Washington has finished a season as league runner-up six times, losing the 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1945 title games and Super Bowls VII and XVIII. Their three Super Bowl wins are tied with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders, behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots (six each), San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys (five each), and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants (four each).
From 1936 to 1945, Washington went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them. From 1946 to 1970, Washington only posted four winning seasons and did not have a single postseason appearance.
In 1961, they posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing. Since their last Super Bowl victory following the end of the 1991 season, they have only won the NFC East four times with just nine seasons with a winning record.
The city of Boston, was awarded an NFL franchise on July 9, 1932, under the ownership of George Preston Marshall. The following year, the team moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and changed the team's name to the Redskins “.
To round out the change, Marshall hired William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed to be part Sioux, as the team's head coach. In their final season in Boston, the Redskins earned a spot in the NFL championship against the Green Bay Packers, losing 21–6.
The Redskins then relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937, with Marshall later citing the city's lack of interest in the team as a major reason. In their first game in Washington, the Redskins defeated the New York Giants in the season opener, 13–3.
That same season, they earned their first division title in Washington with a 49–14 win over the Giants. Shortly after, the team won their first league championship, defeating the Chicago Bears.
In 1940, the Redskins met the Bears again in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. The result, 73–0 in favor of the Bears, remains the worst one-sided loss in NFL history.
The final time the two met for the league title was in 1943, when the Bears won 41–21. The most notable accomplishment achieved during the Redskins 1943 season was Sammy Baugh's leading the NFL in passing, punting, and interceptions.
The Redskins played in the NFL Championship one more time before a quarter-century drought that did not end until the 1972 season. With former Olympic gold medalist Dudley DeG root as their new head coach, the Redskins went 8–2 during the 1945 season.
One of the most impressive performances came from Laugh, who had a completion percentage of .703. They ended the season by losing to the Cleveland Rams in the 1945 NFL Championship Game, 15–14.
The one-point margin of victory came under scrutiny because of a safety that occurred early in the game. In the first quarter, the Redskins had the ball at their own 5-yard line.
Dropping back into the end zone, quarterback Laugh threw to an open receiver, but the ball hit the goal post (which at the time was on the goal line instead of at the back of the end zone) and bounced back to the ground in the end zone. Owner Marshall was so mad at the outcome that he became a major force in passing the following major rule change after the season: A forward pass that strikes the goal posts is automatically ruled incomplete.
The team's early success endeared it to the fans of Washington, D.C. However, after 1945, the Redskins began a slow decline that they did not end until a playoff appearance in the 1971 season.
The Redskins had four different head coaches from 1946 to 1951, including former players Turk Edwards and Dick Todd as well as John Whether and Herman Ball, and none were successful. But this did not stop George Preston Marshall from trying to make the Redskins the most successful franchise in the league.
His first major alteration happened on June 14, 1950, when it was announced that American Oil Company planned to televise all Redskins games, making Washington the first NFL team to have an entire season of televised games. His next major change came in February 1952, when he hired former Green Bay Packers coach Earl “Curly” Lam beau.
But, after two seasons, Marshall fired Lam beau following the Redskins' loss in their exhibition opener to the Los Angeles Rams and hired Joe Zurich. The first game in new D.C. Stadium occurred on October 1 in front of 37,767 fans.
However, the Redskins failed to hold a 14-point lead and lost to the New York Giants 24–21. That same year, Bill Peak became the head coach and had a record of 21–46–3 over five seasons.
During his tenure, he helped draft future stars: wide receiver Charley Taylor, tight end Jerry Smith, safety Paul Krause, center Len Gauss, and linebacker Chris Hamburger. He also helped pull off two important trades, gaining quarterback Sonny Jorgensen from the Philadelphia Eagles and linebacker Sam Huff from the New York Giants.
One reason for the team's struggles was disarray in the front office. Marshall began a mental decline in 1962, and the team's other stockholders found it difficult to make decisions without their boss.
Marshall died on August 9, 1969, and Edward Bennett Williams, a minority stockholder who was a Washington local and attorney, was chosen to run the franchise while the majority stockholder, Jack Kent Cooke, lived on the West Coast in Los Angeles and ran his basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1966, Otto Graham was hired as the new head coach.
Graham coached the Redskins for three seasons, but whatever magic he had as an NFL player disappeared on the sidelines as the team recorded a mark of 17–22–3 during that time period. He resigned after the 1968 season in favor of Vince Lombardi, and became athletic director of the Coast Guard Academy before retiring at the end of 1984.
Integration controversy During most of this unsuccessful period, Marshall continually refused to integrate the team, despite pressure from The Washington Post and the federal government. Two months into the Kennedy administration on March 24, 1961, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall warned Marshall to hire black players or face federal retribution.
For the first time in history, the federal government had attempted to desegregate a professional sports team. The Redskins were under the threat of civil rights legal action by the Kennedy administration, which would have prevented a segregated team from playing at the new federally-owned D.C. Stadium, managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The Redskins previous venue, Griffith Stadium, was owned by the Griffith family, owners of the Washington Senators, who relocated and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. In mid-December 1961, Marshall announced that on draft day, he had traded the rights to Davis to the Cleveland Browns, who wanted Davis to join the league's leading rusher, Jim Brown, in their backfield.
