The Washington Redskins were coming off the thorough domination of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, and the San Francisco 49ers were coming off a solid 10-win season.
So why not have Washington and San Francisco meet in both teams' third preseason game – the 1992 American Bowl?
Check out images of the Gameday Magazine from the 1992 American Bowl between the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 16, 2016, at Wembley Stadium in London.
In order to expand its presence overseas, the NFL created "NFL International Fortnight," which featured six teams that played in three games over a two-week period in August 1992. One of those matchups featured the Redskins and 49ers in the 1992 American Bowl, and it just so happened to occur on this very date, Aug. 16, 24 years ago at Wembley Stadium in London.
The 49ers won the game, 17-15.
"It's fitting that the international community is discovering our version of football, which has grown into a national passion, and an integral part of the American lifestyle," then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said prior to the game.
Even though it was a preseason game, there was a lot of talent on display for both teams. The Redskins had Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien running things at quarterback. and he had an entire arsenal of weapons at his disposal, such as wide receivers Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark, better known as "The Posse," tight end Don Warren, running back Earnest Byner and arguably the greatest offensive line in NFL history in "The Hogs."
Defensively, Washington was strong at all levels. They had defensive end Charles Mann, middle linebacker Kurt Gouveia, outside linebacker Wilber Marshall and cornerback Darrell Green (who actually didn't make the trip), just to name a few. There were little to no weaknesses on that side of the football.
The 49ers were just as deadly. On offense, it started and ended with No. 16, quarterback Joe Montana. Montana had all kinds of athletes to get the football to, beginning with a man who transcended the game of football, wide receiver Jerry Rice. John Taylor was ready and willing at the other wide receiver spot, and so was Brent Jones at tight end. Montana had a two-headed monster at running back with Dexter Carter and Tom Rathman, who was always looking for someone to truck.
San Francisco had the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL at the conclusion of the 1991 season. That group was ready to build off that, and show Washington just how good they were, starting with linebacker Charles Haley, who led the 49ers in sacks ever since he arrived with the team six years prior. Like Washington's defense, San Francisco's had very few things wrong with it.
With the Redskins and 49ers peaking as they headed into the 1992 season, and both teams having so many players to offer on an international scale, you can see why it was a wise decision on the NFL's part to have them clash over in London.
By the way, to put a bow on this international talk, the Redskins and Bengals are scheduled to meet at the new Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, 2016. Cheers!