|1971 Washington Redskins season|
|Owner||Edward Bennett Williams|
|Head coach||George Allen|
|Home field||RFK Stadium|
|Division place||2nd NFC East|
|Playoff finish||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at 49ers) 20–24|
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.
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.
Main article: 1971 NFL Draft
|2||38||Cotton Speyrer||Wide Receiver||Texas|
|7||166||Willie Germany||Defensive Back||Morgan State|
|9||219||Mike Fanucci||Defensive End||Arizona State|
|10||244||Jesse Taylor||Running Back||Cincinnati|
|12||297||Jeff Severson||Defensive Back||Cal-Long Beach|
|14||349||Bill Bynum||Quarterback||West New Mexico|
|15||375||Anthony Christnovich||Guard||La Crosse (Wis.)|
|16||400||Glenn Tucker||Linebacker||North Texas|
Main article: 1971 NFL season
|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||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.
Main article: 1971–72 NFL playoffs
|Divisional||December 26||at San Francisco 49ers||L 20–24||Candlestick Park||45,327||Recap|
|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.
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.