Mitchell led the league with 11 touchdowns, and caught 72 passes and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In time, Mitchell would be joined by other black players like receiver Charley Taylor, running back Larry Brown, defensive backbit Owens, and guard John NIMBY from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After the death of Lombardi and Austin's unsuccessful 1970 season, Williams signed former Los Angeles Rams head coach George Allen as head coach on January 6, 1971. Partial to seasoned veterans instead of highly touted young players, Allen's teams became known as the Over-the-Hill Gang.
That season, the Redskins made the playoffs for the first time since 1945 with a 9–4–1 mark with Redskins first year head coach George Allen winning the 1971NFL Coach of the Year Award, the second of his career, winning his first Coach of the Year Award in 1967 as the head coach of the Rams. However, they lost in the Divisional Playoffs to the San Francisco 49ers, 24–20.
The following season, the Redskins hosted their first post-season game in Washington since 1942, where they beat the Green Bay Packers 16–3 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. The Redskins' placekicker Curt Knight kicked an 18-yard field goal in the second quarter to get the scoring underway, then Redskins quarterback Billy Killer connected with Redskins wide receiver Charley Taylor on a 15-yard touchdown pass and Washington had a 10–3 lead at halftime.
In the fourth quarter, Killer again went to Taylor, this time for a 45-yard touchdown. After defeating the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC Championship, the Redskins went on to lose to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 14–7 in Super Bowl VII.
Redskins running back Larry Brown would be named the 1972 NFL's Most Valuable Player. The Redskins again made the playoffs in 1973, 1974, and 1976, only to lose all three times in the first round.
After his Redskins failed to make the playoffs in 1977 despite posting a 9–5 record, Allen was fired and was replaced by new head coach Jack Garden, a star linebacker under Allen in Los Angeles and Washington. In his first year, his team started 6–0 but then lost 8 of the last 10 games.
Then in the off season, Redskins majority owner Jack Kent Cooke moved from Los Angeles to Virginia and took over the team's day-by-day operations from Edward Bennett Williams. On January 13, 1981, owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, Joe Gibbs, as their head coach.
Also during the off-season, the Redskins acquired Mark May, Russ Grimm, and Dexter Manley in the 1981 NFL Draft, all of whom became significant contributors to the team for the next few years. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament, in which eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records.
After the strike was settled, the Redskins dominated, winning six out of the seven remaining games to make the playoffs for the first time since 1976. John Higgins (left) and Mark Murphy (right) made key offensive and defensive plays in Super Bowl XVII, respectively, to help the Redskins win their first Super Bowl.
“, which later became a rallying cry of sorts for Redskin fans before games against the Cowboys. In the NFC Championship Game against them at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley knocked Cowboys' quarterback Danny White out for the rest of the game and sent him into the locker room shortly before halftime.
Later in the game, Redskins defensive tackle Darryl Grant's interception which he returned for a 10-yard touchdown off one of Cowboys' backup quarterback Gary Hogeboom's passes which was tipped by Dexter Manley to score the decisive points. John Higgins rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries and the Redskins went on to defeat the Cowboys' by a score of 31–17.
The Redskins first Super Bowl win, and their first NFL Championship in 40 years, was in Super Bowl XVII, where the Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27–17. Higgins provided the game's signature play when, on 4th and inches, with the Redskins down 17–13, the coaches called “70 Chip”, a play designed for short yardage.
Higgins instead gained 43 yards (39 m) by running through would-be tackler Don McNeal and getting the go-ahead touchdown. The 1983 season marked the rookie debut of corner back Darrell Green, selected in the 1983 NFL Draft along with Charles Mann, Green would go on to play his entire 20-year NFL career for the Redskins.
On October 1, 1983, the Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers 48–47 in the highest scoring Monday night football game in history, in which both teams combine for more than 1,000 yards (910 m) of total offense. This marked the first time since 1951 that the top two scorers in a season played on the same team.
Redskins quarterback Joe Heisman would also be named the 1983NFL's Most Valuable Player finishing the season with a career-high in both yards passing 3,714 yes., and touchdown passes thrown, 29 TD's while throwing only 11 interceptions. In the postseason, the Redskins beat the Los Angeles Rams 51–7.
The next week, Washington beat the San Francisco 49ers 24–21 in the NFC Championship Game. It was their final win of the season because two weeks later, the Raiders beat the Redskins 38–9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
However, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Chicago Bears, 23–19. On November 18, 1985, while playing against the Giants, Heisman broke his leg during a sack by Lawrence Taylor.
The compound fracture forced him to retire after a 12-year career, during which he became the Redskins all-time leader in pass attempts and completions. The Redskins finished 3rd in the NFC East behind the Cowboys and missed the wild card to the Giants by virtue of tiebreakers.
