In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back to the Redskins' triumph over the Vikings in the 1987 NFC Championship.
RFK was as loud as it's ever been, as the burgundy and gold faithful watched the Redskins hold the powerful Vikings at the goal line late in the fourth quarter. After a sluggish first three quarters, the difference came on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Doug Williams to Gary Clark to break the tie at 10.
"It was an ugly win for sure," Clark said after the game.
Redskins defensive back Darrell Green had been battling a sprained rib throughout the week that made him questionable to suit up against the Vikings. After taking a pain shot prior to the game, Green played throughout the matchup, serving as the anchor on the outside of a Washington defense that held Minnesota scoreless on two red-zone possessions in the fourth quarter following the Williams to Clark touchdown.
With under a minute remaining, the Vikings however still had hope. They drove the ball down to the Redskins' goal-line with 56 seconds remaining, but a crucial fourth-down stood between them and a chance to force overtime.
As Minnesota approached the line, Green split out wide to shade Anthony Carter -- the Vikings' top playmaker. As the play developed, Carter seemingly ran a route in which he was supposed to fade away from the play, allowing Nelson's route to clear, but Carter's comeback route directly interfered with Nelson.
At first glance, Nelson had his defender beat, but Carter’s broken route brought Darrell Green into the play.
Green found himself in the thick of the action with just one more job to do: play the ball. Green used his elite speed to close in on Nelson and knock the pass out of his hands. The play eliminated the Vikings from the playoffs and propelled Washington to an eventual Super Bowl XXII victory.