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Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 12/22/2010

1991 Redskins playing for ESPN's best-ever title

By Dan Steinberg

(By Al Messerschmidt - Getty)


ESPN.com has been running this goofy "Super League" promotion all season, featuring 16 Super Bowl champions facing off using simulations from Accuscore. Each matchup is simulated 10,000 times, yielding a final score and a single box score typifying the most common result.

The League involved a 15-game regular season, with the two best teams then meeting in the title game to decide the best team ever, or something like that. I've entirely ignored the thing until now, but with the regular season finished, the simulations have decided that the 1991 Redskins will face the 1992 Cowboys for the title of best-ever Super Bowl winner.

The '91 Skins finished 10-5 in the regular season and in sole possession of first place after beating the 1971 Cowboys last week, behind Gary Clark (167 receiving yards) and Art Monk and Ricky Sanders (three combined touchdown catches). Roger Staubach did virtually nothing. The '92 Cowboys, meanwhile, were 9-6, needing a late rally to defeat the 1984 49ers and qualify for the championship in their final regular season game.

Yes, I'm providing recaps of fake football games between ancient teams. Better than the current thing, no?

By Dan Steinberg  | December 22, 2010; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

What's the spread?

Posted by: fushezzi | December 22, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The 1991 Redskins finished 14-2. They lost the last game of the year to the Eagles...

Posted by: timb67 | December 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Try to keep up buddy, 10-5 is their simulation record.

Posted by: thedude1974 | December 22, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It's funny that you'd point out the '91 Skins weren't 10-5 in real life fail to mention that they also never actually played the '71 Cowboys.

Posted by: smshadowman | December 22, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

*in real life, but fail to mention*

Posted by: smshadowman | December 22, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Haven't followed this simulation, but how did the 85 Bears not even make the semifinals?

That Redskins team was pretty great, though--I think they started the season with three consecutive home shutouts.

They didn't win the Super Bowl, but I still think the best Skins team ever may have been the 83-84 Skins. They went 14-2, won almost all those 14 games in blowouts, and their only two losses were by one point each. And they beat the Rams 51-7 in the divisional round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, that blowout loss to the Raiders in the Super Bowl mars that year.

Posted by: TheFingerman | December 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised the 1979 Pittsburgh team didn't make it through to the "Simulated Final." A couple of points about the 1991 Redskins season, which was arguably one of the best single seasons in NFL history.
The Skins yielded only 9 sacks that season and both losses (Cowboys, Eagles) were by a combined 5 points. The first loss (Dallas) came after an 11-0 start and was aided by a Hail Mary pass from Troy Aikman to Alvin Harper on the final play of the first half. If that pass is knocked down, the Skins likely win to go 12-0.
The second loss came in the regular-season finale at the old Vet in Philly. The Skins led at halftime, but Joe Gibbs elected to rest most of his starters in the second half, including QB Mark Rypien who was replaced by Jeff Rutledge. The Eagles rallied to win the game by 2 points to complete a 10-6 season that did not see them advance to the playoffs.
In conclusion, the Skins were very close to a perfect regular season in 1991. HAIL!

Posted by: djdavew2002 | December 22, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

All hail the 1991 Washington Redskins and the unequaled excellence they achieved so long ago.

Then, in 1999, Dan Snyder bought the Redskins to bring in the Dark Ages were Washington football ceased to be a professional endeavor and has become mired in a perpetual fantasy football mentality.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Lol... yes, much better than the real thing.

Keep us posted please.

Posted by: alocowboy | December 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

This actually means a lot to me. Like I am disproportionately interested in this. That '91 team never got the love they deserved nationally.

Posted by: jpfterps | December 22, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Well first, the 'Skins had already fallen into the abyss long before Snyder bought them, however, what I really wanted to say was that it looks like we finally got revenge on the '72 Dolphins in Week 10 of the simulated schedule. Now, does this mean that their perfect season is no more?

Posted by: truke | December 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

One of the most underrated SB teams of all-time in my mind. If the QB was someone who went onto greater individual success than Rypien I think the '91 team would have been thought of more highly by the "average" fan.

Posted by: gkronenberg | December 22, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the "finals" are a rematch of week one:

http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/promotions/nfl/superleague/?gameId=106


I can't imagine the end result being any different (given 10,000 simulations and the final being the most typical result) unless they take home field into account and/or weather. The '91 team was built to play in poor conditions on a mediocre field at RFK.

Posted by: kingrob76 | December 22, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Given the fact that they have done nothing since, this was actually fun to read. Hail to the '91 Skins!

Posted by: DCFanatic | December 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The '91 team proves that football greatness can be achieved with an average quarterback as long as the offensive line is outstanding. I think that the same thing can be said for running backs as well. Any half decent journeyman QB can be sucessful if he is only sacked 9 times in a season. I simply cannnot understand why teams spend high draft picks on QB's and RB's. Look at the Redskins. What did we get from Heath Shuler, Partick Ramsey and Jason Campbell? The same thing can be said for the Lions and other perenial losers through the years. As for RB's, their average career lasts only five years or so. I hope the 'Skins resist the temptation to draft a QB this year and continue to build both the offensive and defensive lines.

