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The last time the Redskins gave up yards like this

The Redskins are a very average 3-3, but their yards-against stats are anything but. This is the week to highlight those stats, and so Barry Svrluga notes that Washington is on pace to finish with the second-most yards against and most passing yards against in NFL history.

At CSNWashington, meanwhile, Rich Tandler notes that the Redskins have given up the most yards through six games in franchise history, and the fifth-most through six games of any NFL team ever. Tandler reports that the previous worst Skins team was the 1954 edition, which began the season 1-5 and finished it 3-9.

Since there's nothing better than reading sports coverage from the '50s, I went back to see what the scribes were saying about that '54 team, which was getting pounded by scores like 41-7 and 51-21. The scribes didn't disappoint. (Also, did you know the notes section at the end of Skins articles used to be called "Inside the Tepee?" That's...something.) Highlights:

"The Redskins returned to Griffith Stadium yesterday to show the home folks the type of football they've been playing," Jack Walsh wrote after that 51-21 loss. "Against a team famed for its umbrella defense, the Redskins displayed as porous a pass defense as the unbelieving 21,217 cash customers ever winced over....Time after time, the Giants' receivers were so open the only word for the alleged Redskin pass defense was pathetic."

"Like those other Indians in Cleveland, the Washington Redskins keep finding it increasingly difficult to win a game," Walsh wrote after a loss to the Steelers. "Tonight they were humiliated in Forbes Field, 37-7, by the Pittsburgh Steelers, heretofore considered to be more in their class."

"The Redskins take the next kickoff and have six seconds remaining in which to think up a new trick play worth 28 points that would get 'em a tie," Shirley Povich wrote during another rout. "Their chances are not rated as good."

"Washington, oft-beaten 20-point underdog, even managed to make it a contest for 52 minutes for the paid gathering of 22,597," Walsh reported the next week, as the Skins dropped their fifth straight. "In the end, it was the old story -- except for the loyal few who took the Skins and those 20 points."

When they finally ended the losing skid the next week, upsetting the Colts by three as seven-point dogs, the headline read "Surprise! Surprise!" And the writers had not lost their cynicism.

"The Redskins enthusiastically threw themselves into the spirit of the Halloween weekend at Griffith Stadium yesterday, successfully impersonating a winning football team," Walsh wrote.

The next week, the Redskins lost 62-3, and the snark was back, with the headline screaming "They Weren't Shut Out!"

"Hopelessly outclassed, the Skins succumbed by the rather convincing score of 62-3 before 25,158 cash customers who must have felt about the way they would have if they had been watching a bullfight," Walsh wrote. "It was the worst scoreboard defeat since the Chicago Bears humiliated the Redskins, 73-0, in the championship game in 1940 -- and the scoreboard wasn't lying."

So remember that the next time you complain about the current Redskins defense.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 22, 2010; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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You might also look up Post clippings on the 1985 Redskins (the year of Theismann's horrific injury).

Their losses included 44-14 to the Cowboys in the season opener (which my brother and I attended after he won a trip and tickets to Dallas) and a 45-10 pounding to the eventual Super Bowl champ Bears. They gave up enormous amounts of passing yardage.

I recall the defense's nickname that year was "The Pearl Harbor Crew," although they did improve as the season went on and the team finished 10-6 after a 5-5 start.

Posted by: blackjack65 | October 22, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

the yards don't really bother me...the 'skins are still in the middle of the pack with points per game, and that is the stat that matters most. (through week 6, something like 19.8 ppg allowed which is 14th in the league, right behind the giants).

Posted by: bacaje | October 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

You know those reports are B.S., guaranteed the number of "cash paying customers" at all of those games was at least 90,000 and they were all sellouts.

Posted by: grimesman | October 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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