History of the Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins made their National Football League (NFL) debut in 1932 as the Boston Braves. One year later, the franchise changed its name to the Boston Redskins, and in 1937 it relocated permanently to Washington, D.C. The Redskins had immediate success in the nation’s capital as they won two NFL Championships (1937 and 1942), defeating the Chicago Bears in both games. Washington would make two more NFL title game appearances before the start of the Super Bowl era in 1967, but would fall to the Bears in 1943 and the Cleveland Rams in 1945. During this stretch of championship runs, the Redskins were led by Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh whose #33 is the only retired number in franchise history to date.

When Baugh retired in 1952, the Redskins lost their winning form. After the 1955 season, the team wouldn’t post another winning record until 1969. Shortly after in 1972, a Redskins team led by MVP running back Larry Brown compiled an 11-5 regular season record and advanced to Super Bowl VII. The Redskins would end up losing to the Miami Dolphins 14-7, but ten years later the two teams would meet again and the Redskins would come out on top to grab their first Super Bowl title. Also in 1982, kicker Mark Moseley was the NFL MVP and Joe Gibbs earned his first of three Coach of the Year awards. In 1987, the Redskins won their second world title in a game that saw them establish 20 Super Bowl records.

The Redskins continued their success going into the 1990’s with playoff appearances in the decade’s first three years. The 1991 season was the best for the Redskins as they went 14-2 during the regular season and won their third and last Super Bowl in an easy win over the Buffalo Bills. After leading his team to all three Super Bowl titles, Gibbs stepped down as head coach at the end of the 1992 season. The Redskins struggled without Gibbs, making it to the playoffs only once over the next 11 years. In 2004, the Redskins convinced Gibbs to come out of retirement and coach again in belief that he could once again bring the team back to Super Bowl contention. Gibbs helped the Redskins back into the playoffs in 2005 and 2007, but each time the Redskins made an early postseason exit. Gibbs retired after that 2007 season, and ever since the Redskins have yet to clinch a playoff spot. In 2010, a new era began in Washington with the naming of Mike Shanahan as the Redskins’ 25th head coach and the signing of quarterback Donovan McNabb. The Redskins looked primed for a break-out season, but McNabb wasn’t the quarterback of old, and the Redskins ended up with a 6-10 record. Unsatisfied with McNabb’s performance, the Redskins traded the quarterback to the Minnesota Vikings before the start of the 2011 season. The Redskins would end up finishing last in the NFC East that year for the fourth consecutive time. However, things might just turn around for the Redskins in the coming years as the team used its second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft to select quarterback Robert Griffin III, who many think may be the next Michael Vick (minus the illegal activity).