1971 Washington Redskins season
OwnerEdward Bennett Williams
Head coachGeorge Allen
Home fieldRFK Stadium
Results
Record9–4–1
Division place2nd NFC East
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (at 49ers) 20–24
George Allen and members of the 1971 team with President Richard Nixon, two days before Thanksgiving.
George Allen and members of the 1971 team with President Richard Nixon, two days before Thanksgiving.

The 1971 Washington Redskins season was the team's 40th in the National Football League, and its 35th in Washington, D.C. The Redskins were led by first-year head coach George Allen, who had been the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams for the previous five seasons.

Coming into the 1971 season, the team had not made the postseason in 26 years. The Redskins had had only four winning seasons since their last playoff berth in 1945, the most recent a 7–5–2 campaign in 1969 under Vince Lombardi, who died of colon cancer in September 1970.[1][2][3]

Allen was Washington's fourth head coach in as many seasons. Lombardi succeeded Otto Graham, and assistant Bill Austin took over when Lombardi fell mortally ill in the summer of 1970, and posted a 6–8 record.

Despite a broken left ankle suffered by leading receiver Charley Taylor in a Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that forced him to miss the remainder of the season, the Redskins went 9–4–1, good for second place in the NFC East. They earned a wild card berth, but lost in the opening divisional round at San Francisco, 24–20.[4][5][6]

Off-season

NFL Draft

Main article: 1971 NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
2 38 Cotton Speyrer Wide Receiver Texas
6 141 Conway Hayman Guard Delaware
7 166 Willie Germany Defensive Back Morgan State
9 219 Mike Fanucci Defensive End Arizona State
10 244 Jesse Taylor Running Back Cincinnati
11 272 George Starke Tackle Columbia
12 297 Jeff Severson Defensive Back Cal-Long Beach
13 322 Dan Ryczek Center Virginia
14 349 Bill Bynum Quarterback West New Mexico
15 375 Anthony Christnovich Guard La Crosse (Wis.)
16 400 Glenn Tucker Linebacker North Texas

Roster

1971 Washington Redskins roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics

Regular season

Main article: 1971 NFL season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Game
recap
1 September 19 at St. Louis Cardinals W 24–17 1–0 Busch Memorial Stadium 46,805 Recap
2 September 26 at New York Giants W 30–3 2–0 Yankee Stadium 62,795 Recap
3 October 3 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–16 3–0 Cotton Bowl 61,554 Recap
4 October 10 Houston Oilers W 22–13 4–0 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
5 October 17 St. Louis Cardinals W 20–0 5–0 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
6 October 24 at Kansas City Chiefs L 20–27 5–1 Municipal Stadium 51,989 Recap
7 October 31 New Orleans Saints W 24–14 6–1 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
8 November 7 Philadelphia Eagles T 7–7 6–1–1 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
9 November 14 at Chicago Bears L 15–16 6–2–1 Soldier Field 55,049 Recap
10 November 21 Dallas Cowboys L 0–13 6–3–1 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
11 November 28 at Philadelphia Eagles W 20–13 7–3–1 Veterans Stadium 65,358 Recap
12 December 5 New York Giants W 23–7 8–3–1 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap
13 December 13 at Los Angeles Rams W 38–24 9–3–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 80,402 Recap
14 December 19 Cleveland Browns L 13–20 9–4–1 RFK Stadium 53,041 Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2014)

Week 3

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
1 234Total
Redskins 7 733 20
Cowboys 0 907 16

Week 8

1 234Total
Eagles 0 070 7
Redskins 0 007 7
  • Date: November 7
  • Location: RFK Stadium
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 47 °F (8 °C) • Wind 17 mph (27 km/h)
  • Referee: Fred Silva

[7]

Postseason

Main article: 1971–72 NFL playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance Game
recap
Divisional December 26 at San Francisco 49ers L 20–24 Candlestick Park 45,327 Recap


Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys 11 3 0 .786 7–1 8–3 406 222 W7
Washington Redskins 9 4 1 .692 6–1–1 8–2–1 276 190 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 6 7 1 .462 4–3–1 5–5–1 221 302 W3
St. Louis Cardinals 4 9 1 .308 1–7 2–8–1 231 279 L2
New York Giants 4 10 0 .286 1–7 3–8 228 362 L5

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Richard Nixon play

There was a rumor that President Richard Nixon called a key play that caused the Redskins to lose to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Nixon, a friend of George Allen, once attended a practice game where he tried the same play to much better results.[8]

Awards, records, and honors

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)

References

  1. ^ "Lombardi dies of cancer". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. September 3, 1970. p. 1, part 1.
  2. ^ "Lombardi loses fight". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. September 3, 1970. p. 39.
  3. ^ "State to mourn Lombardi in rites". Milwaukee Sentinel. September 4, 1970. p. 1, part 1.
  4. ^ "49ers, Colts march into finals". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. September 27, 1971. p. 1, part 2.
  5. ^ "Go-for-broke pass pays off for 49ers". Free Lance-Star. (Fredericksburg, Virginia). Associated Press. December 27, 1971. p. 16.
  6. ^ Maule, Tex (January 3, 1972). "The Cowboys fly – the Redskins die". Sports Illustrated. p. 15.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  8. ^ http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/9424/presidential-orders