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Five Super Bowl Trips; Five Iconic Plays/Moments
by Kevin Sheehan
Feb 01, 2015 -- 1:45pm
ESPN 980

It has been nearly a quarter century since the Redskins played in a Super Bowl so the feeling of playing on the biggest day in all of sports is foreign to most.  There was a day when playing in one of these wasn't so unusual.  They played in five Super Bowls over a 19-year stretch with four of those trips coming during a brilliant golden-era 9-year span. 

Despite the 23-year drought, there are still only five franchises in the league with more Super Bowl appearances than the Redskins.  None of their five Super Bowl appearances ranks among the all-time great Super Bowl games but all five of them include memorable if not iconic Super Bowl plays and/or moments. 

Here's the list.

Super Bowl 7/The Garo Yepremian/Mike Bass play.  Up 14-zip with just over two minutes left in the game and en route to completing the NFL's only perfect season during the Super Bowl era, Miami kicker Garo Yepremian had his 42-yd field goal attempt blocked and comedy followed.  Yepremian picked up the ball and made a frantic attempt to pass the ball to Larry Csonka.  The ball slipped out of his hands and it went straight up in the air.  Yepremian then attempted to bat the ball out of bounds but instead batted it back up into the air.  It went right into the arms of Skins' cornerback Mike Bass who returned the fumble 49 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14–7 with 2:07 left in the game.  The Redskins got the ball back with 1:14 to go but couldn't do anything with it and lost 14-7.

Super Bowl 17/70-Chip.  Down 17-13 with just over ten minutes left in the game and facing 4th and 1, Joe Gibbs dialed up his trademark short-yardage play.  "70-chip" sent Clint Didier in motion one way, and then brought him back the other way.  When he reversed his motion, Miami DB Don McNeal slipped....not that it would've mattered much anyway.  Riggo was a beast in that postseason and he put an exclamation point on his epic run by shedding McNeil and outrunning Lyle Blackwood to the end zone.  Simply put, it's easily the most memorable play in franchise history while also on the list of the most iconic in Super Bowl history. 

Super Bowl 18/Rocket Screen.  The Raiders were the better team that day in January of '84 but what if Joe Gibbs has just told Joe Theismann to take a knee at the end of the first half?  From their own 12-yd line with just 12-seconds left in the half, Gibbs called "Rocket Screen".  Theismann has told us in recent years that he tried to talk Joe out of it on the sideline but Gibbs turned to Theismann and said emphatically, "run it".  The defense was prepared for the play as Theismann had successfully completed an identical screen pass to Joe Washington for a 67-yard gain in their 37–35 victory over the Raiders earlier in the season. 

In fact, Raider linebackers coach Charlie Sumner had sent Jack Squirek onto the field as a last-second substitution specifically to cover Washington. "I was mad," said linebacker Matt Millen who had to run off the field to avoid a penalty.   "I'd called a blitz, and I was cranked up for it, but he told Jack to play the screen and sent him in."  When Squirek saw Theismann look in the opposite direction to sell a throw to one side of the field, Squirek knew that Joe Washington was leaking out into the flat because the play was coming back to his side.  The 12-yd interception return gave the Raiders a commanding 21-3 halftime lead.

Super Bowl 22/35-Point 2nd Quarter.  Down 10-zip to the Broncos in Super Bowl 22, Doug Williams led a record-setting 35-point 2nd-quarter.  On the Skins' first play of the quarter, Williams went deep 80-yds to Rickey Sanders.  Next Skins' drive, Williams hit Gary Clark on a 27-yd touchdown pass for the lead.  Their next drive went all of two plays.  Williams to Clark for 16 yards followed by Timmy Smith's 56-yd touchdown run....21-10.  The next drive ended in a 50-yd touchdown pass to Sanders making Sanders the first player in Super Bowl history to record 2 touchdown receptions in a single quarter.  Finally, one more Williams touchdown pass to Clint Didier to complete the record-setting Super Bowl output for a quarter. 

In the second quarter alone, Williams completed 9 of 11 passes for 228 yards and 4 touchdowns; Smith rushed 5 times for 122 yards and a touchdown; and Sanders caught 4 passes for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Super Bowl 26/Thurman Thomas's Helmet.  After the Redskins were forced to punt on the opening drive of the game, Buffalo's offense took the field for the first time.  But where was their Pro Bowl running back Thurman Thomas?  He had misplaced his helmet and missed Buffalo's first two plays.  It's consistently mentioned as one of the all-time Super Bowl blunders.