The 1986 off season's major highlight occurred during the 1986 NFL Draft, when the Redskins picked up future Super Bowl MVP Mark Repair in the sixth round, also the Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley set a franchise single season record when he recorded 18.5 sacks while earning 1st Team All-Pro honors and being selected to the Pro bowl. This game was Gibbs 70th career, which made him the winning est head coach in Redskins history.
The season ended next week, however, when the Redskins lost to the eventual Super Bowl XXI Champion Giants 17–0 in the NFC Championship game. The Redskins defeated the Vikings in the 1987–88 NFC Championship Game (left) and went on to top the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII (right), winning their second Super Bowl ring.
The games for weeks 4–6 were won with all replacement players. The Redskins have the distinction of being the only team with no players crossing the picket line.
Those three victories are often credited with getting the team into the playoffs and the basis for the 2000 movie The Replacements. The Redskins won their second championship in Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988, in San Diego, California.
The Redskins routed the Denver Broncos 42–10 after starting the game in a 10–0 deficit, the largest come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl history, which was tied by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIX. This game is more famous for the stellar performance by quarterback Doug Williams who passed for four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to becoming the first black quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory while also winning the games Super Bowl MVP award.
That season is best remembered for the Redskins prolific wide receiver trio nicknamed “The Posse” consisting of wide receivers Art Monk, Gary Clark, and Ricky Sanders who became the first trio of wide receivers in NFL history to post 1,000-plus yards in the same season. Also, in a week 14 victory against the San Diego Chargers, Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs achieved career victory no.
The 1991 Redskins defense was also dominant under the coaching of defensive coordinator and guru Richie Petition, giving up only 224 total points which was second best of any team in the NFL in 1991, while also not allowing a single point to opponents in 3 of the 16 games played that season. After posting a 14–2 record, the Redskins made and dominated the playoffs, beating the Falcons and Lions by a combined score of 64–17.
On January 26, 1992, the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI by defeating the Buffalo Bills 37–24 with Mark Repair winning the games Super Bowl MVP award. The 1991 WashingtonRedskins are widely considered one of the best teams in NFL history.
The Redskins' success in 1992 culminated in a trip to the playoffs as a wild card team, but they lost in the two the 49ers, 20–13. The most impressive feat during the season occurred on October 12, 1992, when Art Monk became the NFL's all-time leading pass receiver against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football by catching his 820th career reception.
The era ended on March 5, 1993, when Joe Gibbs retired after 12 years of coaching with the Redskins. However, his first and only year as head coach, the Redskins finished with a record of 4–12.
Petition was fired at the end of the season and on February 2, 1994, Nor Turner was hired as head coach after being the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. Their sole bright spot that year came on October 9, 1994, linebacker Monte Coleman played in his 206th career game with the Redskins, which broke Art Monk's team record for games played (Coleman retired at season's end with 216 games played).
They improved to 6–10 in 1995 where they were able to get a season sweep on the eventual Super Bowl XXX Champions the Dallas Cowboys. On March 13, 1996, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, Maryland GovernorParris Gladdening, and Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry signed a contract that paved the way for the immediate start of construction for the new home of the Redskins (now FedExField).
The 1996 season saw Washington Post their first winning record in 4 years by finishing 9–7. On December 22, 1996, the Redskins played their final game at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a victory over the Dallas Cowboys 37–10, and finished their tenure at the stadium with a 173–102–3 record, including 11–1 in the playoffs.
On April 6, 1997, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke died of congestive heart failure at the age of 84. His estate, headed by son John Kent Cooke, took over ownership of the Redskins and at his memorial service, John Kent Cooke announced that the new stadium in Landover, Maryland would be named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.
On September 14, 1997, the Redskins played in their new stadium for the first time, and beat the Arizona Cardinals, 19–13 in overtime. They would finish 1997 8–7–1 and would miss the playoffs for a fifth season in a row.
One bright spot during the season, however, occurred on December 13, 1997, when Darrell Green played in his 217th career game as a Redskin, breaking Monte Coleman's record for games played. The 1998 season started with a seven-game losing streak, and the Redskins finished with a 6–10 record.
FedExField has served as the team's stadium since 1997After two seasons, John Kent Cooke was unable to raise sufficient funds to permanently purchase the Redskins, and on May 25, 1999, Daniel Snyder gained unanimous approval (31–0) from league owners and bought the franchise for $800 million, a deal that was the most expensive team-purchasing deal in sporting history. One of his first acts as team owner occurred on November 21, 1999, when he sold the naming-rights to Jack Kent Cooke Stadium to the highest bidder, FedEx, who renamed the stadium FedExField.
In Snyder's first season as owner, the Redskins went 10–6, including a four-game winning streak early in the season, and made it to the playoffs for the first time in Nor Turner's career (and the first time for the Redskins since 1992) in the final game of the season (on January 2, 2000, against the Dolphins). Running back Stephen Davis rushed for a then club-record 1,405 yards and quarterback Brad Johnson completed a then club-record 316 passes and threw for more than 4,000 yards in regular play that season.
