The Washington Redskins is a professional football team based in the Washington, D.C. area. The Redskins are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The team's headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia.
The Redskins have played over one thousand games since 1932. In those games, the club has won five professional American football championships including two NFL Championships and three Super Bowls. The franchise has captured ten NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships.
The Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. They also played in and lost the 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowls VII and XVIII. They have made twenty-two postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23 wins and 17 losses.
All of the Redskins' league titles were attained during two ten-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them. The second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, and won three Super Bowls out of four appearances. The Redskins have also experienced failure in their history. The most notable period of failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season between 1956 and 1968. In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.
According to Forbes Magazine, the Redskins are the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, behind the Dallas Cowboys, and were valued at approximately $1.55 billion as of 2009. Being the second most valuable franchise, the Redskins remain the highest grossing team in the NFL with $345 million in revenue during the 2009 season. They have also broken the NFL's mark for single-season attendance eight years in a row.
Behind their offensive line "The Hogs", fullback John Riggins (who had sat out the previous season), and kicker Mark Moseley (who was named NFL MVP, the only special teamer to ever do so), the Redskins went a league-best 8-1 in a strike-shortened season (every team made the playoffs), then defeated the Detroit Lions 31-7 in the wild-card round, defeated the Minnesota Vikings 21-7 in the divisional round, then defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game (avenging their only loss) 31-17 to reach Super Bowl XVII.
The game was a rematch of Super Bowl VII, which was played in the same arena and won by the Dolphins to complete their perfect season. Despite dominating the game, the Redskins trailed 17-13 in the fourth quarter because of two long Miami touchdowns (a 76-yard pass and a 98-yard kickoff return). The deficit would have been worse if Joe Theismann had not alertly deflected a potential end zone interception by Kim Bokamper (who had deflected the pass). On the drive after the deflection, the Redskins drove to the Miami 43 and faced a 4th and 1. The Redskins called I-Right 70 Chip, and Riggins got the first down, ran over cornerback Don McNeal, and outraced the Miami defense for a touchdown. The Redskins clinched the game on a touchdown pass from Theismann to Charley Brown. Riggins was named Super Bowl MVP after 38 carries (still the record for a Super Bowl) for a record 166 yards and the touchdown. Riggins also caught a 15-yard pass giving him more total yards than the Dolphins.
In a season shortened to 15 games by a players strike and where replacement players played 3 games, the Redskins went 11-4 including a 3-0 record by the replacements, then upset the Chicago Bears 21-17 in the divisional round, then beat the upstart Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game 17-10 to reach Super Bowl XXII.
The storyline was focused on Redskins quarterback Doug Williams who had not been named the starter until the final week of the season and was also the first African-American quarterback to start a Super Bowl. The Redskins fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter and Williams twisted his leg and sat out the rest of the quarter. However Williams reentered at the start of the second quarter and led the Redskins to 35 points in the quarter. Williams threw 4 touchdown passes while Timmy Smith ran for the other and added another in the second half. Williams was named Super Bowl MVP after completing 18 of 29 passes for a record 340 yards and a record 4 touchdowns, becoming the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Rickey Sanders caught 9 passes for a record 193 yards and 2 touchdowns (tying the record held by Max McGee, John Stallworth, and Cliff Branch). Both yardage records would be broken in the next Super Bowl. Smith ran for a record 204 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
The efforts of the Redskins replacement players (mainly their victory over the Dallas Cowboys who had most of their regulars cross the picket line) inspired the 2000 movie The Replacements starring Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Rhys Ifans, and Jack Warden.
Behind The Hogs, the Redskins went a league best 14-2, then beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-7 in the divisional round, then blew out the Detroit Lions 41-10 in the NFC championship game to reach Super Bowl XXVI.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Redskins jumped out to a 24-0 lead before the Bills finally scored. Mark Rypien was named Super Bowl MVP after completing 18 of 33 passes for 292 and 2 touchdowns while Gerald Riggs ran for two short touchdowns. With the win, the Redskins became the first team to win the Super Bowl with 3 different quarterbacks.