In today's Rewarding Moments In Washington History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to 1995 when Washington defeated the Detroit Lions in an overtime battle.
More than 50,000 fans filled RFK Stadium to watch Washington take on the Detroit Lions on Oct. 22, 1995. The teams had similar records, so it was bound to be a close contest.
The back-and-forth showdown began with a 26-yard field goal from Washington kicker Eddie Murray. The Lions responded with a field goal, but Washington squeezed in another before the end of the first quarter to go ahead, 6-3.
After entering halftime tied at 13, Detroit took the lead early in the third quarter, only to have Washington respond with 45 seconds in the period on a two-yard touchdown from running back Terry Allen.
The drama picked up in the final frame. Although Detroit stuck first with a 48-yard field goal, Washington retook the lead a few minutes later when quarterback Gus Frerotte found wide receiver Henry Ellard for a 13-yard touchdown. But just five plays later, a 51-yard score put the Lions back in front.
With the game on the line, Murray kept Washington's hopes alive with a 39-yard field goal that tied the score at 30 and forced overtime. That's when one of the best defenders in Washington history made a huge play.
Washington was forced to punt, putting all the pressure on its defense. Detroit quarterback Scott Mitchell took the snap at his own four-yard line but cracked under the pressure, throwing the ball directly to Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green. With the help of linebacker Rod Stephens, who helped Green up after he stumbled at the 5-yard line, Green crossed the goal line to give Washington the walk-off victory.
While the 36-30 win only improved Washington's record to 3-5, it marked the 17th straight time it had defeated Detroit. That streak last until 1999, when the Lions beat Washington for the first time in 34 years.