In today's Rewarding Moments In Redskins History presented by Maryland Lottery My Lottery Rewards, we look back at Sonny Jurgensen's five-touchdown performance in his first game back in Philadelphia after being traded to Washington during the spring of 1964.
Sonny Jurgensen thought it was an April Fool’s joke. But when a man told Jurgensen he had been traded from the Eagles to the Redskins, he was hearing the truth.
On April 1, 1964, the Redskins' NFC East rival traded a gun-slinging Jurgensen to the burgundy and gold. The deal involved four players, with the Eagles and Redskins each swapping a quarterback and defensive back. In making the trade for Jurgensen, former Redskins head coach Bill McPeak desired a new look under center, calling on Jurgensen to revitalize the Redskins offense. Although quarterback Norm Snead was selected to two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons in Washington, McPeak wasn't impressed with his statistics, leading to the acquisition of Jurgensen.
His return to Franklin Field was one Jurgensen and those in attendance would remember for a long time.
After the Redskins started the season 0-4, Jurgensen led them to a resounding 35-20 victory on a chilly October afternoon in Philadelphia. He finished the game with five touchdown passes, totaled 385 yards through the air and completed 22 of his 33 passes.
The Redskins went on to sweep the season series against the Eagles, and over the course of his Redskins career, Jurgensen went on to win 13 of the 16 games in which he faced his former franchise. In those matchups, the Redskins Ring of Fame inductee threw for 33 touchdowns.
"Jurgensen is a great quarterback," said NFL legend Vince Lombardi during his one-year tenure in Washington in 1969. "He hangs in there under adverse conditions. ...He's the best the league has ever seen. He's the best I have seen."
In 18 seasons in the NFL, Jurgensen totaled 255 touchdowns and 32,224 yards. In 1983, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Redskins.
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