This 1986-87 NFC Wild Card Playoffs game between the Washington Redskins vs. the Los Angeles Rams featured two outstanding running backs….in Washington’s George Rodgers and Ram’s Eric Dickerson…..as both are members of the College Football Hall of Fame….with Dickerson also being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In this game, the Rams outgained Redskins in total yards 324-228….but the Rams turned over the ball six times en route to a defeat against the Redskins by the score of 19-7…for in the first quarter, a fumble lost by Los Angeles RB Eric Dickerson led to Washington kicker Jess Atkinson’s 25-yard field goal. The Redskins then extended their lead to 10–0 after driving 60 yards and topped-off by QB Jay Schroeder’s 14-yard touchdown pass to running back Kelvin Bryant….when a key play on the drive was a controversial pass interference penalty against Rams Pro Bowl cornerback LeRoy Irvin….which gave the Redskins 28 yards….with 13 coming from the initial penalty and another 15 against Irvin for arguing with officials about it. The Rams had a great chance to respond when quarterback Jim Everett completed a 45-yard pass to Kevin House on the Redskins 28…. but the drive ended with no points when Dickerson lost another fumble….then in the second quarter….Rams tight end David Hill lost another fumble due to a hit by Monte Coleman….as Redskins LB Neal Olkewicz recovered the ball and returned 19 yards to Rams 30-yard line….thus setting up Atkinson’s 20-yard field goal. Hill’s fumble was confirmed by a replay review that lasted nearly five minutes….prompting Redskins safety Curtis Jordan to declare….”I thought they were trying to get in touch with Oliver North.”….as this was the first time in NFL postseason history that a replay was used to confirm a field call of a fumble.
Atkinson made two more field goals in the second half….as the Rams’ lone score of the game came on Everett’s 12-yard touchdown pass to House during the final quarter at the end of a 96-yard drive that was set up by Dickerson’s 65-yard run. It seemed that Dickerson was headed for the end zone but he was caught from behind by Redskins defensive back Darrell Green. Later on, the Rams had a chance to score again….but Dickerson lost his third fumble of the day while trying to convert a fourth and 1 on the Redskins 39.
Redskins running back George Rogers finished the game with 119 rushing yards….while Dickerson rushed for 158…..as Washingtons’ PK Atkinson had been signed by the Redskins a few weeks before this game and had not kicked any field goals in over a year, yet on this day set a postseason franchise record with four field goals.
Any time you get to see RB Eric Dickerson perform….it is definitely something you want to do….for he was truly one of the best NFL rushers of all time.