In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back at the Redskins' 1988 triumph over the Vikings to advance to the Super Bowl.
With one big, final hit by cornerback Darrell Green, who was battling a rib injury for the entire game, the Redskins earned their third Super Bowl appearance of the decade with a 17-10 victory over the Vikings.
The RFK crowd grew raucous that day, Jan. 17, 1988, especially once Washington made good on their goal line stand and took home the NFC conference championship, advancing to play the Broncos for the title game in San Diego.
The difference came thanks to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Doug Williams to Gary Clark, which broke a 10-10 tie late in the fourth quarter. But it was the defense that kept the score that way, twice preventing two red zone drives by Minnesota after that score.
Minnesota’s last chance, a fourth down pass from quarterback Wade Wilson to Darrin Nelson with 56 seconds left, was broken up by Green, who had received a pain-killing shot for his sprained rib before the game. Green ended up playing nearly every snap that day.
The Redskins sacked Wilson eight times, a product of the Redskins showing five different kinds of defenses.
“We tried three-man fronts, four-man fronts, different sets of linebackers, man-to-man coverage and zones,” head coach Joe Gibbs said. “We were mixing all the time.”
Williams only finished 9-of-26 for 119 yards with two touchdowns in a game that Clark called “an ugly win, for sure.”
But the Redskins would take it, and in another strike-shortened season, they headed to their second Super Bowl victory.