They then beat the Detroit Lions in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to the Buccaneers, 14–13. Marty Schottenheimer era (2001) On January 3, 2001, the Redskins hired former Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer as head coach.
The 2001 season began with a loss to the San Diego Chargers, 30–3, two days before the September 11, 2001, attacks. They finished the season with an 8–8 record and Schottenheimer was fired after the final game.
Snyder later said in a 2013 interview that he was fired due to his over-controlling nature. Steve Spurred era (2002–2003) On January 14, 2002, Snyder hired University of Florida coach Steve Spurred, the Redskins fifth new head coach in 10 years.
They finished with a 7–9 record, their first losing season in four years. A bittersweet moment during the season occurred on December 29, when Darrell Green concluded his 20th and final season as the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 20–14 at FedExField.
The Redskins finished the 2003 season with a 5–11 record, their worst since 1994. The one bright note of the season was on December 7, when defensive end Bruce Smith sacked Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer in the fourth quarter.
With his 199th career sack, Smith broke Reggie White's all-time NFL mark. Return of Joe Gibbs (2004–2007) For the 2004 season, Snyder successfully lured former coach Joe Gibbs away from NASCAR to return as head coach and team president.
His employment came with a promise of decreased intervention in football operations from Snyder. Gibbs' return to the franchise did not pay instant dividends as the Redskins finished the 2004 season with a record of 6–10.
On the other hand, some of Gibbs' other new signings, such as corner back Shawn Springs and linebacker Marcus Washington, did very well. The Redskins also picked Sean Taylor from University of Miami during the draft in Gibbs' first season.
Dallas led 13–0 with less than four minutes left when Brunei threw a 39-yard (36 m) touchdown pass to Moss on a fourth-down play. Then, with 2:44 left, Brunei connected with Moss again on a 70-yard (64 m) touchdown pass and Nick Novak kicked the game-winning extra point.
It was the Redskins first victory at Texas Stadium since 1995. They then fell into a slump, losing six of the next eight games which included three straight losses in November, and their playoff chances looked bleak.
The game also culminated impressive season performances by individuals. Also, Chris Cooley's 71 receptions broke Jerry Smith's season record for a Redskins tight end.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Redskins met the Buccaneers. The Redskins won 17–10, after taking an early 14–0 lead, which they thought they lost until replay showed that a touchdown, which would have tied the game, was an incomplete pass.
In that game, the Redskins broke the record for fewest offensive yards (120) gained in a playoff victory, with one of their two touchdowns being from a defensive run after a fumble recovery. The following weekend, they played the Seahawks, who defeated the Redskins 20–10, ending their hopes of reaching their first NFC Championship Game since.
Sean Taylor, the team's first-round draft choice in 2004, was shot and killed by home invaders in 2007 while rehabbing from an injury. The first major move of the 2006 off-season was the hiring of Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders as offensive coordinator. Gibbs also added former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray to his staff as secondary/corner backs coach and lost quarterbacks coach Bill Mus grave to the Falcons.
The Redskins also picked up future starters Rocky McIntosh, Anthony Montgomery, Reed Doughty, and Cedric Boston in the 2006 NFL Draft. After winning only three of the first nine games, Gibbs benched quarterback Brunei for former first-round draft pick Jason Campbell.
After losing his first game as a starter to Tampa Bay, Campbell got his first NFL victory against the Carolina Panthers, bringing the Redskins out of a three-game losing streak. The highlight of the season happened on November 5, and concluded with one of the most exciting endings in the history of the Cowboys– Redskins rivalry.
Tied 19–19, Troy Vincent blocked a last-second field goal attempt by Dallas that would have given them the win. Sean Taylor picked up the ball and ran 30 yards (27 m), breaking tackles along the way.
It was thought that the game would then go in overtime, however because of a defensive 15-yard (14 m) face mask penalty, the Redskins would get an untimed down. Novak kicked a 47-yard (43 m) field goal, giving Washington a 22–19 victory.
However, the Redskins finished the year with a 5–11 record, which resulted in them being last in the NFC East. This marked the second losing season of Joe Gibbs' second term as head coach with the Redskins, compared to the one losing season he had in his first 12-year tenure as head coach.
The Redskins, wearing their 1970 throwback uniforms, gather at the line of scrimmage against the New York Giants, 2007The Redskins began the 2007 season by “winning ugly” starting the season off 2–0. The Redskins kept winning and losing close games, the only exception to this a 34–3 rout of the Detroit Lions.
On Monday, November 26, Redskins safety Sean Taylor was shot by home intruders early in the morning in his Miami home. The next morning, Taylor died from severe blood loss.
However, the Redskins rebounded to finish to 9–7 and clinch the final playoff spot in the NFC Washington trailed 13–0 entering the 4th quarter to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round, but rallied to take a 14–13 lead, but Redskins kicker Shaun Sui sham missed a field goal later in the game, and the Seahawks scored on the next drive and converted the two-point conversion. To close the game, Todd Collins threw two interceptions, each returned for a touchdown, and the Redskins fell 35–14.
