Welcome to Flashback Friday, where we take a trip down memory lane to revisit yesteryear moments in Washington football history. From jaw-dropping plays to nail-biting finishes, Washington football has provided its fans with countless memories throughout the years. Today, we turn our attention way back to October 20, 1974, when the Washington Redskins took on the New York Giants. As we dive into the archives, let’s try relive the events that unfolded on that historic day.
Each #FlashbackFriday, we’ll uncover performances and milestones that are part of the franchise’s storied history. So, grab your virtual time machine, fasten your seat belts, and get ready to embark on a captivating journey through the annals of franchise history. Let’s relish in the nostalgia, as we honor the past and pay tribute to the legends who’ve donned the burgundy and gold.
On This Day
Washington Redskins 24 New York Giants 3
Date: October 20, 1974
Venue: Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
By 1974, Norm Snead had been with the New York Giants for three seasons. That didn’t change the fact that for much of his career – wherever he went – most Redskins fans remembered him as being part of the greatest trade in franchise history.
After drafting Snead with the second overall pick in the 1961 NFL Draft, he was expected to somehow single-handedly fix a very broken team. He could not. Following the 1963 season, he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for… Sonny Jurgensen. Any Eagles fan old enough to remember it, considers this the greatest gaffe in Eagles history.
While Snead would ultimately manage to eke out a very respectable 16-year career and make four Pro Bowls, Sonny Jurgensen was a bonafide Hall of Famer.
So despite 13 years having gone by since the trade happened, rest assured that many Redskin fans were still enjoying the fact that Jurgensen almost always beat Snead. And October 20th, 1974 would be no different. In fact in many ways, the match-up would embody the very one-sided nature of their symbiotic relationship.
Jurgensen threw three touchdowns in the winning effort – hitting Roy Jefferson (2 yards), Larry Brown (10 yards) and Moses Denson (15 yards) for scores. The Redskins posted 24 unanswered points in front of a home crowd.
Sonny finished 17-of-30 for 174 yards, and with a quarterback rating of 92.9. He was picked off once and sacked three times. It was by no means his best game, but it was plenty good enough.
Washington’s lead was so comfortable that Billy Kilmer came in for mop up duty late in the game.
Snead on the other hand, completed only 9 passes and managed a putrid 61 yards. He was also intercepted twice.
He was pulled in favor of backup Carl Summerall who may have been even worse. He completed just 6 of his 12 passes for 59 yards and was picked off three times.
That’s a sharp contrast in both output and effectiveness between the two quarterbacks. And that’s why the Snead – Jurgensen trade is considered by many, to be the greatest trade in Washington history.
It also bears mentioning that the Giants’ quarterback struggles came at the feet of probably the greatest secondary that has ever graced a Redskins field – and one of the best in NFL history. Linebacker Chris Hanburger led the way with two interceptions, but that left one pick each for Mike Bass, Pat Fischer and Brig Owens. Ken Houston didn’t have an interception in the game, but was arguably the strongest member of the secondary. What a group!
The win moved George Allen and the Redskins to 4-2 on the season. They would finish a very respectable 10-4 and second in the NFC East, but ultimately lost to Chuck Knox and his Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the playoffs.
Thank you for joining us as we step back in time and celebrate the rich heritage of Washington football. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the team, this series aims to ignite your passion and deepen your appreciation for the remarkable moments that have defined our beloved franchise.
Stay tuned each week for a new Flashback Friday article, and be transported back to the unforgettable moments that have defined our beloved team.
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