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Redskins 10, Bears 3

September 9, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Stanley Richard jarred the football loose. Darrell Green scooped it up.

Of all the good defensive plays by the Washington Redskins in their 10-3 victory Sunday over the Chicago Bears, Michael Timpson’s fumble at the Redskins 25 was the one that turned the tide for good.

The Bears had been positioned to take the lead in the third quarter of a 3-3 game, but Green’s recovery and 14-yard return led to the winning touchdown at the other end.

``You don’t want to put all the burden on one play,″ Bears linebacker Bryan Cox said. ``But that one play does stick out in my mind.″

There were more big ones on every Chicago drive for the rest of the game from the Redskins defense, which held a team without a touchdown for the first time since 1993 and is finally coming into its own after three years of rebuilding.

After the touchdown, Rich Owens sacked quarterback Erik Kramer at the Bears 1-yard line. Rod Stephens added a sack on the following drive, and Darryl Morrison intercepted Kramer on the next drive.

Then Ken Harvey shoved tackle Andy Heck away and sacked Kramer on a third-and-9 at Washington’s 13 with five minutes remaining. The Bears’ final drive ended in the waning seconds when Kramer failed to connect on three straight passes from inside the Redskins 20.

On every drive, tackle Sean Gilbert had the type of game the Redskins envisioned when they traded away a first-round draft pick for him earlier this year.

No wonder coach Norv Turner gave every member of the defense a game ball. In six quarters, the Redskins have allowed just 3 points.

``People don’t respect our defense right now, or our team,″ Stephens said. ``We were only 6-10 last year, but this year we’ve come out with a lot of fire.″

It was a stark turn of fortunes for both teams from Week 1, when the Bears (1-1) took an emotional win over the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, and the Redskins (1-1) came out unprepared in a loss to division rival Philadelphia.

``I don’t think we felt any pressure from anyone other than ourselves, because we know what type of team we are,″ Harvey said. ``It was, `Do we want to go through another year like last year?′ Do we want to say, `Man the season was good, but we lost so many games by a little bit?′ After losing the first one, we were kind of ticked off at ourselves that it’s not going to be like this. We went out to show something different.″

After Timpson’s fumble, Terry Allen beat a gambling Chicago blitz to score the lone touchdown on a 28-yard run, which capped a three-play, 61-yard drive highlighted by two Henry Ellard receptions.

``I feel personally that I lost our team the football game,″ Timpson said. ``I’m not going to run from it. I’m not going to hide from it. I let my teammates down.″

The Bears kept plugging away trying to tie, and their offensive numbers weren’t bad. Kramer was 20-for-37 for 186 yards with one interception, and former Redskins back Robert Green rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries. But coach Dave Wannstedt’s conservative game plan failed to produce the big play while giving up plenty of negative ones.

``We won a week ago because we protected the football, and we didn’t do that today,″ Wannstedt said. ``There were a couple of turnovers in the scoring zone and that made the difference. Not only did it not get us points, but it gave them the momentum and we weren’t good enough to overcome it.″

The Redskins offense was also less than spectacular. Quarterback Gus Frerotte completed 18 of 29 passes for 177 yards, and hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass or an interception in two weeks.

``You can’t be up and down in this league,″ Redskins tight end Scott Galbraith said. ``You’ve got to play consistently; you’ve got to play like this every week, but at least we’ve been shown the way. At least we have an idea of what level we need to be at.″

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