Smell Test #22
by Kevin Sheehan
Feb 01, 2015 -- 12:48pm

WHAT'S THE FRIDAY FOOTBALL SMELL TEST?

It's a contrarian handicapping philosophy. I look for the games where the public is convinced they are right about a point spread and I go the other way. Have fun and as always, this is for entertainment purposes only.
 
PREVIOUS YEARS
 
2006-- 60.4%
2007-- 56.6%
2008-- 63.1%
2009-- 57.5%
2010-- 48.8%
2011-- 48.7%
2012-- 54.1%
2013-- 47.4%
 
THIS YEAR
Last Week: 0-1
Overall:  66-59-2
 
SMELL TEST PICKS FOR WEEKEND OF 2-1-15

Sunday, February 1, 2015
 
NE/Seattle Under-47.5


Smell Test #21
by
Jan 16, 2015 -- 1:29pm

WHAT'S THE FRIDAY FOOTBALL SMELL TEST?

It's a contrarian handicapping philosophy. I look for the games where the public is convinced they are right about a point spread and I go the other way. Have fun and as always, this is for entertainment purposes only.
 
PREVIOUS YEARS
 
2006-- 60.4%
2007-- 56.6%
2008-- 63.1%
2009-- 57.5%
2010-- 48.8%
2011-- 48.7%
2012-- 54.1%
2013-- 47.4%
 
THIS YEAR
Last Week: 2-1
Overall:  66-58-2
 
SMELL TEST PICKS FOR WEEKEND OF 1-18-15

Sunday, January 19, 2015
 
Seattle -7.5


Smell Test #20
by
Jan 09, 2015 -- 7:12pm

WHAT'S THE FRIDAY FOOTBALL SMELL TEST?

It's a contrarian handicapping philosophy. I look for the games where the public is convinced they are right about a point spread and I go the other way. Have fun and as always, this is for entertainment purposes only.
 
PREVIOUS YEARS
 
2006-- 60.4%
2007-- 56.6%
2008-- 63.1%
2009-- 57.5%
2010-- 48.8%
2011-- 48.7%
2012-- 54.1%
2013-- 47.4%
 
THIS YEAR
Last Week: 3-1
Overall:  64-57-2
 
SMELL TEST PICKS FOR WEEKEND OF 1-10-15

Saturday, January 10, 2015
 
Panthers +11
 
Sunday, January 11, 2015
 
Cowboys +6
 
Monday January 12, 2015
 
Ohio State +6
 


Smell Test #19
by
Jan 02, 2015 -- 6:33pm

WHAT'S THE FRIDAY FOOTBALL SMELL TEST?

It's a contrarian handicapping philosophy. I look for the games where the public is convinced they are right about a point spread and I go the other way. Have fun and as always, this is for entertainment purposes only.
 
PREVIOUS YEARS
 
2006-- 60.4%
2007-- 56.6%
2008-- 63.1%
2009-- 57.5%
2010-- 48.8%
2011-- 48.7%
2012-- 54.1%
2013-- 47.4%
 
THIS YEAR
Last Week: 2-1
Overall:  61-56-2
 
SMELL TEST PICKS FOR WEEKEND OF 1-3-15

Saturday, January 3, 2015
 
Panthers -6.5
Ravens +3
 
Sunday, January 4, 2015
 
Bengals +3.5
Lions +6.5


Allen's Unshackled Report Card
by Kevin Sheehan
Dec 31, 2014 -- 12:14pm
ESPN 980

Bruce Allen just finished up his “State of the Crumbling Union” speech.  He appeared to be the only one that didn't realize it was crumbling.  He gave very little information other than the breaking news that Hawaii now has telephones. 

One year ago, he got the title, the authority, the autonomy, and a boatload of cap space.  Most importantly to many around town and in the organization, he was able to rid himself of Mike Shanahan.  After distancing himself from the disastrous 3-13 ugliness of a year ago and putting most of it on Mike, he bathed himself in the freedom of an unshackled organization. 

How'd that work out for him?  4 and 12.  And let's be honest.  This year's 4 and 12 was much worse than last year.  They had a much easier schedule facing a parade of lower-tier quarterbacks like Fitzpatrick, Henne, Whitehurst, McCown, and Hill.  They had cap room for the first time and a supposed franchise quarterback who was finally healthy and coming off his first full offseason of work.

