The Redskins’ highlight reel is pretty short since Joe Gibbs first retired in 1993. Two playoff wins, to be exact — one less than in their ’91 championship season. Even their 41-10 win over the Jaguars on Sunday was marred by injuries to Robert Griffin III (serious) and DeSean Jackson (less so), which tells you all you need to know about the franchise’s Overall Karma.
But the victory did produce one cool stat. The Redskins became just the second team since 1940 to (a.) score 40 points; (b.) rack up 10 sacks and (c.) outgain their opponent by more than 300 yards (in their case, 301 — 449-148). The other team? The ’61 Bears in their season finale against the expansion Vikings. Here’s the box score of that game if you want to look it over.
A couple of things jump out at you. First, the quarterback the Bears sacked 10 times was Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Yes, Scramblin’ Fran was more like Scrambled Eggs Fran on that day. But he picked himself up off the ground, again and again, and threw four touchdown passes, one in each quarter. Has any quarterback ever thrown four TD passes in a game in which he was sacked 10 times? Not that I can find. This was one tough guy. (Oh, and by the way, he was a rookie that year.)
Second, another Hall of Famer, the Vikes’ Hugh McElhenny, opened the scoring with an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. Hurryin’ Hugh was just two weeks shy of his 33rd birthday. How many players that old have had a punt return that long for a TD? Answer: three. (The others were the Raiders’ 35-year-old Tim Brown in this game and the Redskins’ 33-year-old Eric Metcalf in this game.) So at the time, McElhenny was the oldest — and would remain so for almost four decades.
The most interesting thing about this game, though — for our purposes, anyway — can’t be found in the box score. One of George Halas’ assistants on that Bears’ coaching staff, you see, was George Allen. And who is the general manager of the Redskins team that just whacked the Jaguars? His son, Bruce. You can’t make this stuff up. Only two 40/10/300 games in the last 75 seasons, and they’re both in the Allen family.