1940 NFL Championship Game
Griffith Stadium - There is no doubt.The Chicago Bears are the best pro football has to offer, and the second best, the Redskins, aren’t even close.
On their first two possessions, the Bears showed that they could not only score at will, but any way they chose to. On their second play, Bill Osmanski swept around left end for 66 yards and a touchdown. On their next possession, Chicago went from big plays to little plays, taking 17 snaps to move 80 yards to their second score, this one coming on a one-yard blast by Sid Luckman.
By halftime, the Bears had slowed down somewhat albeit with a 28-0 lead. While a Washington rally to win seemed out of the question, the game appeared to be shaping up as your garden-variety rout. It ended up being far from that, however.
The Redskins were forced to take to the air on almost every play and, of course, the Bears knew this. On the day, Chicago intercepted eight Redskin passes. Three times in the third period, Chicago picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown. When the Bears got the ball on offense, Ray Nolting got a touchdown on a 23-yard run. At the end of the third, it was 54-0.
The Bears did not let up. Harry Clark scored two touch-downs on runs of 44 and two yards. In between, the Bears recovered Frank Filchock’s fumble at the Washington two and pushed it in from there. Just for fun, they faked the kick for the conversion and Sollie Sherman passed to Joe Maniaci for the single extra point. That was about the only thing that the Bears did that could be considered rubbing it in.
The Redskins were left to wonder what might have hap-pened if they had converted an early chance to score. After Osmanski’s early romp, Max Krause returned the kickoff 54 yards into Bear territory at the 40. Two plays later, Charley Malone was wide open at the four, but he dropped Sammy Baugh’s well-thrown pass. The subsequent field goal attempt was missed and the Redskins came away empty.
When asked about what might have happened if Malone had held on to that pass almost every Redskin replied that the final score would have been different, probably 73-7.