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Flashback: In '99, Redskins Won Title In S.F.


On Dec. 26, 1999, the Redskins edged the 49ers 26-20 in overtime at Candlestick Park to clinch their first postseason trip since 1992. Earlier in the day, losses by Green Bay and Carolina had helped their cause.

As far as the drama of the Week 15 game at San Francisco, in that matchup the Redskins overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Brad Johnson set a franchise record by throwing for 471 yards, surpassing the mark of Sammy Baugh (448 yards) set all the way back in 1948.

Among other Redskins records set that night, Brian Mitchell (13,032) passed Mel Gray's mark (13,003) in terms of all-time NFL yards for a return specialist. Irving Fryar took over as the league's all-time leader for games at wide receiver. Fryar played in his 240th game, Charlie Joiner had played in 239 games.

Be that as it may, the game was decided on a very unusual play.

Johnson hit fullback Larry Centers in the right flat, and due to an apparent missed assignment in the 49ers' defense, Centers was able to waltz into the end zone from 33 yards out.

San Francisco actually was driving for a possible winning field goal in the last two minutes and advanced to the Redskins' 22-yard line with 1:38 to go.

At that point, linebacker Shawn Barber forced a fumble by San Francisco running back Terry Jackson to send the game into overtime at 20-20.

Centers' touchdown, one of the most memorable in team history, set off an understandably jubilant scene in the Redskins' locker room and during the team's long flight back East.

As playoff participants for the first time since 1992, the Redskins knocked off Detroit 27-13 at FedExField in the Wild Card round before being bounced out with a heart-wrenching 14-13 loss at Tampa Bay.

That 1999 Redskins squad featured players like Cory Raymer, Jon Jansen, Mike Sellers and James Thrash, each of whom would have long careers in Washington.

Starters for San Francisco that night after Christmas in 1999 were Pierson Prioleau and Ray Brown. Prioleau played in Washington from 2005-07 and Brown would return to the Redskins for a stint in 2004-05.

A young receiver by the name of Terrell Owens was held to one catch for two yards that night, while a veteran by the name of Jerry Rice had five catches for 44 yards.

Mike Nolan, who would go on to become the 49ers head coach in 2005, was the Redskins' defensive coordinator in the 1999 season.

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