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Posted at 3:22 PM ET, 01/24/2011

The best of the best

By Evan Bliss

If Mike Shanahan's plans to return this once storied and illustrious franchise to the Himalayan peaks of greatness then perhaps we should make sure they understand the history they are attempting to recreate. Now that the Packers and Steelers are Super Bowl bound, what better time to vote on the best of the best Redskins Conference Championship victories…

Some background information on these victories if you’re having trouble making up your mind….

1) In 1972, George Allen’s 11-3 Redskins defeated Tom Landry’s 10-4 Dallas Cowboys at RFK Stadium, 26-3. Charley Taylor had two touchdown grabs and 146 yards on seven catches and Dallas didn’t cross midfield in the second half. The year before Dallas won their first NFL Championship. Nothing better than knocking out the defending champ. Bittersweet as Washington would lose Super Bowl VII 14-7 to the Miami Dolphins -- still the only fully undefeated team in NFL History.

2) In 1982, Joe Gibbs’ 8-1 Redskins defeated Landry’s 6-3 Dallas Cowboys, 31-17 at RFK in a strike-shortened season. John Riggins pounded the Dallas defense for 140 yards and two touchdowns that afternoon, but it was defensive lineman Daryl Grant’s unforgettable pick-six off a Dexter Manley tip that clinched Washington’s second Super Bowl berth. Washington would then go on to defeat Miami in Super Bowl XVII, 27-17, for their first of three Lombardi Trophies.

3) In 1983, Joe Gibbs’ 14-2 Redskins defeated Bill Walsh’s 10-6 San Francisco 49ers, 24-21 at RFK in a game that’s been called “The Forgotten Classic.” Washington blew a 21-point fourth quarter lead, partly due to Mark Moseley missing four field goals. You can still hear 49er fans complain about two penalties on the Redskins’ winning drive, capped with a 25-yard Moseley field goal. Washington would go on to lose Super Bowl XVIII to the L.A. Raiders, 38-9, and I won’t make excuses, but someone should have enforced the curfew rule on Jan. 21, 1984.

4) In 1987, Joe Gibbs’ 11-4 Redskins defeated Jerry Burns’ 8-7 Minnesota Vikings, 17-10 at RFK. Another strike-season canceled the week three games, and weeks four through six were played by “scab” players, thus the ScabSkins were briefly born. In a back and forth defensive battle, the Redskins held a seven point lead with five minutes remaining in the game. Minnesota drove to the Washington six-yard line but needed a touchdown to tie. Darrell Green, whose punt return for a touchdown heroics knocked off the Bears the previous week, showed his defensive talents by breaking up a would-be game-tying touchdown pass. Instead, the Redskins advanced to Super Bowl XXII, where Doug Williams put the Denver Broncos over his knee and repeatedly spanked them in the second quarter, en route to Washington’s second of three Lombardi Trophies. Mike Shanahan had a front row seat on the Broncos sideline as their offensive coordinator in undoubtedly the best offensive performance in Super Bowl history.

5) In 1991, Joe Gibbs’ 14-2 Redskins defeated Wayne Fontes’ 12-4 Detroit Lions, 41-10 at RFK. Barry Sanders (you youngsters better know who this is) was held to 44 yards on 11 carries. Wilbur Marshall notched three sacks. Darrell Green returned an interception for a touchdown. The Redskins would go on to win Super Bowl XXVI, 37-24 against the Buffalo Bills for their third Lombardi Trophy. In 2010, ESPN’s “Super League” matched the best Super Bowl winning teams of all time against each other, and the 1991 Redskins defeated the 1992 Cowboys in the finals to be named by the “Super League” as the greatest NFL team of all time, clearly the smartest thing ESPN has ever done.

Lots of fantastic Redskins history and tradition. There’s no right answer here, all five games are tremendous franchise victories. However, the Shanahan would be wise to move the Redskins (and those giant video boards) from Landover, Md. back to D.C., specifically RFK Stadium if they’ve noticed any reoccurring patterns. Additionally, a strike-shortened season might not be such a bad thing for Redskins football…

By Evan Bliss  | January 24, 2011; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  | Tags:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  
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Comments

There is, and never will be, anything better than beating Dallas in an NFC Championship game.

Posted by: linroy62 | January 25, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

this post is just so sad

Posted by: funkey | January 25, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

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