In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back at the Redskins' dominant 35-17 victory over the Joe Namath-led New York Jets in 1972.
A chilly, fall afternoon at Shea Stadium served as the backdrop for the first meeting between two of the NFL's most historic franchises.
The Redskins, 6-1, were led by famed head coach George Allen and were coming off three consecutive NFC East division wins. The home-field Jets, 5-2, came into the matchup after routing the Jim Plunkett-led Patriots on the shoulders of running back Emerson Boozer's three-touchdown performance.
A "jinx" was believed to be surrounding the burgundy and gold heading into the Week 8 matchup after star running back Larry Brown was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated under the title "Washington is a #1 Power" the week prior to the game. The team believed a letdown was coming in New York.
As the game progressed into the second quarter, Washington found themselves down, 10-7.
Before his legendary career as a Redskin, John Riggins began his NFL career donning the green and white and saw himself as the lead back behind Namath in the New York offense. His patented ability to plow through defenders on the goal-line provided the Jets with a three-point lead as halftime neared.
Following the score, the Redskins, who were led under center by All-Pro quarterback Billy Kilmer, began to take control of the game.
A 70-yard connection from Kilmer to Charley Taylor, followed by a Chris Hanburger 41-yard return off a Namath interception quickly put Washington ahead, 21-10, before halftime.
The Redskins went on to rout the Jets in the second half, highlighted by an 89-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Brown that still stands as the fifth-longest receiving touchdown in franchise history. After ex-Jet Verlon Biggs returned a Namath fumble 16 yards for an added six points, the Redskins departed Shea Stadium with a comfortable 35-17 victory.
Later in that season, the 13-3 Redskins stormed into Super Bowl VII, where they would eventually fall to the infamous undefeated Miami Dolphins, 14-7.