Jim Zorn era (2008–2009) After Joe Gibbs announced his retirement following the 2007 season, Jim Zorn was hired as head coach, and brought in a West Coast Offense. Furthermore, Redskins RB Clinton Ports led the NFL in rushing yards.
However, things turned for the worse in early November, when they were routed 23–6 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ports' injuries finally caught up to him. The Redskins continued to struggle, falling all the way to 7–7, with their only win during that six-week period being a 3-point victory of the then-2–8 Seattle Seahawks.
The Redskins managed to upset the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, but were eliminated from playoff contention. The team's fortunes continued to slide in 2009, as they finished 4–12.
Zorn was fired and replaced by Mike Shanahan after the season. Mike Shanahan era (2010–2013) Quarterback Robert Griffin III, the team's first-round draft choice in 2012, won the league's offensive rookie of the year award while leading the team to their first division title since 1999. On April 4, the Redskins acquired Donovan McNab in a trade from the rival Philadelphia Eagles.
However, the Redskins struggled to a 6–10 finish, once again 4th place in the division. The McNab era came to an abrupt end when he was traded to Minnesota in August 2011.
The troublesome After cutting the injury-rattled Clinton Ports, the Redskins had no important offensive players left except for Santana Moss. Mike Shanahan surprised most observers by his decision to name John Beck, an obscure free agent quarterback, as the starter.
However, Shanahan suddenly reversed direction by naming veteran backup Rex Grossman to the starting position. In Week 1, Grossman threw for 305 yards and two touchdown passes as the Redskins crushed the Giants 28–14, ending a six-game losing streak against that team.
The WashingtonRedskins started the season 2–0, but then struggled to a 5–11 finish, however they managed to win both meetings over the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. In 2012, the Redskins traded several high draft picks to the St. Louis Rams in order to take Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Although the need for a franchise quarterback was obvious, many journalists had doubts about the value of giving up a lot for a single player. In the opening game of the season, Griffin threw for 320 yards and two touchdown passes in a 40–32 victory over the New Orleans Saints to give the team its highest scoring game since 2005.
Griffin would have one of his best games of his career to date, as the Redskins won 31–6 with long touchdowns to Santana Moss and Aldrich Robinson. The Redskins would win their next 6 games after that, including the crucial final game of the season against the Cowboys, which would clinch the division for and send the Redskins to the playoffs.
The Redskins hosted the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round, but lost 24–14. However, these hopes were in vain, as poor play and controversy stirred during the entire year, leading to a disastrous 3–13 campaign.
Even though most players had a down year compared to 2012, Pierre Garçon had his greatest season statistically yet. Garçon broke Art Monk's 29-year-old franchise record for catches in a single season.
The Redskins fired Shanahan and most of his staff after the season. Green became the eighth head coach of the team since Daniel Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999.
Green lost his first regular season game as an NFL coach against the Houston Texans 17–6 with the Texans defense controlling the Washington offense for the majority of the game. Green would then go on to win his first game as an NFL head coach the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars 41–10.
Green and the Redskins struggled throughout the season, having three different quarterbacks start games, amounting to a 4–12 record. Defense coordinator Jim Hallett was fired at the end of the season.
Kirk Cousins is one of only three quarterbacks in franchise history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season, doing so three times. 2015 On January 7, 2015, the Redskins hired Scot McLuhan to be their general manager.
McLuhan took over control of the roster from Bruce Allen, who was given the sole title of team president after the hiring. In October 2015, the Redskins had their largest comeback win in franchise history, coming back to win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31–30 after being down 0–24 in the second quarter.
The Redskins clinched the NFC East division title on December 26, when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, 38–24. The division title was their third since Snyder took over ownership of the team, and was the first since the 1999 season to be clinched before Week 17.
The Redskins hosted the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round on January 10, 2016, but lost 35–18, ending their 2015 season. Kirk Cousins, who took over as starting quarterback in the preseason, finished the season with career highs in touchdowns (29), yards (4,166), and completion percentage (69.8%).
His completion percentage led the league, while his 29 touchdowns tied him for second on the franchise single-season list. 2016 The team's offense in 2016 set several franchise records, including having over 6,000 total net yards, which was only the third time in franchise history the team had accomplished that.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins also set single-season team records in attempts, completions, and passing yards, breaking many of his records he had previously set in 2015. Demean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Jamison Crowder, Robert Kelley, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and Matt Jones all finished the season with at least 500 yards from scrimmage, tying the 2011 New Orleans Saints for the most in a single season in NFL history.
Despite the numerous records set, the Redskins missed the playoffs, losing 19–10 in a “win and in” situation against the New York Giants in the final week of the season. Kirk Cousins had his third straight season with 4,000 passing yards while once again playing under the franchise tag.
For the second straight season, the Redskins missed the playoffs, finishing 7–9. It was also the last season that Cousins played for the Redskins, as he signed with the Minnesota Vikings for 2018, ending his six-year tenure with the team.
