A quarter century later, Redskins' fans are still salivating over their team's resounding 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
With Super Bowl LI a little less than two weeks away, Chris Chase over at Fox Sports decided to rank all 50 Super Bowl champions – in his words – "from best to worst," and it won't take you long to scroll down and see who the No. 1 team on the list is: the 1991 Washington Redskins.
Chase called the 1991 Redskins "the most underrated team in NFL history," and went on to explain why.
"You can throw out any number of stats to prove the point (the playoff margin of victory - 102-27 in competitive, non-garbage time play - is a good one) but the most telling is the 43 sack ratio," Chase said. "(Redskins quarterback Mark) Rypien was sacked seven times in the season and it wasn't like Gibbs was running the quick-drop, West Coast offense."
Each of the 50 Super Bowl champions had rosters chock full of talent; otherwise they wouldn't have reached the pinnacle of professional football success, which is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season. Naturally, some teams had players who are more well known than others, but it doesn't make someone like Rypien -- the Super Bowl XXVI MVP -- any less regarded than Joe Montana, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. all of whom Chase mentioned as he continued on in his defense of the 1991 Redskins.
"How can a [Mark] Rypien [led] team be better than those QB'd by Montana, Brady or Manning?" Chase asked. "How can a defense that wasn't on the level of Buddy Ryan's 4-6 in Chicago or the dominant Marvin Lewis units in Baltimore be half of the best champion ever? How can a team as unmemorable as the '91 Redskins be listed above Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers and Patriots teams that played in more famous playoff games and featured better-known players?"
For Chase, the answer to all those questions is really quite simple.
"It's exactly because of how unmemorable they were," Chase said. "The greatest make it look easy."
Here's a gallery remembering the Redskins' 37-24 victory over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVI that took place on Jan. 26, 1992.
Earlier, Chase mentioned how little Rypien was touched during that season. When a quarterback is put on the deck only seven times over the course of a season, as Rypien was, he has plenty of chances to do special things with his weapons, and that's exactly what Rypien and the Redskins did that year, as they led the NFL in scoring with 485 points. Rypien's 8.5 yards per pass attempt was second in the league, and his 3,564 passing yards were the best in the NFC and fourth in the league.
As vicious as Washington's offense was that year, their defense was just as nasty, only allowing 224 points – the second-fewest points in the league in 1991. Their 18 turnover ratio was also tops in the league.
Being at the top, or near the top of the league in that many categories helped the Redskins tremendously in 1991, as they finished the season with a 14-2 record, sailed past the Falcons and Lions in the NFC playoffs and handily beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
Washington raced out to a 24-0 lead in the third quarter and never looked back. The defense sacked Bills quarterback Jim Kelly four times and intercepted him four times. Rypien earned his MVP award by completing 18 of 33 passes for 292 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
With the victory, the Redskins became the first team, and Joe Gibbs the first coach, to win a Super Bowl title with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann -- Super Bowl XVII, Doug Williams – Super Bowl XXII, Rypien – Super Bowl XXVI).