NFL

The Team Formerly Known as the Washington Redskins Enters the 2020 Season in a Position It Hasn’t Been in Since 1975

Over the course of 88 NFL seasons, the team now formerly known as the Washington Redskins has experienced quite a few highs and quite a few lows.

In those 88 years, Washington has won a total of five NFL championships, the last three being Super Bowl victories. They’re one of nine franchises to win at least three Super Bowls, one of 10 teams to appear in five Super Bowls, and one of just five teams to win 600 games. They’ve won 14 division titles, five conference championships, and have made 24 postseason appearances. Those are the good times.

The Redskins also experienced plenty of bad times. From 1946 to 1970, Washington had just four winning seasons and didn’t make a single postseason appearance. After experiencing great success in the 1980s and early 1990s, a span that included all three Super Bowl victories, the franchise has simply fallen flat. Since their last Super Bowl win following the 1991 season, Washington has made just six playoff appearances and won only three NFC East titles.

In the 21 seasons under owner (at least for now) Dan Snyder, Washington has lost 51 more games than they’ve won and in what turned out to be the final game using the Redskins name, a 47-16 thumping at the hands of the rival Dallas Cowboys, the team put itself in a position it hasn’t been in since the end of the 1975 season.

The final game under the Redskins name gave Washington an all-time .500 regular-season record

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With that Week 17 loss to the Cowboys, the 2019 Washington Redskins closed the season with a 3-13 record, tying the franchise mark for most losses in a season. The loss to Dallas put the franchise’s all-time regular-season record at 603-603-28, marking the first time since the end of the 1975 season that Washington hasn’t been above the .500 mark.

The Cowboys also had a hand in helping Washington to the lowest point in franchise history as far as winning percentage is concerned. In Week 12 of the 1970 season, Dallas shut out the Redskins, 34-0, to put Washington 29 games below .500 all time. But the success from 1971 to 1974, which included four postseason berths and a Super Bowl appearance, helped the franchise get back to above level but a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to close the 1975 season put the team back at .500.

A Week 1 win over the New York Giants in 1976 put the team back up over .500, where it would remain for over 43 years.

The Washington Redskins reached their highest point in 1992 with a win over the Cowboys

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Following the Washington Redskins’ Super Bowl win following the ’91 campaign, the team was 72 games over .500 all time. In 1992, Washington reached its apex with a come-from-behind win over the Cowboys in Week 15, putting the team’s all-time record at 425-349-6, a franchise-best 76 games over .500. But it’s been all downhill from there. As mentioned, Washington is 51 games under .500 under Dan Snyder and lost 35 more games than they won in Bruce Allen’s decade with the organization.

A loss in Week 1 of the 2020 season would put Washington below .500 for the first time since October 19, 1975, which occurred as a result of a 13-10 loss to the Houston Oilers.

The franchise easily has the worst record of any team to win three Super Bowls

Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins logo | Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As previously mentioned, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins is one of nine teams to have won at least three Super Bowl titles. Of those nine, Washington easily has the worst winning percentage.

  • Dallas Cowboys: 520-388-6 (.572)
  • Green Bay Packers: 756-574-38 (.567)
  • New England Patriots: 512-395-9 (.564)
  • San Francisco 49ers: 545-475-14 (.534)
  • New York Giants: 696-608-33 (.533)
  • Denver Broncos: 483-423-10 (.533)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 636-566-22 (.529)
  • Las Vegas Raiders: 473-432-11 (.522)
  • Washington Redskins: 603-603-28 (.500)

*All stats and records courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference