Hail to the Redskins…we heard that song so much in the 2nd quarter it was ridiculous!! Somewhere Tony Lilly (#22 Broncos) is still having nightmares. I remember tellin’ my boy Tommy Walker he may never play again in the NFL after this performance. Yet we’re here to celebrate accomplishment.

The first Black quarterback to start a Super Bowl was one that carried significant weight for all those that were “coerced” into playing other positions throughout the years. Prejudice kept blacks from playing the thinking positions throughout the 50’s, 60’s,’70’s, & 80’s with the last bastion being that of the quarterback. Now to have Doug Williams about to face media darling John Elway, pundits wondered if Washington could stay on the field with them.

To think that we were about to see the greatest offensive performance in the history of the NFL in Super Bowl XXII just didn’t seem plausible.

Consider the fact that Doug Williams had begun the season as backup to incumbent Jay Schroeder and the on again, off again, nature of being the 2nd stringer being replaced by the starter. Schroeder had led the Redskins to the 1986 NFC Championship the year before which included a big playoff win over the defending champion Chicago Bears. He couldn’t come up big against the NY Giants in that championship game but neither had any other QB that season. So in ’87 after another Schroeder benching, Gibbs went with Williams as the starter in the playoffs. He played ok when the Redskins beat the Bears 21-17 in Walter Payton & Gary Fencik’s last game.

Williams only completed 9 of 19 passes in a lackluster NFC Championship (17-10) win over the Minnesota Vikings. There was still speculation over who would start at quarterback as the Redskins made their way to San Diego for SuperBowl XXII. After going down to Denver 10-0 and Elway’s first pass being a touchdown to Ricky Nattiel, Williams hurt his knee yet came back to start the 2nd quarter.

Now get this, the famous Elway drive in Cleveland took a little over 5 minutes the year before. Well in the 2nd qarter of SuperBowl XXII, Doug Williams led Washington’s offense to 356 yds of offense, 5TDs with 4 of them being TD passes in only 18 plays and 5:54 seconds of possession!! Yikes!! Talk about the “Greatest Show on Turf”…to finish the game with 602yds when they clearly stopped trying to score after halftime was ridiculous. Joe Montana, in his win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, threw for 297 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 55-10 rout.

Or to put it to you another way – Of the previous 21 Super Bowls, only 5 of the 42 teams gained more yards in their complete game than the Redskins had in the 2nd quarter alone.

A few of the Super Bowl records set:

  • Doug Williams most yds passing game 340 and for a half with 306.
  • Tim Smith most yds rushing game 204 and for a half with 136
  • Ricky Sanders most yards receiving game 193 and for a half with 177.
  • 35 points were most in a quarter and a half of a Super Bowl.
  • Total yardage for a Super Bowl game with 602 yards of offense.
  • Longest touchdown pass tied 80 yards – Williams to Sanders

This was one quarter we’re talking about!! Steve Foley had been Denver’s safety for many years, retired before the season and was replaced by Tony Lilly. Who spent Super Sunday chasing Redskins into the endzone and was subsequently let go after the game. He did not resign with another team.

super-bowl-logo-1987This was the ring for winning SuperBowl XXII and ushered in the era where black quarterbacks were able to gain their due…with the Warren Moon’s & Randall Cunningham’s soon to follow. I can remember my Mom being in tears as we watched and I kept telling her what record had just fallen and which ones were coming up.

His MVP announcement

Ironically the first modern black quarterback who held almost all significant Denver Bronco rookie passing records (even over John Elway) was Marlin Briscoe. He ironically was “coerced” into playing receiver later in his career winning two Super Bowls with the Dolphins. Full circle to have this feat happen to the Denver Broncos who gave up on Briscoe playing QB?? Not yet…

Try the fact the Washington Redskins are in a battle against Native Americans to keep their team name. What this generation doesn’t know is the Redskins under George Preston Marshall was the last NFL team to integrate. Before 1960, the Redskins were the NFL’s most southern team whose games were broadcast to the south regionally. In fact at their welcome back luncheon to kickoff the season, the Marshall owned Redskins actually sung “Dixie.” Something Hall of Fame Redskin Bobby Mitchell recounted in NFL Films’ Black Star Rising. Now Robert Griffin III sporting dreadlocks is the Washington incumbent starting quarterback.

If the Seattle Seahawks win it all here in the next 3 weeks, we’ll have the NFL’s first dynasty with a black quarterback at the helm in Russell Wilson.

