Skip to main content

History by the Decades

History by the Decades

Presented By

The 1980s 

Dec. 10, 1989

Monk Moves Up: Art Monk moves into third place on the all-time NFL receptions list with his 650th catch. He bypasses close friend Charley Taylor, the former Redskin who was Joe Gibbs' wide receivers coach at the time.

Sept. 17, 1989

In A Rush: Gerald Riggs sets the Redskins' all-time single-game rushing record with a 221-yard performance in a 42-37 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at RFK.

Jan. 31, 1988

World Champs: Redskins set 20 Super Bowl records en route to a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Doug Williams is named MVP after completing 18-of-29 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie running back Timmy Smith rushes for 204 rushing yards and a 54-yard touchdown scamper. The Redskins put the game away in the second quarter by scoring touchdowns on all five possessions.

Super Bowl XXII

The decisive 42-10 victory on Jan. 31, 1988, was the Redskins' second championship in five years.

Jan. 17, 1988

NFC Champs: Redskins defeat Minnesota Vikings 17-10 at raucous RFK as Doug Williams connects with Gary Clark for a 7-yard touchdown to break a 10-10 fourth quarter deadlock. With 56 seconds left, Darrell Green—playing despite the rib injury—knocked away a pass to Darrin Nelson at the goal-line to preserve the win and send the Redskins to Super Bowl XXII.

Jan. 10, 1988

Bear Facts: Redskins travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears in a divisional playoff game. Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Redskins rally to win 21-17. Darrell Green provides the spark with an electrifying 52-yard punt return for a touchdown—injuring his ribs as he leapt over a Bears defender—as Redskins advance to NFC Championship game for fourth time in six years.

Dec. 26, 1987

Relief Pitcher: Quarterback Doug Williams connects on 11-of-22 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota as Redskins close out 11-4 campaign with a 27-24 overtime victory. The game is highlighted by a 51-yard catch by wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Ali Haji-Sheikh kicks the game-winner.


Oct. 19, 1987

The Replacements: After NFL Players go on strike following the second week of the regular season, the league schedules games with replacement players. The Redskins' replacements go 3-0, including defeating Dallas 13-7 at Texas Stadium. NFL players return the following week.

Sept. 21, 1987

Strike: NFL Players walk out the following the second week of the regular season.


Jan. 11, 1987

Giant Loss: At the Meadowlands, Redskins lose in NFC Championship game to eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants, 17-0.

Jan. 3, 1987

Gibbs No. 1: Joe Gibbs becomes the winningest head coach in Redskins history, gaining his 70th career win in a 27-13 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in a divisional playoff game.

80 Greatest Redskins

The 80 Greatest Redskins present a tableau of accomplishments from the franchise's very beginnings.

Oct. 27, 1986

Little Big Man: Wide receiver Gary Clark accounts for 241 receiving yards (on 11 catches) to break teammate Art Monk's club record, but Redskins lose 27-20 to the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

Nov. 18, 1985

Theismann Injury: Quarterback Joe Theismann leg snaps from under the weight of three New York Giants pass rushers. The compound fracture forces him to retire after a 12-year career in which he becomes the Redskins' all-time leader in pass attempts and completions.

Dec. 30, 1984

Playoff Loss: Redskins are NFC East champs for the third consecutive year, but are upset by the Chicago Bears 23-19 at RFK Stadium.


Jan. 22, 1984

Super Shocker: Oakland Raiders stun the favored Redskins in a Super Bowl blowout, 38-9. Joe Theismann is sacked six times and John Riggins is held to 64 yards. Raiders' Marcus Allen rushes for 191 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put the game away.

Jan. 8, 1984

NFC Champs: Redskins hang on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 24-21 at raucous RFK Stadium, earning their second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl.

Jan. 1, 1984

Battering Rams: Redskins ring in the New Year with a dominant performance in first round of playoffs, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 51-7 at RFK in the most lopsided playoff game in 26 years.


