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Rewarding Moments In Washington History: Washington Becomes The 1983 NFC Champs

In today's Rewarding Moments In Washington History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to the 1983 season when the Washington Football Team defeated the San Francisco 49ers to become the 1983 NFC Champions.

The Washington Football Team was still fresh off its Super Bowl XXII win when it began the 1988 season, but after falling to the New York Giants in Week 1, the team was still looking for its first win when it kicked off its home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The game started well enough; quarterback Doug Williams gave Washington a 7-3 lead after he threw a 55-yard touchdown to Ricky Sanders. But the Steelers kept things close with a a pair of field goals. By the time halftime rolled around, Washington found itself trailing, 13-10, after the Steelers scored an 80-yard touchdown from Bubby Brister to Louis Lipps.

The two teams traded touchdowns to start the third quarter, and with a 46-yard field goal from Chip Lohmiller, Washington took a 20-19 lead. But then Pittsburgh responded with 10 unanswered points; Brister had a 72-yard touchdown pass to Dwight Stone, and Gary Anderson kicked a 43-yard field goal.

But with minutes left in the fourth quarter, Williams delivered a seven-yard touchdown strike to Kelvin Bryant, making the score 29-27. Williams was then able to march the offense into field goal range. With 12 seconds left in the game, Lohmiller lined up and sent the 19-yard kick sailing through the uprights, giving Washington a 30-29 victory.

By the end of the game, Williams finished 30-of-52 for 430 yards and two touchdowns. It was the start of a strong season for Williams, as he finished the year with 2,609 passing yards and 15 touchdowns in 11 games, setting a career-high for the quarterback in Washington.

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