Life works in mysterious ways…. now you’ve come full circle.

Thanks for reading and please share the article.

This article is dedicated to Doug Williams for his transcendent performance in San Diego in 1988.

I also dedicate this article to my mother Mrytle Taylor who shared this moment with me. Her tears that day brought me to mine as we watched this performance obliterate an old stereotype. i know she’s looking down from heaven right now…

NFL.Com Bracketology: 2006 Indianapolis Colts v. 1987 Washington Redskins

Timmy Smith ran for 204 in the biggest game of the year. Colts wouldn't have stopped him.

To best understand the nature of a fictitious tournament like this is you have to realize when the teams would take the field. Almost like a time machine, you’d have to transport them from how they were at the end of the Super Bowl and at their best. Otherwise from a first glance you would look and think “Well Peyton Manning’s offense would outdistance one of the weaker statistical (for a season) Redskins teams.” Yet upon further review this would be a little misleading…uh, make that very misleading.

The Redskins would bludgeon the Colts smallish defensive front with The Hogs. The 2006 Colts not only finished 21st in defense overall, they were the first team to win the Super Bowl with the NFL’s worst run defense! Ranked 32nd!! Even in their Super Bowl XLI win over the Chicago Bears, they allowed Thomas Jones to rush for over 100 yards in that game. The ’05 edition of the Colts was stronger than the ’06 team that won it all yet was upset by the Steelers in the divisional round. That light defense was able to play with leads and would have Redskin RB Timmy Smith coming at them from the start. Who?? Oh yeah, he set the Super Bowl rushing record for the Redskins with a 204 yard performance and was a very physical back. Behind OLs Mark May, Joe Jacoby, Russ Grimm, Jeff Bostic, and Raleigh McKenzie running downhill on Colt DEs Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, and getting out on MLB Gary Brackett?? Yikes!! “The Hogs” would be serving pancakes all day and that would get ugly in a hurry.

If we use Doug Williams’ Super Bowl MVP performance, 340 yards and 5TDs overall, this game wouldn’t be close. Just remember, 18 plays 356 yards of offense and 5TDs in the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl XXII was the greatest team offensive performance the Super Bowl had ever seen. In contrast, it took Joe Montana and the 49ers, who won SB XXIV 55-10, almost 3 complete quarters to equal Washington’s single quarter output! No one has EVER approached the 602 yards of offense the Redskins put up that fateful Sunday in Jack Murphy Stadium.

Redskin Dexter Manley chased John Elway all over San Diego in Super Bowl XXII

That withstanding we’ll go with the twin DE Dexter Manley and Charles Mann would be on Peyton Manning as they chased John Elway into oblivion in that game sacking him 5 times. Manley and Mann would have collapsed Peyton’s pocket and his happy feet would have caused him to throw incompletions and interceptions. Manning on his best day couldn’t evade a pass rush like a young John Elway. The Hogs would get Timmy Smith somewhere around 175 yards on Tony Dungy’s light defensive team. CB Darryl Green and Barry Wilburn match up well with Reggie Wayne and an aged Marvin Harrison. Redskins win 30-16. Adam Vinatieri wouldn’t even be a factor.

At only 5'11 and 235lbs, MLB Gary Brackett would have been walled off by Redskin C Jeff Bostic and the rest of the Hogs who area blocked under former OLine coach Joe Bugel.

Wait a second!! Upon further review you got me…for some reason I was thinking of the 2005 Indianapolis Colts. The ’05 edition was stronger than the ’06 team that won the Super Bowl.  Just kidding… we didn’t but to finish up:  Colts CBs Marlon Jackson, Nick Harper, and Kelvin Heyden would have been chewed up alive by Gary Clark, Hall of Famer Art Monk, and Ricky Sanders.  Sanders set the record for receiving yards in that game with 193. The Redskins set the Super Bowl record with 602 yards. In 18 plays during the second quarter of Super Bowl XXII, the Redskins gained 356 yards of offense, scored 35 TDs on 5:54 of possession time, and the lowly ranked Colts defense was going to stop that?? No chance…. In instances like this, most fans don’t know history and just vote for their own team or just modern history. Not us. Not here. In fact, I’m correcting my score…make that 44-16 Washington.

Thanks for reading and share the article…. Don’t forget to go to to see the slate of games and make your pics.