When the Redskins host the Giants, it will be the 11th Monday night game played at FedEx Field. It has yet to host a Redskin victory this century. In fact, the only victory by the home team occurred in the first Monday nighter played at what was then called, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium on October 13, 1997. The Redskins beat the Cowboys 21-16 with Stephen Davis running for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns in place the injured Terry Allen. Six weeks later, in the second night game at the new stadium, a Sunday nighter, Gus Frerotte banged his head on the end zone wall celebrating a touchdown and knocked himself out of the game. With Jeff Hostetler replacing goofy Gus, the Skins settled for a 7-7 tie with the Giants.
Night games overall have been mostly a disaster for the Redskins at home, but Monday night in particular, has been dreadful. Here now are the five worst Monday nightmares at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium/FedEx Field:
5. September 16, 2002, FedEx Field, Eagles 37 - Redskins 7 - The second game for new head coach Steve Spurrier, who had won his opener against Arizona 31-23, prompting some idiot on the radio (me) to say about his "Fun and Gun" offense, "it works." On this night, it certainly did not. Only a 90-yard punt return for a score from Jacquez Green kept the Redskins from being shut out. At one point, an exasperated Spurrier was caught by the ABC television cameras flapping his lips. The slow motion replay made him look like a duck - a wet one. Afterwards, the stunned "Ol Ball Coach" said, "I apologize to the Redskins fans." Somehow, the Redskins finished the season 7-9.
4. September 14, 1998, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, 49ers 45 - Redskins 10 - After two straight years of barely missing the playoffs, the Redskins had beefed up for the '98 season by trading for Big Daddy Wilkinson and signing free agent Dana Stubblefield, who had 15 sacks the year before with San Francisco. In pregame warmups, "Stubby" treated the visit by his former team to his new home stadium like a Bar Mitzvah. He waddled around the field greeting and hugging his former mates. It must have worn him out because the 49ers went on to roll up 503 yards of offense on the night. Steve Young threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. The loss dropped the Skins to 0-2. They would get to 0-7 before salvaging a 6-10 finish.
3. November 3, 2008, FedEx Field, Steelers 23 - Redskins 6 - This was going to be the game to show how good the Redskins really were. Coming off a win at Detroit, the Skins were 6-2 under new coach Jim Zorn, who was being called by some, "A young Joe Gibbs." As it turned out the 50-something "young" Zorn was schooled by 30-something Mike Tomlin and his Steelers. Tomlin had such little respect for the Redskins offense, that he started the game with an onside kick. The Redskins recovered at the Pittsburgh 36, but could only manage a Shaun Suisham field goal. On the Steelers first possession, Andre Carter tipped a Ben Roethlisberger pass into the hands of Cornelius Griffin at the Pittsburgh 30. Again, the Skins had to settle for a Suisham field goal. After a Josh Reed field goal made it 6-3, the Redskins had another big chance. Carlos Rogers stepped in front of a Roethlisberger pass and had nothing but grass and end zone in front of him. But Rogers, doing what he did as a Redskin, dropped the ball. The Steelers took it from there, mostly without big Ben, who injured his shoulder scoring on a sneak at the end of the first half. D.C. native Byron Leftwich took over in the second half and led the Steelers to a pair of touchdowns to completed the lopsided win. The Skins would go on to lose five of their last seven to finish out of the playoffs at 8-8.
2. October 30, 2000, FedEx Field, Titans 27 - Redskins 21 - Expectations were sky-high heading in to this game. The Redskins had reached 6-2 by blowing out Jacksonville as Brad Johnson threw three touchdown passes to Albert Connell, including bombs of 49 and 77 yards. Down 13-7 with 10 seconds left in the first half and the ball at the Tennnesee 34 yard line, at the very least the Skins figured to go into the halftime down by only three. Wanting to play it safe and trying to give kicker Chris Heppner a field goal attempt closer than 51 yards, Johnson flipped a pass to Irving Fryar at the Titans 19 yard line. Samari Rolle picked it off, but with time running out, the only thing the Redskins had to do was keep him out of their end zone. No matter where he wound up, there wouldn' have been enough time to even try a field goal. Somehow Rolle found his way to the end zone and the Titans turned a six point halftime lead into a 13 point lead. The Skins got within six in the second half, but saw their final two possessions end in interceptions. The Redskins would go on to lose five of their last seven, including a 9-7 loss to the Giants, which cost Norv Turner his job. The best team money could buy finished 8-8.
1. October 15, 2010, FedEx Field, Eagles 59 - Redskins 28 - There was plenty of time to prepare for this one, but there was no way to prepare for what would happen in the opening minutes of this disaster. The Redskins were coming off a bye week, that was anything but restful. Coach Mike Shanahan had clumsily handled the benching the Donovan McNabb in the final minutes of a loss in Detroit. But everything seemed to be hunky dory, when hours before kickoff, the Skins announced a $78 million dollar contract extension for McNabb. Whatever that manuever was designed to do, it didn't work. Eighteen seconds in to the game, DeSean Jackson caught an 88 yard touchdown pass from Michael Vick. Four and a half minutes later, it was 14-0 as Vick scored on a seven yard run. And just nine seconds in to the second quarter, it was a 35-0 laugher. Vick became the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 300 yards, run for 50, throw four touchdown passes and run for two more scores. It was worth 49 fantasy points. McNabb's contract turned out to be fantasy. Only three and a half million of it was guaranteed. It was Vick who earned the huge contract extension from that night. The Skins would win only two more games that year to finish 6-10 in Shanahan's first year.