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Sunday, August 12, 2012

America's Game 1991 Washington Redskins: The Last Chapter of Greatness For The Redskins

To talk about the 1991 Redskins, I think you have to at least be familiar with the Joe Giibs era in Washington and what happened in the previous ten years. The Redskins won the 2nd most games in the NFL in the 1980s, including two Super Bowl Championships and three NFC Conference Championships. Including four NFC Eastern Division Championships and twelve NFC Playoff games and did all of this while playing in a great Division in the NFC East. Where basically every team every year in this period was good enough to make the NFC Playoffs. And is a big reason why every team in the NFC East not only dislikes each other, because how important these games are every week in the NFC East. Because each of these teams know when they play a game in the NFC East, that if they don't play well, they'll probably lose. So this is the environment that the Redskins were playing in and all they did basically was win every week, not go undefeated of course but they won a lot. And as a result were expected to be not good, not very good but great every season. So when the Redskins struggled in 1988 after winning their 2nd Super Bowl in six years in 1987 and missed the NFC Playoffs again in 1989. Redskins fans were seeing something they hadn't in ten years, miss the NFC Playoffs in back to back seasons. Which made 1990 important and 1991 was basically finishing the job that was started in 1990.

In 1990 the Redskins were good but not great, 10-6 kinda snuck in the NFC Playoffs, beat their NFC East Rival Philadelphia Eagles. In the NFC Wild Card at Philadelphia, two teams that were really starting to hate each other and beat them bad 20-7 at the Vet, just a few months after the Body Bag game at the Vet. Which was basically the highlight of that season because they go to San Francisco and get beat badly by a better 49ers team the defending Super Bowl Champion, the score was like 28-10 or something. As far as the 1991 Redskins, I've been a Redskins fan since 1991 and absolutely love this franchise and the 1991 Redskins were a great team and one of the best ever, complete team on both sides of the ball. With great coaching on both sides of the ball but out of the forty five Super Champions in NFL History, they are ranked fourteen out of forty five. Which is good in the top third but we are not talking about one of the top five or even top ten teams of all time.

One of the reasons why the 1991 Redskins aren't ranked higher, I believe has to do a lot with their schedule. The 1983 Redskins I believe are the best team that Joe Gibbs ever had in Washington and they lost the Super Bowl to the Raiders. But that team scored something like 550 points and did this against one of the toughest schedules in the league that year. Including playing the Cowboys twice, the Raiders twice, I believe the 49ers twice, the Rams twice. All of these teams were playoff teams that year and in the Raiders case beat the Redskins in the Super Bowl that year. Whereas the 1991 Redskins played a very weak schedule, including playing the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions twice, both NFC Playoff teams but teams that had mediocre talent and played weak schedules that year and benefited that year. The two losses the Redskins had that year were against an up incoming but inferior Cowboys team and an Eagles team that missed the NFC Playoffs that year.

If figuring out who are the greatest if not the greatest team of all time, was about won loss record and point scored and given up and all of that. Then the 1991 Redskins would be one of the best if not the best team of all time, because they just didn't beat teams that year, they destroyed them. But a lot if not most of the blowout victories they had that year, were against teams they should've whipped and destroyed, so base on the talent and what the Redskins did with their talent. The 1991 Redskins are a great team they just shouldn't be in the conversation as one of the best ever.