1991 Washington Redskins season
OwnerJack Kent Cooke
General managerCharley Casserly
Head coachJoe Gibbs
Home fieldRobert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Local radioWMAL
Results
Record14–2
Division place1st NFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Falcons) 24–7
Won NFC Championship (vs. Lions) 41–10
Won Super Bowl XXVI (vs. Bills) 37–24

The 1991 season was the Washington Redskins' 60th in the National Football League, their 55th representing Washington, D.C. and the eleventh under head coach Joe Gibbs.

The Redskins were coming off two consecutive 10–6 seasons and looking to return to the playoffs for a second straight season. Not only did the Redskins improve their position, but they also put together a season that is considered by some to be one of the best any team has ever played. Washington won a franchise record-tying 14 games, the best record in the league, and their two losses (to two of their division rivals) were by a combined five points. The Redskins ended their campaign as world champions, knocking off the defending AFC Champion Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.

The Redskins led the league in scoring with 485 points and allowed the second-fewest points (224) in the league in 1991.[1] (As of the 1991 season, this was the third-highest total in NFL history, and still ranks in the top 20 all-time.) They had a +18 turnover ratio, also best in the NFL. In 2016, Chris Chase of USA Today ranked the team as the greatest to ever win a Super Bowl.[2] As of 2021, this is Washington's most recent appearance in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. In addition, this is also Washington's most recent season winning more than 10 regular season games.

Statistics site Football Outsiders ranks the 1991 Redskins as the best team they have measured (from 1986 to present).[3][4] The team ranked #15 on the 100 greatest teams of all time presented by the NFL on its 100th anniversary.[5][6]

The season

Quarterback Mark Rypien had an outstanding year. His 8.5 yards per pass attempt was second in the league, and his 3,564 passing yards were best in the NFC and fourth in the league. Running back Earnest Byner's 1,048 rushing yards were 5th best in the NFL.[7] The Redskins had two wide receivers who went over 1,000 yards receiving in 1991: Gary Clark (1,340) and Art Monk (1,049).[8]

The Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills 37–24 to win Super Bowl XXVI. The team is the last Super Bowl champion to never trail in any of their playoff victories.[9] The Redskins' Super Bowl XXVI win was their first in a non-strike season.[10] With the championship, coach Joe Gibbs also became the first head coach to win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks.[11]

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1991 Redskins as the 4th greatest team in NFL history,[12] noting, "you can look at two stats to get a pretty good idea of just how great a team is: yards gained per pass attempt, and yards allowed per pass attempt. The 1991 'Skins topped the NFL in each category, with Mark Rypien averaging 8.5 yards per attempt, while his colleagues on Washington's defense allowed only 6 yards per attempt.... The 'Skins outscored their opponents 485–224, and they had a tough schedule. After going 14–2, they romped through the NFC playoffs, beating the Falcons 24–7 and demolishing the Lions 41–10 on their way to the Super Bowl. In the Big Game, the 'Skins beat the cursed early-1990s Bills 37–24."

Statistics site Football Outsiders has ranked the 1991 Redskins as the greatest team in their ratings history,[13] stating that the team "may have been the most well-rounded team in NFL history. [...] A lot of the best teams in NFL history got a little extra boost by picking on an easy schedule, but not Washington. They had an average schedule, and a harder-than-average schedule of opposing defenses. One reason for that: 1991 was not only the year of the best overall team in [their rating system's] history. It was also the year of the best defense in [their system's] history, which showed up on Washington's schedule twice: the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles."

Personnel

Staff

1991 Washington Redskins staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Wayne Sevier

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Dan Riley
  • Assistant Strength – Steve Wetzel

[14]

Roster

1991 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

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 August 4 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 7–16 0–1 Three Rivers Stadium Recap
2 August 10 at New England Patriots W 27–6 1–1 Foxboro Stadium Recap
3 August 16 Cleveland Browns L 21–24 (OT) 1–2 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
4 August 24 vs. New York Jets L 9–13 1–3 Williams–Brice Stadium Recap

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 1 Detroit Lions W 45–0 1–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
2 September 9 at Dallas Cowboys W 33–31 2–0 Texas Stadium Recap
3 September 15 Phoenix Cardinals W 34–0 3–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
4 September 22 at Cincinnati Bengals W 34–27 4–0 Riverfront Stadium Recap
5 September 30 Philadelphia Eagles W 23–0 5–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
6 October 6 at Chicago Bears W 20–7 6–0 Soldier Field Recap
7 October 13 Cleveland Browns W 42–17 7–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
8 Bye
9 October 27 at New York Giants W 17–13 8–0 Giants Stadium Recap
10 November 3 Houston Oilers W 16–13 (OT) 9–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
11 November 10 Atlanta Falcons W 56–17 10–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
12 November 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 41–14 11–0 Three Rivers Stadium Recap
13 November 24 Dallas Cowboys L 21–24 11–1 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
14 December 1 at Los Angeles Rams W 27–6 12–1 Anaheim Stadium Recap
15 December 8 at Phoenix Cardinals W 20–14 13–1 Sun Devil Stadium Recap
16 December 15 New York Giants W 34–17 14–1 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
17 December 22 at Philadelphia Eagles L 22–24 14–2 Veterans Stadium Recap

Game summaries

Week 1

See also: 1991 Detroit Lions season

Week 1: Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 0 000
Redskins 21 14 7345

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 2

See also: 1991 Dallas Cowboys season

Week 2: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
1 2 34Total
Redskins 7 13 31033
Cowboys 14 7 3731

at Texas StadiumIrving, Texas

Game information

Week 3

See also: 1991 Phoenix Cardinals season

Week 3: Phoenix Cardinals at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Cardinals 0 0 000
Redskins 7 7 14634

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 4

See also: 1991 Cincinnati Bengals season

Washington would not beat the Bengals again until 2020.

