Eight of the Most Memorable Redskins' Week 1 Moments
Eight of the Memorable Redskins' Week 1 Moments
While the Redskins have not had the most success during recent Week 1s, the Burgundy and Gold have put together some impressive opening days in the past. Here are eight of the most memorable Week 1 Redskins performances.
1973 -- Defense dazzles in shutout victory over Chargers
Saying that the Redskins' defense started out on fire to start the 1973 season would be a massive understatement. Just a quarter into the Burgundy and Gold's Week 1 clash with the San Diego Chargers, the Redskins were up 21-0 thanks in large part to their defense.
The Redskins first found the end zone early on when defensive end Verlon Biggs returned a fumble two yards for an easy touchdown. After running back Larry Brown scored from a yard out to extend the lead, the Redskins defense struck again, as safety Brig Owens recovered another Chargers' fumble and returned it 36 yards for the Redskins' second defensive TD of the quarter.
Billy Kilmer would throw for two touchdowns in the second half, as the Redskins would blow out Johnny Unitas and the Chargers, 38-0.
1975 -- Kilmer's 4 TD's headline Redskins blowout over Saints
Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer had one of the best games of his career to open the 1975 season, throwing for four touchdown passes in a 41-3 rout over Archie Manning and the New Orleans Saints.
Kilmer threw for 199 yards to go along with his four touchdowns, the most any Redskins quarterback has ever thrown during a season-opening game. Charlie Taylor also had a fantastic game, catching a team-high six receptions for two touchdowns.
It was the fifth straight Week 1 victory for the Redskins.
1982 -- Theismann leads comeback win over Philly
Down as many as 13 in the third quarter, Redskins' quarterback Joe Theismann led the Redskins on two touchdown drives to retake the lead in the fourth. The Eagles recaptured the lead on a Harold Carmichael touchdown, but Redskins' kicker Mark Moseley hit a 48-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Moseley, the eventual 1982 NFL MVP, was the hero again, nailing a 26-yard field goal to propel the Redskins to a 37-34 come-from-behind victory over Philadelphia.
Theismann finished with 382 yards passing and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Art Monk had eight catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.
1987 -- Doug Williams comes on in relief to defeat Philly
After starting quarterback Jay Schroeder was injured early on, backup Doug Williams came on and led the Redskins to a 34-24 victory over their rival Philadelphia Eagles to open the season.
In relief, Williams finished 17-27 for 272 yards and two touchdowns, throwing for more yards and touchdowns than Eagles' star Randall Cunningham.
But the legend of Williams had just begun. After injuries derailed Shroeder for most of the season, Williams was named the starter for the playoffs. He went on to lead the Redskins to their second Super Bowl title, defeating the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. He took home Super Bowl MVP honors as well.
1991 -- Redskins shutout Lions on Sunday Night Football
Believe it or not, there once was a time when the Redskins performed well in primetime.
On Sunday Night Football to kick off the 1991 season, Washington embarrassed the Detroit Lions, shutting them out 45-0. Running back Earnest Byner had quite the evening for Washington, rushing for 83 yards and a touchdown while throwing for another. The Redskins finished the 1991 regular season 14-2.
The two teams would square off once again in the NFC Championship game, where Washington won handily once again, 41-10. The Redskins would go on to defeat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI for the franchise's third Super Bowl title.
1993 -- Rypien outduels Aikman as Redskins defeat Dallas on MNF
There's no better feeling than beating Dallas. Especially on Monday Night Football when the Cowboys were reigning Super Bowl champions.
Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien threw for three touchdowns and running back Brian Mitchell ran for two more as the Redskins defeated their rivals handily, 35-16, to kick off the 1993 season.
Unfortunately, the Redskins' season spiraled downward fast, as the Burgundy and Gold finished 4-12.
2012 -- The Robert Griffin III era starts with a bang
In his first career start for the Burgundy and Gold, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III dazzled. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner led the Redskins' offense to 40 points, as Washington defeated the New Orleans Saints, 40-32.
Griffin III finished 19-26 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including a memorable 88-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. The pose Griffining (see photo above) was born.
RGIII was not the only rookie that stole the show for the Redskins. Running back Alfred Morris ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut, and would go on to rush for over 1,600 yards as a rookie.
2018 -- Jay Gruden's First Week 1 Victory
It took five seasons, but Redskins' head coach Jay Gruden earned his first-ever Week 1 victory as a head coach in 2018. The Burgundy and Gold dominated the Arizona Cardinals in all three phases, as Washington left the desert with a commanding 24-6 victory.
The offense was led by two Redskins' players making their team debut -- QB Alex Smith and RB Adrian Peterson. Smith impressed, completing 21-30 passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions, while Peterson ran for 96 yards and a touchdown of his own.