Bottom line, the season stunk and it started with an unshackled but very unimpressive 2014 offseason.

Let’s do some grading.

1.  Allen's first move was the new coach.  He hired Jay Gruden.

Grade:  Incomplete

Comments:  There’s a chance Gruden is in over his skis but it’s not totally clear at this point.  What is clear is that his team got worse as the year went on.  It’s also clear that his team was undisciplined much of the time.  Additionally, his quarterbacks regressed and his team rarely seemed to have answers before, during, or after the games.  Other than that, we don’t really know much. 

2.  Allen's 2nd move was the decision to unchain Jim Haslett.

Grade:  F

Comments:  Even though he attempted to give Haz some help with 2 free agent acquisitions and some defensive draft picks, Haz has never been able to get more out of less.  The best coaches find ways with good teaching and scheme to get something out of nothing.  Haz never did.  Finally, the team realized it and parted ways with him this morning.

3.  DeSean Jackson.

Grade:  A

Comments:  Wide receiver wasn’t on the list but pouncing on the unexpected availability of Jackson worked out.  It was a gamble but they got him on the relative cheap and he performed at a high level.  You could argue the team would have been 1-15 without him.

4.  Brian Orakpo franchised. 

Grade:  D-

Comments:  The only good thing that keeps this decision from being an F is that it was much better than signing him to a long-term deal which is what Haslett probably preferred.  Bottom line, a 1/2 of a sack in six games and then hurt….again.  Orakpo isn’t a franchise player.  Hopefully, Allen now understands this to be true.

5.  D’Angelo Hall re-signed.

Grade:  B

Comments:  This was the right move given the limited secondary talent on the roster.  It’s too bad D-Hall got hurt because he would’ve helped.

6.  Chris Baker re-signed to a 3-year deal. 

Grade:  D

Comments:  The injury to Cofield forced him to play more nose tackle than they had hoped but his overall impact at any position along the defensive front was less than average.

7.  Jason Hatcher. 

Grade:  C-

Comments:  The team’s biggest free agent acquisition was hurt more than healthy but when he was healthy, he was inconsistent.  The Jacksonville game was a major tease.  He never played anywhere near that level the remainder of the year.  It would help if he were surrounded with better players.

8.  Shawn Lauvao.

Grade:  C-

Comments:  Individual offensive line performance play is perhaps the most difficult to evaluate but it certainly seemed that Lauvao’s first year fell far short of the 4-year $17 million dollar deal he got.

9.  Ryan Clark.

Grade:  F

Comments:  He was obviously well past his point of usefulness, hence the reason the Steelers weren’t interested in bringing him back.

10.  Andre Roberts.

Grade:  D

Comments: We found out recently that the acquisition of Roberts was really pushed by Robert Griffin.  Bad choice.  Roberts was brought in to be a #2 and yet he wasn’t much of a #3.  He dropped at least one pass per game and gave the team very little as a returner after the preseason.

11.  Colt McCoy.

Grade:  B

Comments:  They brought him in to be the 3rd-string QB and he led the team to two of its four wins including the stunning upset in Dallas. That’s worthy of a B-grade.  It’s not worthy of thinking he could be a full-time starter.

12.  Tracy Porter.

Grade:  F

Comments:  This didn’t cost much but they took a chance on an injury-prone player who remained injury-prone.  They shouldn't have been surprised.

13.  The Draft.

Grade:  Incomplete.

Comments:  Breeland looks like a potential star at corner.  Murphy is a run-stopper at this point....not much of a pass rusher.  Grant never really got a chance.  Same with Moses and Long.  It’s far too early to grade a draft after one season but this one doesn’t appear to be anything special at this point.

14.  The offseason included several acquisitions (Hayward, Sharpton, Jordan, McGlynn) that intended to upgrade special teams and position depth. 

Grade:  D-

Comments:  Bad special teams and no depth anywhere.  Add to that, they let Sharpton go and he landed in Chicago as a contributor.

15.  Undrafted players like Tress Way andSilas Redd.

Grade:  A

Comments:  Way was very good and Redd will be a factor in the future.

Overall, armed with huge cap space and all but a first-round draft pick, Bruce Allen’s first unshackled offseason GPA was a 1.69 with 2 Incompletes.  He's on academic probation.



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