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The Body Bag Game. It was thirty-one years ago today – November 12th, 1990 – on a Monday Night football game at Veteran’s Stadium. A nationwide audience watched Washington lose 28-14 to the Philadelphia Eagles in what is widely regarded as one of the roughest games of football ever played.

The game is called the Body Bag Game because before the game, Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan told reporters that “they’ll have to be carted off in body bags.”

During the game, an Eagles player reacted to one of the Washington injuries by asking, “Do you guys need any more body bags?”

In total, nine Washington Redskins players left the game due to injury. That included both of their quarterbacks – Jeff Rutledge and Stan Humphries. Washington had quarterback Gary Hogeboom but he was inactive for the game, so rookie running back Brian Mitchell had to step in as the emergency quarterback.

Other players that left the game for Washington included running back Gerald Riggs, and linebacker Greg Manusky. Return men Joe Howard and Walter Stanley were also both injured.

The Eagles scored two defensive touchdowns in the game. The first, a 30 yard interception return by William Frizzell in the first quarter.

The second came when Clyde Simmons returned a fumble 18-yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Philadelphia scored 21 unanswered points in the third frame to gash the game wide open.

Heath Sherman caught two TD passes, one from Randall Cunningham, and one from running back Keith Byars.

It was an ugly night for Washington and their fans.

WaPo Headline

Galvanizing Moment

So why have a #FlashbackFriday for such a crappy moment?

The game became a galvanizing moment for the Washington team.

The two teams met again six weeks later in the Wild Card Game of the playoffs. Washington dispatched of the Eagles 20-6 when it mattered most.

Even though the Redskins lost to the eventual Super Bowl winner San Francisco 49ers that year, they would win the Super Bowl the following season.

Many Washington players felt that the Body Bag Game was a turning point for the franchise. The team were reportedly a stronger-knit group.

 

 

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