Williams in turn hurt his back and didn't play for five games, though he was again healthy for most of them. Finally, in the last regular season game, Gibbs pulled Schroeder and made Williams the playoff starter.
On a frigid day at Soldier Field, Williams led two touchdown drives, and a number of others made notable contributions to the Redskins' 27-17 victory. Defensive end Charles Mann had three sacks, the Redksins intercepted Jim McMahon three times, and Darrell Green returned a punt 52 yards, pulling rib-cage muscles in the process.
To remain in the lineup, Green took a pain-killing shot before the NFC title game against the Vikings, and his presence proved critical. The Redskins' 17-10 lead was in danger near the end of the fourth quarter. With just 56 second left in the game, the Vikings had a fourth down and 4 at the Redskins' 6-yard line. Gibbs knelt on the ground and prayed. On that Vikings last try, Green knocked away a pass to Darin Nelson to preserve the win and send the Redskins to Super Bowl XXII against Denver.
At the Super Bowl in San Diego, the Broncos were favored, and they quickly jumped to a 10-0 lead. That spooked the Redskins, who had seen the Raiders jump to an early Super Bowl lead four years earlier.
"I thought to myself, 'We've been through one of these, and I don't want to go through another one,' " Jacoby said. "The key point is when Terry Orr comes up with the fumble on the ensuing kickoff. If Denver recovers and goes up 13-0 or 17-0, we're in a real hole. And then we have that one quarter. I have never been involved in anything like that in 25 years of football."
He meant the second quarter, when Williams came back in injured, a quarter that almost defied belief.
Late in the first quarter, Williams had twisted his left knee and had left the game for two plays. But he had no thought of leaving it for good.
"When I went down, I was just thinking about finding the strength to get back up," Williams said. "Tomorrow wasn't important. One thing I could not stand was the thought that Jay Schroeder went in the game for me. The year before, in the NFC championship game against the Giants, he got banged up, and I was on the way in when he waved me off."
Williams returned to the huddle for the next series, the first of that memorable second quarter.