On defense, the Redskins held Sims to just 19 yards on six carries. Last year, in a wild 33-31 Washington victory, Sims had rushed for 159 yards as the Lions rolled up 499 yards of total offense. This time, except for Hippie's scrambles, Detroit's running game was stopped cold, thanks in large part to 295-pound Defensive Tackle Dave Butz. With the Lions threatening at the Redskin five in the second quarter, Butz forced Sims's second fumble. "I don't think he expected me to put 250 pounds on his chest," said Butz. "It had a good effect." Detroit's only score came on a 15-yard pass from Hippie to Tight End David Hill in the third quarter.
Despite the drubbing, the Lions remained unconvinced of the invincibility of the Redskins. Said All-Pro Defensive Tackle Doug English, "You know the expression, 'We didn't get beat, we just ran out of time.' Well, I'd like to line up and play them again right now. They're not a 31-7 better team than we are."
The Redskins are getting quite used to this lack of respect. Even some of their own fans, who are mired in the past, have their doubts. As Theismann was sitting at his table in Joe Theismann's, a pink-faced man in a Redskins ski cap came up to shake his hand.
"Do you know I've been to every Redskins game since 1964?" said the fan. "And I want to tell you something. I'm a Sonny man. I loved Sonny Jurgensen. But Joe, I've got to tell you. You're...you're...you're...you're all right, Joe."
"Thank you very much," said Theismann.