Twenty-five years ago today (January 31, 1988) the Redskins walloped the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII to claim their second of three Super Bowl titles under head coach Joe Gibbs.
The game was played at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on a balmy (61 °F) California afternoon.
If you are lucky enough to have any recollection of the game, the Redskins got off to a slow start. On Denver’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback John Elway threw a 56 yard touchdown pass wide receiver Ricky Nattiel to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead. Denver added a field goal and the first quarter ended with the Broncos in the lead 10-0.
However, the second quarter turned out to be a completely different story.
For the sake of time we’ll give you the quick version. If you may, a rapid fire summary of what transpired next.
Wide receiver Ricky Sanders ignited the offense with an 80 yard touchdown pass from QB Doug Williams, followed by a 27 yard touchdown reception by WR Gary Clark, RB Timmy Smith’s 58 yard scamper, and Sanders’ second touchdown of the game – a 50 yard catch and run. You can hear it now. Chris Berman with his signature, “HE COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY!”
But wait, that’s not it! We almost forgot that Williams capped off the onslaught with his fourth touchdown pass of the quarter, an eight yard reception by TE Clint Didier.
And just like that, the Redskins flipped a switch and placed Denver in what turned out to be an insurmountable 35-10 deficit heading into halftime! To this day, the Redskins hold the Super Bowl record for most points scored in a quarter and in a half (35).
Phew, let’s take a moment to catch our breath.
The second quarter provided enough excitement to last a lifetime, but just for good measure RB Timmy Smith added a fourth quarter touchdown run to seal the deal.
Pure bliss ensued as euphoria swept across Redskins Nation as the team and fans everywhere watched the final seconds tick down off the clock. Zero’s. Game over.
Redskins win! Redskins win! Oh, the sweet sound of Hail to the Redskins ringing through the seats and turning San Diego into a magical burgundy and gold oasis. So raise your glasses, Redskins Nation, and give a toast to the 25th Anniversary of the team’s Super Bowl XXII thriller.
QB Doug Williams was named the Super Bowl MVP after completing 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.
If winning the game wasn’t enough, here are a few records that the Redskins set in the victory:
- Total offensive yards (602)
- Total offensive rushing yards (280)
- Most touchdowns scored in a Super Bowl game (6)
- Total offensive yards in a quarter (356)
- Most points in a quarter and in a half (35)
- Most touchdowns in a quarter (5)
- The largest deficit that a team has overcome to win a Super Bowl (10 points)
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