2018 During the off season, the Redskins traded for quarterback Alex Smith to replace Kirk Cousins as he left for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. In a game against the Houston Texans on November 18, 2018, Alex Smith suffered a compound and spiral fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg when he was sacked by Kareem Jackson and J. J. Watt which forced him to miss the rest of the season.
This led to Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Johnson starting games in the second half of the season. The team finished at 7–9 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year, with a league-high 25 players on injured reserve.
2019 With a league worst 0–5 record at the time tying with the Cincinnati Bengals, and their worst start since 2001, the Redskins fired Green on October 7, 2019, with offensive line coach Bill Callahan serving as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. Green finished his six-year tenure with the Redskins with a 35–49–1 regular season record with one playoff appearance.
Callahan got the Redskins first victory over the 0–4 Miami Dolphins, snapping a 7-game losing streak dating back to the previous season, which was also his first NFL win as a head coach since 2003. Dwayne Haskins would later start against the Buffalo Bills when Case Keen um was injured.
A week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers would eliminate the Redskins from playoff contention for the 4th consecutive year. The Redskins finished the season at 3–13 with victories over the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers.
Ron Rivera era 2020 The team underwent several changes in 2020, including retiring the Redskins name and logo and hiring former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera in the same role, as well as naming Jason Wright as team president, the first black one in NFL history. Some notable members of Rivera's staff include former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator and Scott Turner, the son of former Redskins head coach Nor Turner, as offensive coordinator.
Due to their 3–13 record the previous season, the team had the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and selected Chase Young, a highly touted defensive end out of Ohio State. Around the time of the Redskins name retirement, minority owners Robert Rothman, Dwight Scar, and Frederick W. Smith were reported to have hired an investment banking firm to help search for potential buyers for their stake in the team, worth around 40% combined.
The group, who bought their stake in 2003, were reported to have urged Snyder to change the name for years. In November 2020, the group asked a federal judge to allow them to sell as a group after Snyder gave them legal notice that he would exercise his right of first refusal and buy out only Smith and Rothman, who together own 25 percent, not Scar, who owns 15 percent.
Dwayne Haskins, the team's first round draft pick from 2019, would also be released prior to the season's end due to inefficient play and not meeting the team's standards off the field. Despite that, Washington would eventually win the division for the first time since 2015 at 7–9, becoming only the third team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks and 2014 Carolina Panthers, the latter of which Rivera also coached.
The depiction of a Native American as a team logo was introduced in 1937 and was used in various forms until it was retired in 2020. The team's former Redskins branding, used from 1933 until 2020, was one of the leading examples of the Native American mascot controversy as the term redskin has been defined as offensive, disparaging, and taboo. Various people and groups, such as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAA), considered the name a racial slur and attempted to get the team to change it for decades.
Supporters of the name countered both the dictionary definition of the term and the testimony of Native Americans by asserting that their use of the name was intended respectfully, and referred only to the football team and its history. In a 2013 letter “To the WashingtonRedskins Nation”, team owner Daniel Snyder stated that while respecting those that say they are offended, a poll conducted by the Rosenberg Public Policy Center in 2004 found that 90% of Native Americans were not offended by the name and logo.
This poll was essentially replicated in 2016 by The Washington Post with near identical results. However, public opinion polling, which places the question about the Redskins within a longer telephone survey on other topics, was deemed scientifically questionable by academic researchers.
As an alternative, social scientists from the University of Michigan and University of California at Berkeley performed a study in 2020 that measured Native American opinion in detail, finding that 49% had responded that the name was offensive, with the level of offense increasing to 67% for those with a stronger involvement in Native American culture. Following renewed attention to questions of racial justice in wake of the George Floyd protests in 2020, a letter signed by 87 shareholders and investors was sent to team and league sponsors Nike, FedEx, and Pepsi urging them to cut their ties unless the name was changed.
Around the same time, several retail companies began removing Redskins merchandise from their stores. The uniform style most commonly worn by the team throughout the 1980s to the 2010s. The franchise's primary colors are burgundy and gold.
From 1961 through 1978, Washington wore gold pants with both the burgundy and white jerseys, although details of the jerseys and pants changed a few times during this period. Gold face masks were introduced in 1978 and remain as such to this day; previous to that they were gray.
Throughout most of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, Washington were just one of three other teams that primarily wore their white jerseys at home (the others being the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins). The tradition of wearing white jerseys over burgundy pants at home, which is considered the “classic” look, was started by Joe Gibbs when he took over as coach in 1981.
Gibbs was an assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 1979 and 1980 when the team wore white at home under head coach Don Cornell. Their burgundy jerseys were primarily used only when the opposing team decided to wear white at home, which came mostly against the Dallas Cowboys, and was normally worn over white pants.
It was worn on the road against other teams that prefer to wear white at home for games occurring early in the season. From 1981 through 2000, Washington wore their white jerseys over burgundy pants at home almost exclusively.
In 1994, as part of a league-wide celebration of the NFL's 75th anniversary, during certain games the team wore special uniforms which emulated the uniforms worn by the team in its inaugural season in Washington in 1937. The most distinctive feature of both colors of the jersey was the patches worn on both sleeves, which were a reproduction of the patches worn on the full-length sleeves of the 1937 jerseys.
