yards. (And later: one play, 2 yards.) The Redskins defense sure got the ball back quickly for the offense.

Bears kick 60 yards to end zone, Touchback.
1-10-W20 Seymour left tackle to WAS 20 for no gain.
2-10-W20 Roy Zimmerman pass INTERCEPTED by McAfee at WAS 34.
McAfee for 34 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Stydahar extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 48, WASHINGTON 0.

Redskins quarterback Roy Zimmerman: “A nightmare [day]. I had two interceptions run back for touchdowns. On that one [by McAfee], I broke [teammate] Charley Malone’s ribs trying to make the tackle. I was coming at [McAfee] from an angle, Charley was coming up from behind, and I hooked [McAfee] with my arm and got swung into Charley and broke his ribs.” (You can see the collision at the end of the clip.)

Comment: Had the game had been played in the 1920s, the officials probably would have shortened the last two periods from 15 minutes to 12 or 10. Back then, the attitude was: No sense belaboring the obvious.

Bears kick 60 yards to end zone. Zimmerman to WAS 33 for 33 yards.
1-10-W33 Bob Seymour left guard to WAS 34 for 1 yard.
2-9-W34 Zimmerman pass to Seymour incomplete.
3-9-W34 Zimmerman pass to Masterson to WAS 49 for 15 yards.
1-10-W49 Ray Hare left end to CHI 44 for 7 yards.
PENALTY on CHI, offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 49 — No Play.
1-5-C46 Seymour right end to CHI 31 for 15 yards.
1-10-C31 Zimmerman sacked at CHI 43 for -12 yards.
PENALTY on CHI, roughing the quarterback, 15 yards, enforced at CHI 43.
1-10-C28 Zimmerman pass to Hare in end zone incomplete.
2-10-C28 Zimmerman pass to Masterson to CHI 16 for 12 yards.
1-10-C16 Seymour runs to CHI 16 for no gain.
2-10-C16 Zimmerman back to pass, rushed, throws it away.
3-10-C16 Zimmerman pass to Masterson incomplete.
4-10-C16 Zimmerman overthrows Dick Farman in end zone on guard-eligible play

Comment: A guard-eligible play. Imagine that. (And naturally, Farman was wide open.) Such trickery was possible, though, in the Redskins’ single wing, where the unbalanced line looked like this:

E  G  C  G  T  T  E

To make the guard eligible for passes, all you had to do was have the weak side end (in this case, Bob Masterson) line up as the wingback — and move the right halfback to the line of scrimmage (to give you the required seven linemen). This turned the guard into, technically, the end. Observe:

G  C  G  T  T  E      RHB

E

The Redskins had beaten the Eagles two years before with a guard-eligible play to 6-1, 247-pound Bill Young. Farman was a little more ambulatory at 219.        

1-10-C20 McAfee right tackle to CHI 24 for 4 yards.
2-6-C24 Osmanski right end to CHI 26 for 2 yards.
3-4-C26 McAfee halfback option pass to wide-open Plasman, who drops it.
4-4-C26 McAfee punts 38 yards out of bounds to WAS 36.

Comment: Things were starting to get chippy. In this series, Bears back Ray Nolting, who went 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, threw a punch at Redskins tackle Wee Willie Wilkin, a 6-4, 261-pound monster. Nolting was a tough nut. Bob Snyder once told me that in his first scrimmage with the Bears, he was lying on the ground after being tackled, thinking the play was over, only to have Nolting come along and unload on him. When Snyder complained about his new teammate’s lack of, uh, fraternity, Nolting was unmoved. “What did ya expect me to do,” he said, “kiss ya?”

1-10-W36 Zimmerman runs to WAS 38 for 2 yards.
2-8-W38 Bad center snap RECOVERED by WAS-Zimmerman at WAS 21 for -17 yards.
3-25-W21 Zimmerman pass over the middle to Seymour INTERCEPTED by Bulldog Turner at WAS 24.
Turner for 24 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Maniaci extra point is BLOCKED by Clyde Shugart.
CHICAGO 54, WASHINGTON 0.

Comment: The Bears were having their jollies at this point, letting everybody but the trainer try a PAT. It wasn’t unusual in the single-platoon era for a club to use multiple kickers in a game, but the Bears used seven.


Bears quarterback Sid Luckman: “When the score got to be 54-0, somebody in the huddle said, ‘Ah, let’s take it easy on ’em. That’s enough.’ And you know, 10 guys jumped down his throat. This is not an exaggeration. This is a true fact.”

Bears kick 39 yards to WAS 21. Pinckert to WAS 31 for 11 yards.
1-10-W31 Zimmerman pass over middle to Hare dropped.
2-10-W31 Zimmerman flat pass to Seymour to 50 for 19 yards.
PENALTY on WAS, offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 31 — No Play.
2-15-W26 Zimmerman pass to Seymour to WAS 33 for 7 yards.
3-8-W33 Zimmerman pass to Sandy Sanford incomplete.
4-8-W33 Zimmerman punts 61 yards to CHI 6. Clark to CHI 15 for 9 yards.

Comment: Zimmerman, the Redskins’ No. 3 quarterback, threw 12 passes in the game. That’s as many as he threw in any of his three seasons with the team. But Redskins coach Ray Flaherty was so desperate he was willing to try anybody. Zimmerman, by the way, developed into a fine passer-punter-kicker after he was traded to the Eagles in 1943. In fact, the three Washington quarterbacks were as good a group as you’ll find. Baugh is iconic, of course — even though he was dreadful on this day — and Filchock had a passer rating of 111.6 in ’39 (when he completed a stunning 61.8 percent of his throws). Frankie also took the Giants to the title game in ’46.

1-10-C15 Clark right end to CHI 26 for 11 yards. Quarter ends.