Week 4: Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals
1 2 34Total
Redskins 3 21 3734
Bengals 7 3 14327

at Riverfront StadiumCincinnati

Game information

Week 5

See also: 1991 Philadelphia Eagles season

Week 5: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 0 000
Redskins 0 10 31023

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 6

See also: 1991 Chicago Bears season

Week 6: Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears
1 2 34Total
Redskins 0 10 01020
Bears 0 0 707

at Soldier FieldChicago

Game information

Week 7

See also: 1991 Cleveland Browns season

Week 7: Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Browns 7 0 10017
Redskins 7 14 71442

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 9

See also: 1991 New York Giants season

Week 9: Washington Redskins at New York Giants
1 2 34Total
Redskins 0 0 71017
Giants 10 3 0013

at Giants StadiumEast Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

Week 10

See also: 1991 Houston Oilers season

Week 10: Houston Oilers at Washington Redskins
1 2 34OTTotal
Oilers 0 6 07013
Redskins 0 3 37316

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 11

See also: 1991 Atlanta Falcons season

Week 11: Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Falcons 3 0 14017
Redskins 7 21 72156

at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C.

Game information

Week 12

1 234Total
• Redskins 7 101014 41
Steelers 0 0014 14

Week 13

1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 14010 24
Redskins 7 0014 21

Week 14

1 234Total
• Redskins 7 0146 27
Rams 3 300 6

Week 15

1 234Total
• Redskins 0 0146 20
Cardinals 0 1400 14

Week 16

1 234Total
Giants 3 770 17
• Redskins 7 1730 27

Week 17

1 234Total
Redskins 3 1036 22
• Eagles 7 0017 24

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) Washington Redskins 14 2 0 .875 6–2 10–2 485 224 L1
(5) Dallas Cowboys 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 342 310 W5
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 6–6 285 244 W1
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 3–5 5–7 281 297 W1
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 1–7 3–11 196 344 L8

Playoffs

Main article: 1991–92 NFL playoffs

Schedule

Week Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Recap
Wild Card Bye
Divisional January 4 Atlanta Falcons (6) W 24–7 1–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
Championship January 12 Detroit Lions (2) W 41–10 2–0 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Recap
Super Bowl XXVI January 26 Buffalo Bills (A1) W 37–24 3–0 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Recap

Game summaries

NFC Divisional Playoffs: vs Atlanta Falcons

NFC Divisional Playoffs: Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 7 007
Redskins 0 14 3724

at RFK Stadium • Washington, D.C.

Game information

NFC Championship Game: vs Detroit Lions

NFC Championship Game: Detroit Lions vs Washington Redskins
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 10 0010
Redskins 10 7 101441

at RFK Stadium • Washington, D.C.

Super Bowl XXVI: vs Buffalo Bills

Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills
1 2 34Total
Redskins 0 17 14637
Bills 0 0 101424

at Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, Minnesota

Statistics

Passing

Player G Comp. Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
Mark Rypien 16 249 421 59.1 3,564 28 11
Jeff Rutledge 16 11 22 50.0 189 1 0

Rushing

Player G Att. Yards Avg. TD
Earnest Byner 16 274 1,048 3.8 5
Ricky Ervins 15 145 680 4.7 3
Gerald Riggs 16 78 248 3.2 11

Receiving

Player G Rec. Yards Y/G Avg. TD
Art Monk 16 71 1,049 65.6 14.8 8
Gary Clark 16 70 1,340 83.8 19.1 10
Ricky Sanders 16 45 580 36.3 12.9 5
Earnest Byner 16 34 308 19.3 9.1 0
Ricky Ervins 16 16 181 11.3 11.3 1
Terry Orr 16 10 201 12.6 20.1 4

Kicking

Player FGM FGA Pct. XPM XPA Pct.
Chip Lohmiller 31 43 72.1 56 56 100.0

Awards and records

Milestones

Best team ever

In 2010, ESPN conducted a "super league," consisting of the best Super Bowl winning teams of all time; the 1991 Redskins finished the regular season in first place with a record of 14-2 and beat the 1992 Dallas Cowboys in the "Super Bowl" to be named the greatest team of all time.[16] Football Outsiders also has them ranked as the best team in NFL history based on their advanced analysis.[17]

References

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1991 Washington Redskins
  2. ^ Chase, Chris. "Ranking all 49 Super Bowl champions, from best to worst". USA Today. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  3. ^ Football Outsiders: 1991 DVOA Ratings and Commentary, published July 16, 2012, spanning 1991–2011 seasons.
  4. ^ [1] Team Efficiency Ratings 1991
  5. ^ "NFL Top 100 Teams". Pro Football Reference.
  6. ^ "100 Greatest Teams: Numbers 100-1 SUPERCUT". NFL.com.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1991 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference: 1991 Washington Redskins
  9. ^ As of 2011 season
  10. ^ The Redskins previously won the Super Bowl after the 1982 and 1987 seasons, both shortened by strikes
  11. ^ Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien
  12. ^ ESPN.com, Page 2 – The List: Greatest NFL teams of all time, 2007
  13. ^ Football Outsiders: 1991 DVOA Ratings and Commentary, published July 16, 2012, spanning 1991–2011 seasons.
  14. ^ Washington Redskins 1991 Press Guide. pp. 3–36.
  15. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  16. ^ http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/promotions/nfl/superleague/?gameId=121 Archived 2011-01-30 at the Wayback Machine "Redskins win on dramatic final play"
  17. ^ "Historical DVOA Estimates | Football Outsiders". www.footballoutsiders.com. Retrieved 2020-09-26.