Worn with these uniforms was a plain burgundy helmet with a gold facemask. In 2001, the team wore burgundy for all home games in the preseason and regular season per a decision by Marty Schottenheimer, their coach for that year.
In 2002, the team celebrated the passing of 70 years since its creation as the Boston Braves in 1932, and wore a special home uniform of burgundy jersey over gold pants which roughly resembled the home uniforms used from 1969 to 1978. The helmets used with this special home uniform during that year were a reproduction of the helmets used by the team from 1965 to 1969, though they wore white at home in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals and again in Week 17, the latter forcing the Cowboys to use their blue jerseys.
This special home uniform was also worn during one game in 2003. In 2004, when Gibbs became the coach of the team once again, the team switched back to wearing white jerseys at home; in Gibbs's 16 years as head coach, the team never wore burgundy jerseys at home, even wearing a white throwback jersey in 2007.
Their white jerseys have provided three basic color combinations. The last combination consists of both white jerseys and pants.
That particular combination surfaced in the first game of the 2003 season, when the team was coached by Steve Spurred, during a nationally televised game against the New York Jets, which led many sports fans and Redskins faithful alike to point out that they had never seen that particular combination before. The Redskins won six straight games, including one in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wearing that combination.
In the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the eventual 2005 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, Washington wore the all-white uniforms in hopes that they could keep their streak going; however, they lost 20–10. The white jersey over burgundy pants look reappeared in a home game against the Carolina Panthers later in 2006.
In celebration of the franchise's 75th anniversary, Washington wore a one-time throwback uniform for a home game against the New York Giants, based on their away uniform from 1970 to 1971. Players wore a white jersey with three burgundies and two gold stripes on each sleeve and the 75th anniversary logo on the left chest.
Vince Lombardi, who coached Washington in 1969 before dying during the 1970 preseason, was the inspiration behind the helmet. Lombardi pushed for the logo, which sat inside a white circle enclosed within a burgundy circle border, with Native American feathers hanging down from the side because of its similarity to the “G” on the helmets worn by the Green Bay Packers, who he had coached during most of the 1960s.
In a 2008 Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington wore a monochrome look by wearing burgundy jerseys over burgundy pants. This combination made two further appearances the following season against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
The Redskins, starting in 2010, began to wear the burgundy jersey paired with the gold pants reminiscent of the George Allen era. Against the Tennessee Titans later that season, the team matched the gold pants with the usual white jerseys for the first time.
Washington wore the same combination against the Giants on the road two weeks later. The following year, the team wore an updated throwback uniform of the 1937 championship team that featured a helmet pattern based on the logo-less leather helmets worn at the time, in a game against the Carolina Panthers.
In 2013, a newly implemented NFL rule stated that teams could not wear alternate helmets (thus limiting them to one helmet) on account of player safety. As a result, Washington wore its 1937 throwbacks with the logo removed from the regular helmet in a game versus the San Diego Chargers.
That year, the Redskins removed the burgundy collar from their white jerseys in order to have better consistency with the new Nike uniforms that had debuted the previous season. Between 2014 and 2016, the team wore the gold pants with their standard uniforms, although the burgundy pants returned as part of the team's away uniform later in 2016.
In 2017, Washington resurrected the all-burgundy ensemble as part of the NFL Color Rush. Initially, Nike gave them an all-gold uniform but team officials called it “garish” and refused to wear it.
In 2018, Washington replaced the gold pants with white for the majority of their home games. The gold pants were used in Week 17 against the Eagles and was the most recent time Washington wore them.
Following the team's name change in 2020, their new logo was a simple “W” taken from the redesigned Washington word mark while the helmet logo and striping were replaced with the player's jersey number in gold. The season also saw the return of the all-white and all-burgundy combinations for the first time since 2009.
Washington's rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys features two teams that have won 31 combined division titles and 10 championships, including eight combined Super Bowls. The rivalry started in 1960 when the Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team.
In 1961, Dallas was placed in the same division as the Redskins, and from that point on, they have played each other twice during every regular season. Texas oil tycoon Clint Murchison Jr. was having a difficult time bringing an NFL team to Dallas.
In 1958, Murchison heard that George Preston Marshall, owner of the WashingtonRedskins, was eager to sell the team. Just as the sale was about to be finalized, Marshall called for a change in terms.
Around this time, Marshall had a falling out with the Redskin band director, Barnes Redskin. Redskin had written the music to the Redskins fight song, now a staple at the stadium.
He approached Tom Webb, Murchison's lawyer, and sold the rights for $2,500 (equivalent to $21,600 in 2019). Murchison then decided to create his own team, with the support of NFL expansion committee chairman, George Halls.
Halls decided to put the proposition of a Dallas franchise before the NFL owners, which needed to have unanimous approval in order to pass. However, Marshall found out that Murchison owned the rights to Washington's fight song, so a deal was finally struck.