Posted by: 64Fairlane | December 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

WE WANT DALLAS!!!!
WE WANT DALLAS!!!!

Posted by: jgarrisn | December 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

To that person mentioning the 1983-84 Redskins season, when they went 14-2, blowing out every one, including the Raiders in the regular season. The reason they lost the Super Bowl to the Raiders that year, if you remember, is that the Raiders broke in the Redskins offices and stole their playbook. The Raiders knew every play that the 'skins called in the Super Bowl game. Their cornerbacks knew the exact route going to be run by the Redskin receivers and what pass and run was being called. The Redskin receivers were blankeded throughout the game for that reason. The rocket screen was picked off because the Raiders knew it was coming.

Posted by: meadowrock | December 22, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that was 20 years ago! I sure wish that the Redskins had an offensive line like that today! Hint,hint. PLEASE DRAFT O-LINEMEN! PLEASE!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | December 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more with jpfterps. I will always look at this as a 18-1 team, not the 17-2 team they technically were. They would have blown Philly out by 40 points the way they were playing if they hadn't benched their starters in the finale. We would also have set a sack record that would likely never have been broken again if we had treated that final regular season game like the Pats did their season finale in 07 at NY. Shows you the difference between Bill Belichek and Joe Gibbs. Sure, the Pats were going for an undefeated, but so were the Colts when they pulled Peyton Manning last year with the perfect season on the line. If memory serves, had Gibbs treated the finale like it matter when it didn't, we'd have given only 5 sacks all year. Instead I believe Jeff Rutledge got sacked 4 times in that game.

The 91 Skins were, in my mind, an 18-1 team...just like the Pats in 07. The only difference is we won the Super Bowl (and convincingly, the game was not nearly as close as the final score indicated).

Last but not least, consider the second best team in the NFC that year, Detroit, lost to the Skins twice by a combined score of 86-10.

86-10! That was the difference between the second best team in the league and the Skins.

91 Redskins: best team in NFL history

Posted by: Barno1 | December 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Best team I ever saw. Solid at every position!

Posted by: digger76 | December 22, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Where did the '82 Skins finish? They only lost one game. Man, I hate to admit it, but I haven't been this excited for a Redskins game in about four years! Let's beat those Cowboys!

Posted by: manwray | December 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Where did the '82 Skins finish? They only lost one game. Man, I hate to admit it, but I haven't been this excited for a Redskins game in about four years! Let's beat those Cowboys!

Posted by: manwray | December 22, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I knew the article would be some kind of put-down. It starts right-off as expected.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | December 22, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I remember the Cowboys beating us and I was mad like hell, hoping they would go undefeated that year. That was the Cowboys lone victory that year.

Damn, I miss the 91 Redskins. Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go cry.

Posted by: demonj21 | December 22, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Here is my list of the top five teams in the SB era (not counting the '07 Pats because they didn't win):

1) 1984 Niners
2) 1985 Bears
3) 1993 Cowboys
4) 1991 Skins
5) 1989 Niners

That '84 Niners team just dominated the league, playing with a chip on their shoulders because they believed they were robbed in the NFC Championship game the year before against the Skins. They went 15-1 and then just humiliated a great Dolphins team in the SB.

Posted by: manwray | December 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

At least we have something to root for besides our current team losing the final two games so we get a better draft pick. lol

Posted by: avbanig | December 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"I remember the Cowboys beating us and I was mad like hell, hoping they would go undefeated that year. That was the Cowboys lone victory that year."

The '91 Cowboys were a playoff team. I remember being relieved they were knocked out by the Lions as both Smith and Irvin had been tough matchups in the regular season.

Their 1-15 season was a couple of years earlier in '89. The 1 was indeed the Redskins, unfortunately.

Posted by: zimbar | December 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"The '91 team proves that football greatness can be achieved with an average quarterback ..."

Not the Campbell argument again.

Posted by: zimbar | December 22, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The 83 Skins defense sucked. The 91 Skins still hold the NFL record for average margin of victory during a season. Your memories about the 83 team blowing people out is wrong.

Posted by: tramellcanady | December 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The '91 Skins were damn good on Madden too.

Posted by: simplewords999 | December 22, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The 83 Skins defense sucked. The 91 Skins still hold the NFL record for average margin of victory during a season. Your memories about the 83 team blowing people out is wrong.

Posted by: tramellcanady | December 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The 83 Skins defense sucked. The 91 Skins still hold the NFL record for average margin of victory during a season. Your memories about the 83 team blowing people out is wrong.

Posted by: tramellcanady | December 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The 83 Skins defense sucked. The 91 Skins still hold the NFL record for average margin of victory during a season. Your memories about the 83 team blowing people out is wrong.

Posted by: tramellcanady | December 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The 1991 Washington Redskins were one of the best teams in NFL history. The numbers prove it. In the play-offs, they were never even challenged. The Super Bowl score of 37-24 is artificially close. It was 37-7 and the Skins started subbing and celebrating early. Buffalo got 2 meaningless scores late in the game.

It's not a surprise at all that this team does well in simulations. They truly were one of the best ever. In DC, it's been all downhill since then!

Posted by: sonshinefcc | December 22, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...The Eagles aren't involved in this??? haha

Posted by: boricuabopper | December 22, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

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