Jul 24, 2009, 5:00 AM EDT
The Redskins and Vikings have hooked up in some of the best games ever played at RFK Stadium. A couple of weeks ago I looked at a 1986 classic that the Redskins won on Gary Clark’s overtime catch. This one took place 11 years earlier. What made is special was that it knocked the 10-0 Vikings from the ranks of the undefeated. From the pages of The Redskins Chronicle:
RFK Stadium—“It was the kind of game you have to pinch yourself to make sure you won,” said George Allen after the contest, and the 55,004 in attendance and anyone else who watched the Redskins topple the previously unbeaten Vikings would have to agree.
The Redskins lost a 21-0 second-quarter lead but, when normally reliable Minnesota kicker Fred Cox missed a pair of fourth-quarter attempts, the Redskins had an opportunity to top the Vikings’ comeback. They did just that when Billy Kilmer hit Frank Grant with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the game’s last minute and Mark Moseley made the extra point. Ron McDole blocked Cox’s attempt at redemption from 45 yards as time ran out.
The home team started out as though no late heroics would be necessary. Two Kilmer touchdown passes—one to Grant, the other to Mike Thomas—and a Larry Brown touchdown run had the Redskins sitting on a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. The Vikings got their offense going when running back Chuck Foreman scored the first of his three touchdowns, this one on an eight-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton, to pull his team to a 21-7 deficit.
In the third quarter, Foreman scored again, but the Redskins responded with a 32-yard Mark Moseley field goal. Washington led 24-14 going into the wild fourth quarter.
Cox started a 16-0 scoring run by the visitors by hitting a 33-yard field goal. His next kick was not as successful. After Tarkenton scrambled 21 yards for a touchdown to pull his team within one, Cox shanked the point after. “I just plain out missed it,” said Cox of the attempt.
The Minnesota offense wasn’t done. They took their first lead on Foreman’s 31-yard run. Cox’s point after attempt was good and the Vikings led 30-24. They then had a chance to put the game away with less than two minutes left, but a 40-yard field goal attempt by Cox went wide left and the Redskins had a shot with 1:51 left.
Kilmer went to work, hitting Grant for 21 yards and then Charley Taylor for another 21 to move to the Minnesota 35. A screen pass to Thomas got them to the 15. On the next play, Grant beat Vikings cornerback Nate Wright on a post pattern and Kilmer hit him with a perfect strike for the touchdown and the crowd went wild. The celebration began in earnest when Moseley hit the extra point and McDole swatted away Cox’s final attempt.
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