If Marshall showed his approval of the Dallas franchise, Murchison would return the song. At the time in 2016, a matchup between the teams on Thanksgiving was the most-watched regular-season game broadcast by the NFL on Fox.
7 Joe Heisman, QB, 1974–1985 9 Sonny Jorgensen, QB, 1964–1974 21 Sean Taylor, FS, 2004–2007 28 Darrell Green, CB, 1983–2002 42 Charley Taylor, WR, 1964–1977 43 Larry Brown, RB, 1969–1976 44 John Higgins, RB, 1976–1979, 1981–1985 65 Dave But, DT, 1975–1988 70 Sam Huff, LB, 1964–1969 81 Art Monk, WR, 1980–1993 The use of unofficial retired numbers drew controversy during Steve Spurrier's first year as head coach.
Quarterbacks Danny Eiffel and Shane Matthews first wore 7 and 9 respectively during training camp. The resulting sports talk furor led to them switching to 17 and 6.
After his retirement as assistant GM, Bobby Mitchell blasted the team, for not being considered for GM and was upset that the team would let a player like Leonard Stephens wear his number. The team's first round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, wore number 7 when he played for the Ohio State Buckeyes and wore it with the team after being granted permission from Heisman.
When the team left JFK Stadium in 1996, the signs commemorating the Washington Hall of Stars were left behind and the team began a new tradition of honoring Redskins greats via the “Ring of Fame”, a set of signs on the upper level facade at FedExField. Unlike the Hall of Stars, which honors historical greats from all sports, the Ring of Fame is limited to honoring Redskins greats.
Team founder George Preston Marshall is the only member to ever be removed once inducted, which was done in 2020. They were honored in a weekend of festivities, including a special halftime ceremony during a redskin win over the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2012, ten more players and personnel were added to the list for the team's 80th anniversary. 29 members possess one Super Bowl ring and 26 have more than one.
Also, before the Super Bowl, members of the 70 made 18 World Championship appearances including six that participated in the Redskins NFL Championship victories in 1937 and 1942. Offense The Redskins scored 541 points in 1983, which is the sixth highest total in a season of all time.
They also set a record by not allowing a single first down against the Giants on September 27, 1942. The Redskins led the league in completion percentage 11 times: in 1937, 1939–1940, 1942–45, 1947–48 and 1969–1970, second only to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Redskins completed 43 passes in an overtime win against Detroit on November 4, 1990, second most all-time. Defense The Redskins recovered eight opponent's fumbles against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 25, 1976, the most ever in one game.
The Redskins allowed 82 first downs in 1937, third fewest all-time. The Redskins have led the league in the fewest total yards allowed five times, 1935–37, 1939, and 1946, which is the third most.
The Redskins have led the league in the fewest passing yards allowed seven times, in 1939, 1942, 1945, 1952–53, 1980, and 1985, second only to Green Bay (10). The turnover differential of +43 that year was the highest of all time.
Special teams The Redskins led the league in field goals for eight seasons, 1945, 1956, 1971, 1976 – 77, 1979, 1982, 1992. The Redskins and Bears attempted an NFL record 11 field goals on November 14, 1971, and the Redskins and Giants tied that mark on November 14, 1976.
The Redskins 28 consecutive games, from 1988 to 1990, scoring a field goal is third all time. The Redskins have led the league in punting average six times, in 1940–43, 1945, and 1958, second only to the Denver Broncos.
The Redskins have led the league in average kickoff return yards eight times, in 1942, 1947, 1962–63, 1973–74, 1981, and 1995, more than any other team. The franchise's flagship station is ITEM, by virtue of previously being owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, a group co-owned with the team by Snyder.
In 2018, the station was sold to Urban One, but maintained its rights to the team. In June 2019, it was announced that Cumulus Media had acquired the team's radio rights as well, and would move it to WEAL.
Concurrently, WEAL was to be re-launched as an ESPN Radio affiliate, ISBN. In the preseason, Kenny Albert usually does play-by-play while former Redskins players Joe Heisman and Clinton Ports respectively serve as the color analyst and sideline reporter.
In the regular season, most games are part of the NFL on Fox package, with the main exceptions being when the team hosts an AFC team or plays in prime time. NBC Sports Washington also airs a PRE- and post-game show featuring analysis and interviews.
Since 1932, for 18 of the past 23 United States presidential elections, a win for the Redskins last home game prior to Election Day coincided with the incumbent party winning re-election. The exceptions include in 2004, when Republican incumbent George W. Bush won re-election despite the Green Bay Packers beating the Redskins, in 2012, when Democratic incumbent Barack Obama won re-election despite the Redskins losing to the Carolina Panthers, in 2016, when Republican candidate Donald Trump won the election despite the Redskins defeating the Eagles and in 2020, when Democratic candidate Joe Biden won despite Washington's win.
Other than these exceptions, this Redskins Rule” has proven true since 1936 when they won and incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt won re-election, prior to the Redskins move from Boston in 1937. The connection was discovered in 2000 by Steve First, former executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, while searching for discussion ideas for a game between the Redskins and Tennessee Titans.
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