Doleman had gained a reputation this season as a wicked outside rusher. To contain him, the 49ers devised a strategy that called for 232-pound fullback Tom Rathman to line up wide, go in motion and then crack back on Doleman. It was similar to the tactic they used last year to wipe out Washington Redskins end Dexter Manley with tight end Russ Francis. Doleman, however, crossed up the Niners by lining up head-on against Paris and then power-rushing inside. "I think it caught him by surprise," he said.
The Vikings, who finished the regular season with an unimpressive 8-7 record, are lucky even to be in the playoffs. And this week they play their third consecutive postseason game on the road. But the Redskins pose no mystery for them. They had Washington whipped in the season finale, only to lose on a defensive collapse at the end. Minnesota is no longer in the collapsing business.