FOURTH QUARTER

1-10-C26 Gary Famiglietti left tackle to CHI 29 for 3 yards.
2-7-C29 Famiglietti off tackle to CHI 32 for 3 yards.
3-4-C32 Clark up the middle to CHI 42 for 10 yards.
1-10-C42 On end-around, Bob Nowasky to CHI 48 for 7 yards.
2-3-C49 Solly Sherman left end to CHI 49 for no gain.
PENALTY on WAS, slugging, 15 yards, enforced at CHI 49 — No Play.
1-10-W36 Sherman sacked by Millner at WAS 44 for -8 yards.
2-18-W44 Clark runs to WAS 44 for no gain.
3-18-W44 Sherman to Famiglietti to Clark on reverse to end zone for 44 yards
Famiglietti extra point NO GOOD.
CHICAGO 60, WASHINGTON 0, 7 plays, 74 yards.

Comment: The Redskins apparently didn’t like that end-around Chicago ran with a 54-0 lead. On the next snap, one of them slugged a Bear. Chicago responded by scoring yet another touchdown — on a third-and-18 reverse. You don’t see retribution like this anymore.

Bears kick 48 yards to WAS 12. Filchock to WAS 24 for 12 yards.
1-10-W24 Filchock pass to Millner to WAS 36 for 12 yards.
PENALTY (unspecified) on WAS, 15 yards, enforced at WAS 27 — No Play.
1-22-W12 Filchock pass to McChesney incomplete.
PENALTY on CHI, Pass Interference, Spot of Foul, enforced at WAS 19 — No Play. 
1-10-W19 Filchock sacked, FUMBLES, RECOVERED by CHI-Jack Torrance at WAS 2.

Note: Torrance was nothing special as a tackle, but he held the world shot put record longer than any man in modern times — almost 14 years — after throwing it 57 feet, 1 inch, in 1934.

1-10-W2 Famiglietti left guard for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Sherman pass to Maniaci in end zone, extra point is GOOD.
CHICAGO 67, WASHINGTON 0, 1 play, 2 yards.

Note: After Famiglietti’s score, the referee informed the Bears that the Redskins had run out of footballs. So rather than kick the last ball into the stands, they passed on their final two PAT attempts.

Bears kick 55 yards to WAS 5. Farkas to WAS 40 for 35 yards.
1-10-W40 Filchock pass to Millner to WAS 48 for 8 yards.
2-2-W48 Filchock long pass off hands of Bears’ Chet Chesney, INTERCEPTED by Maniaci.
Maniaci to WAS 42.

Note: That’s the same Chet Chesney who was elected to Congress from Illinois’ 11th District in 1948.

1-10-W42 Maniaci left tackle to WAS 37 for 5 yards.
PENALTY on CHI, offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 42 — No Play.
1-15-W47 Snyder sacked by Millner at CHI 43 for -10 yards.
2-25-C43 Snyder pass to Kavanaugh to CHI 45 for 2 yards.
3-23-C45 Snyder pass to Joe Mihal on tackle-eligible play to WAS 41 for 14 yards.
4-9-W41 Snyder pass to Maniaci to WAS 21 for 20 yards.
1-10-W21 Clark left end to WAS 13 for 8 yards.
2-2-W13 Maniaci right guard to WAS 6 for 7 yards.
1-6-W6 Maniaci right tackle to WAS 1 for 5 yards.
2-1-W1 Clark runs for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
Snyder’s pass to Maniaci in end zone knocked down, extra point NO GOOD.
CHICAGO 73, WASHINGTON 0, 8 plays, 58 yards.

Comment: I’ve sometimes wondered whether Millner truly belongs in the Hall of Fame. After all, he caught just 124 passes in seven seasons and never led the league in any receiving category. But as this game shows, he was a terrific two-way end. He led all receivers with six grabs for 94 yards (depending on your source) and also had two sacks. This, after having a huge title game against the Bears in ’37 (nine catches, 160 yards, touchdowns of 55 and 78). The guy was clearly a prime-time player.

Bears kick returned to WAS 40.
1-10-W40 Filchock pass to Millner to CHI 48 for 12 yards.
1-10-C48 Filchock pass to Millner to CHI 39 for 9 yards.
2-1-C39 Filchock long pass to Millner INTERCEPTED by Maniaci, laterals to Clark at CHI 35.
PENALTY on CHI, forward lateral, 15 yards, enforced at CHI 35.

Note: Up 73-0, the Bears are LATERALING and trying to score again.

1-10-C20 Snyder flat pass to Famiglietti to CHI 31 for 11 yards.
1-10-C31 Snyder fakes pass and runs up the middle to CHI 33 for 2 yards.
GAME OVER.

Marshall headline

Comment: As if the lateral on the interception wren’t enough, the Bears called a pass and a fake pass on the last two plays. They basically taunted the Redskins the entire second half. Afterward, Washington owner George Preston Marshall accused his players of quitting, but then he thought about it some more and decided: “They simply lost their heads.” That sounds about right.

One final thought on the Biggest of Blowouts: The Bears were even better the next season, when Sid Luckman had another year of experience and they added Norm Standlee, a Nagurskiesque fullback. But a game like this, well, you only have one of those.

Sources: The Washington PostThe Official NFL EncyclopediaThe National Forgotten League, pro-football-reference.com.

4 thoughts on “Bears 73, Redskins 0: an annotated play-by-play

    1. Dan Post author

      Thanks, Jeff. Been meaning to do something like that for a while. It can hard to be write about stuff like that because newspapers just didn’t provide the detail. But the Washington Post ran a (reasonably accurate) play by play, so that helped a lot. I also was able to talk to a few of the players during my newspapers travels or over the phone. They’re pretty much all gone now, alas.

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