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Best of the Best: The case for John Riggins


Best of the Best: The case for John Riggins

John Riggins is the Redskins all-time leading rusher, an impressive accomplishment especially considering that he didn’t joint the team until his sixth NFL season and that George Allen really wasn’t sure how to use him after he gave him a large free agent contract. And let’s not forget that he sat out a season in his prime, right after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 1978-1979. Fortunately, Joe Gibbs persuaded him to return, prompting Riggins to declare, “I’m bored, I’m broke and I’m back.”

He was good during the 1981 and 1982 regular seasons but as the Redskins entered the ’82 playoffs Riggins took it up a notch. A big notch. In his previous 24 games he had gained over 100 yards just twice. Riggins went in to Gibbs, told him, “give me the ball”, and the rest is history.

MORE REDSKINS Best of the Best: The case for Darrell Green

In the three playoff games leading up to Super Bowl XVII, Riggins rushed for 119, 185, and 140 yards. He saved his best for last.

In Pasadena against the Dolphins, the Redskins seemed to be the better team but they still trailed 17-13 when the Dolphins punted. With 10:28 left to play, the Redskins faced fourth and one at the Miami 43. We’ll let my book pick it up from here:

"Gibbs didn’t hesitate in his decision to go for the first down. The call was Seventy Chip, run from goal line formation. As he had been doing all game, Gibbs added motion to the play to try to create just a moment of confusion in the Miami defense.

On this play, the motion caused more than confusion. From the tight, jumbo formation, tight end Don Warren went in motion from the left side of the line to the right. Dolphins’ cornerback Don McNeal shadowed Warren. When Warren got to the right end of the line, he reversed his direction. McNeal slipped slightly and was a step or two behind Warren as the ball was snapped.

The Hogs exploded off the line, blocking back Otis Wonsley sealed off the end, and Riggins easily had the first down after taking Joe Theismann’s handoff and going off left tackle. McNeal was left unblocked and his attempted arm tackle was useful only in that it provided a snapshot that has adorned the dens of thousands of Redskins fans. After brushing aside McNeal, Riggins easily rolled into the end zone for the TD. The extra point made the score 20-17.

After the defense forced another three and out, the Redskins drove for the kill. From the Miami 41, Riggins carried five straight times to the 23. Five plays later, the Diesel gained the last of his 166 rushing yards to get the Redskins down to the six. Two plays later, right after the two-minute warning, Theismann rolled right and fired it to Brown, who managed to keep both feet in bounds in the right side of the end zone, and the celebration could begin." 

--From “The Redskins Chronicle” by Rich Tandler

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.


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2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

USA Today

2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.

It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.

Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?


Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.

The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.

So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?

And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards. 

How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance?