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Flashback Friday: Redskins vs. Jets Timeline

Aug 15, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT

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A look back at the regular season history between this Saturday’s opponents.

All Time: The Redskins lead the series 8-1

The First Time: Redskins 35, Jets 17, Shea Stadium, 11/5/72. The game completed a New York-New York sweep as the Redskins had beaten the Giants in Yankee Stadium the previous week (see details below).

The Last Time: Redskins 23, Jets 20, Giants Stadium 12/4/07. Shaun Suisham booted a 46-yard field goal in overtime to boost the Redskins over the Jets. Washington was in a hole for virtually the entire game after New York’s Leon Washington returned the game’s opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. Clinton Portis’ 196 rushing yards spearheaded the comeback effort.

The Best Time: It has to be that initial meeting in 1972. The Redskins came in having beaten its two biggest division rivals in Dallas and the Giants and were ripe for a letdown. Not only that, they had a jinx to deal with. Larry Brown was on the cover of the current edition of Sports Illustrated, with the headline declaring, “Washington is a #1 Power”.

New York led 10-7 in the second quarter, the Jets having bested Kilmer’s 45-yard touchdown bomb to Roy Jefferson with a one-yard scoring burst by John Riggins and a short field goal by Ian Howfield. It was then that the Redskins took control, scoring on offense with another Kilmer long ball, this one 70 yards to Charley Taylor, and Chris Hanburger’s 41-yard return with an interception of Namath.

Washington turned it into a rout in the second half. Brown took a little screen pass from Kilmer and, with the help of a wicked downfield block by Taylor, turned it into a 89-yard touchdown play and ex-Jet Verlon Biggs returned a Namath fumble 16 yards to make the final 35-17.

The Worst Time: Less than two years the Redskins reached their pinnacle as a franchise, claiming their third championship in 10 years with a dominating win in Super Bowl XXVI, they played one of the worst games in their history in losing to the Jets 3-0. The Redskins mustered just 150 yards of offense.

The Skins’ best chance of scoring was the result of a comic lowlight. The Jets were setting up for a field goal and snapped the ball early. The ball bounced off of holder Louis Agular’s head. Johnny Thomas of the Redskins scooped it up, but kicker Cary Blanchard alertly made the tackle.

Odds and Ends

–As a member of the Jets, Keyshawn Johnson was involved in two very controversial plays in the end zone against the Redskins. One was in a 1996 game at RFK Stadium. In the fourth quarter, the 0-4 Jets were giving the 3-1 Redskins all they could handle. Trailing by eight, in the fourth quarter, Johnson appeared to have caught a touchdown pass, gaining control just before defender Tom Carter ripped the ball away. The ball ended up on the ground The officials huddled and it seemed that the only two possible calls were a Jets touchdown or an incomplete pass. The call turned out to be a Carter interception and the Redskins held on for the win.

In that 1999 game, Johnson caught a pass in the late going that was called a touchdown to pull the Jets within three of the Redskins. The replays appeared inconclusive, but the official ruled that Johnson had lost control before getting both feet down. New York had to settle for a field goal and Washington sealed the win after recovering the ensuing onside kick.

–That 1972 game at Shea Stadium was blacked out in Washington. No, it wasn’t due to any arcane NFL policy, but because striking TV technicians cut the broadcast cables at Shea, making a telecast impossible.

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