Dec. 17, 1983

One-Two Punch: Mark Moseley sets NFL kicking record with 161 points while John Riggins total of 144 points is second. It is the first time since 1951 that the top two scorers in a season played on the same team.


Dec. 11, 1983

Dallas Showdown: Dressed in Army fatigues, the Redskins march into Dallas to do battle. The result was a convincing 31-10 victory and sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Redskins' defense stifles Tony Dorsett to 34 yards on 14 carries.

Nov. 20, 1983

The Diesel: John Riggins sets a NFL record by scoring a touchdown in his 12th consecutive game during a 42-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams. His streak would end at 13 consecutive games.


Oct. 1, 1983

Monday Night Fever: Redskins lose to the Green Bay Packers 48-47 in the highest scoring Monday Night football game in history. Both teams combine for more than 1,000 yards of total offense.

Sept. 5, 1983

Green's Debut: Rookie cornerback stuns a national television audience by chasing down and tackling Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett on a long run. Dallas would win the Monday Night Football game, 31-30.

Super Bowl XVII

The Redskins' 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII on Jan. 30, 1983 was Washington's first NFL championship in 40 years.

Feb. 3, 1983

Parade of Stars: The entire city of Washington celebrates as the Redskins are paraded before some 500,000 fans in a downtown ceremony. Joe Gibbs holds up the Super Bowl trophy and proclaims, "This is for you!"

Feb. 1983

Top Honors: Joe Gibbs is named Coach of the Year, kicker Mark Moseley is named NFL Most Valuable Player and general manager Bobby Beathard is named Executive of the Year.


Jan. 31, 1983

Hail Redskins: President and Mrs. Reagan are at Dulles Airport to greet the World Champion Redskins as they return to Washington from California.

Jan. 30, 1983

Super Champs: Redskins down the Miami Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII to capture the franchise's first NFL Championship since 1942. MVP John Riggins 43-yard touchdown run on 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter seals the win. Jack Kent Cooke accepts the Super Bowl trophy from Pete Rozelle in the locker room after the game.

Jan. 22, 1983

Sweet Revenge: Redskins avenge their only loss of the season, setting back the Dallas Cowboys 31-17 to reach their second Super Bowl. Dexter Manley bats a Gary Hogeboom pass to Darryl Grant, who intercepts it and high-steps into the end zone for the Redskins' clinching touchdown.

Jan. 15, 1983

Riggins Bows: The celebrated Hogs create enough holes in the Minnesota Vikings defense for John Riggins to plow for a Redskins playoff record 185 yards, leading Washington to a 21-7 win and a spot in the NFC Championship Game. Before leaving the game, Riggins gallantly bows to the 54,000-plus Redskins faithful, who roar in approval with chants of "We Want Dallas!"

Jan. 2, 1983

A Whitewash: For the first time since 1980, the Redskins post a shutout by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 28-0. The Redskins' 8-1 record is the best in the NFC, giving them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Dec. 19, 1982

Holy Moseley: With time running out, the game on the line and a NFL record at stake, Mark Moseley beats the New York Giants by booting his 21 straight field goal at snowy RFK Stadium. The kick breaks Miami kicker Garo Yepremien's NFL record of 20 and gives the Redskins a 15-14 win.

All-Time Roster

Sept. 21, 1982

Strike: NFL players walk out in a strike that would last until Nov. 17. In all, eight games are missed, seven cancelled.

Sept. 12, 1982

New Beginning: Mark Moseley gets the Redskins off to a strong start with a 26-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Redskins to a 37-34 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Moseley had moments earlier kicked a 48-yarder to send the game into overtime.


Dec. 20, 1981

Strong Finish: After an 0-5 start, the Redskins under Joe Gibbs win eight of their final 11 games with a 30-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Jan. 13, 1981

Gibbs Hired: Joe Gibbs, offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, becomes the 20th head coach in team history.