It's hard to pick which was the more bizarre sight: Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson rambling his 313-pound body 88 yards for a touchdown, or Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner sporting a dirty gold-glistening false tooth to celebrate a 26-point victory.
"This was a gift from Larry Centers for Halloween," said Turner, who went from ashen-faced loser at Dallas a week ago to standup comedian after Sunday's 48-22 victory over the Chicago Bears. "Sorry I was a little late. I was in a meeting with Mr. Snyder."
Team owner Dan Snyder gave Turner a 40-minute earful immediately after the 38-20 loss to the Cowboys. This time, the owner was happy after a game in which all the breaks went Washington's way, leaving the Bears with nothing but hard luck and a three-game losing streak.
"You don't want to talk about it and jinx anything," guard Tre Johnson said. "But everybody's here is kind of peeking at the schedule, looking over their shoulder, knowing we can do some things in January if everything goes right."
The Bears (3-5), losing their third straight, were finally let down by their defense. They came into the game allowing 16.1 points per game and had 22 sacks. They had no sacks against the Redskins and gave up 376 yards.
"Not much good to say after a game like that," Chicago coach Dick Jauron said. "The hole we dug early was so deep, we could never get out of it."
Historically, fans will say that the Redskins finally came somewhat close t evening the score for the Bears' 73-0 victory over the Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship game. Contemporarily, Turner's team is finally proving able to avoid the letdowns that usually follow Dallas week.
Turner was 0-7-1 the week after playing the Cowboys coming into this season. This year, they're 2-0.
"One loss along the way is not going to stop this group," Turner said.
The first two plays told the story. Chicago's Walt Harris stepped in front of Centers and couldn't quite make the catch on a would-be interception with nothing between him and the goal line. On the next play, with the Bears blitzing, Davis took a pitch to the right and ran untouched 76 yards for a touchdown.
"Nothing went our way all day," Harris said.
Undeterred, the Bears took the kickoff and drove to the Redskins' 10-yard line. But on third-and-5, Marco Coleman applied the hit just as Shane Matthews was throwing the ball. It fluttered right to Wilkinson, who used Darrell Green as an escort for his long, slow sprint downfield.
"I was just making sure he knew he had the police with him," Green said. "I just put on the siren, got up beside him, turned my lights on and let him know everything's fine."
Said Wilkinson: "I hung in there until the last yard line. I was hoping no one would come from behind. It was a long tough run for me."
The Bears offense kept moving the ball against one of the league's most generous defenses, but Curtis Enis was stopped on a fourth-and-1 at the Redskins' 22.
Another possession ended when Todd Sauerbrun's punt was downed at the 1-yard line. But the unlucky streak continued when Johnson juggled a snap yet still managed to run for a 1-yard TD on a busted play to cap a 99-yard Redskins drive and make the score 24-0.
More bad Bears breaks: Tom Carter had a sure interception for a touchdown knocked away by his own teammate, Jim Flanigan. And Chicago quarterback Cade McNown fumbled a snap, giving the Redskins the ball at the Bears 7. Davis scored two plays later.
McNown played the second half after Matthews reaggravated the hamstring injury that had kept him out of the last two games.
Touchdown receptions by Michael Westbrook and Centers helped make it 45-0 midway through the third quarter. TwTD passes from McNown to Marcus Robinson, sandwiched around an onside kick, got Chicago on the board late in the third. Robinson set career highs with nine catches and 161 yards.
Ryan Wetnight had a scoring catch late in the game as the Bears finished with 445 total yards.
"We moved it early on, but just killed ourselves," said Matthews, whose status for next week is unknown. "The game got out of hand."
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