The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

After 34 years and six mostly humiliating losses, the Redskins owe the Chiefs

Dexter McCluster scores a touchdown during Kansas City’s 45-10 win over the Redskins at FedEx Field in 2013. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The last time the Redskins played the Chiefs, the smallest announced crowd in FedEx Field history watched Jamaal Charles run for 150 yards in the snow and Robert Griffin III get sacked five times in a 45-10 Kansas City rout that ranks among the worst losses of the Daniel Snyder era. The last time the Redskins beat the Chiefs, Snyder was an 18-year-old student who had yet to drop out of the University of Maryland and none of the players on Washington’s current roster was born.

The Redskins are 1-8 all-time against Kansas City and have lost six straight to the Chiefs dating back to 1983, Washington’s longest active losing streak against any team after it snapped a six-game, 22-year skid against the Bills in 2015. As SB Nation’s Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride, succinctly put it this week, the Chiefs own the Redskins more than any other team in the NFL. The Redskins are 0-4 at Arrowhead Stadium, where, as seven-point underdogs, they’ll look to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season on Monday night. Excluding Carson, Calif., the Los Angeles Chargers’ temporary home, the only other current NFL city where the Redskins have never won is Miami (0-5).

Given Washington’s brutal history of “Monday Night Football” games at FedEx Field — they’re 2-16 since the stadium opened in 1997 — it might be a blessing that the team’s latest shot at the Chiefs comes on the road. Washington is 4-3 in road Monday night games since 1997, while the Chiefs are 5-3 at home during that span.

Here’s a look back at the Redskins’ last win over the Chiefs, and the six mostly lopsided losses by a combined score of 191-69 in the 34 years since then.

Sept. 18, 1983, at RFK Stadium: Redskins 27, Chiefs 12

After losing their previous two meetings with Kansas City in 1971 and 1976, the Redskins overcame a 12-0 halftime deficit for their first and only win in the series. Chiefs quarterback Bill Kenney completed 16 of 33 passes for 275 yards . . . in the first half.

“I haven’t seen that many passes in one half since I played touch football in high school,” Redskins free safety Mark Murphy said after the game.

The Redskins sacked Kenney five times in the second half, and Washington’s offense, which converted its first third down with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, eventually got rolling. Rookie Darrell Green’s third-quarter interception set up a two-yard touchdown run by John Riggins that pulled the Redskins to 12-10 and Joe Theismann threw a pair of touchdown passes to help Washington pull away.

St. Albans graduate Nick Lowery accounted for all of the Chiefs’ points with four first-half field goals, including a 58-yarder that matched an AFC record at the time.

Nov. 15, 1992, at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs 35, Redskins 16

The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions to build a 28-0 halftime lead, while the Redskins’ offense couldn’t get anything going before the break.

“These are tough times,” Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said after Washington’s second blowout loss in three weeks dropped the team to 6-4.

Chiefs quarterback Dave Krieg completed 19 of 29 passes for 302 yards, wide receiver Tim Barnett caught two touchdown passes and Christian Okoye ran for a pair of scores. Meanwhile, Redskins running backs Ernest Byner, Ricky Ervins and Robert Green combined for 17 carries and 38 yards. Washington’s best play of the game was a 33-yard run by Brian Mitchell on a fake punt.

Nov. 5, 1995, at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs 24, Redskins 3

Quarterback Gus Frerotte, who finished 11 of 34 for 140 yards, gave way to Heath Shuler in the fourth quarter and Washington failed to score a touchdown for the third time in 10 games while falling to 3-7. Shuler was 1 for 5 with two interceptions.

“I was extremely proud of the way our players competed,” Redskins Coach Norv Turner said after Kansas City improved to 8-1. “I don’t know that as we got through the first quarter, the way it was going, that anyone could be sitting there in that situation saying there’s a hell of a lot of hope that we’ll win this football game. But you couldn’t tell that by the way they went out and competed.”

Sept. 30, 2001, at FedEx Field: Chiefs 45, Redskins 13

“I’m as disappointed as I have been at any time in my coaching experience,” Redskins Coach Marty Schottenheimer said after the Redskins fell to 0-3 with a season point differential of 112-16. “I don’t think I’ve ever been through anything like this. It just deepens my resolve, to be honest with you. It really does. It’s going to be a lot of hard work. But if that’s all it takes, then we’ll get it done.”

Former Redskins quarterback Trent Green passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns and running back Priest Holmes added 147 yards rushing and two scores for the previously winless Chiefs. Washington quarterback Tony Banks threw for only 116 yards in defeat.

“It’s pretty bad,” Redskins defensive lineman Kenard Lang said. “I don’t even want to show my face outside this locker room.”

Oct. 16, 2005, at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs 28, Redskins 21

Led by Mark Brunell’s 331 yards passing, including a 78-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss, the Redskins outgained the Chiefs by more than 100 yards. Kansas City won the turnover battle (3-0) and the game. Holmes was limited to 18 yards rushing on 14 carries, but he had five receptions for 100 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Jared Allen sacked Brunell three times.

“It’s been the same story we’ve been singing all year long,” Redskins running back Clinton Portis said after Washington fell to 3-2. “Turnovers and penalties. Turnovers and penalties. Nothing’s changed.”

Oct. 18, 2009, at FedEx Field: Chiefs 14, Redskins 6

Four Ryan Succop field goals and a safety in the final minute accounted for the Chiefs’ scoring in a game that featured barely 500 yards of total offense. Here’s how The Post’s Thomas Boswell described the scene at FedEx Field as Succop put the Chiefs ahead for good late in the fourth quarter.

With less than four minutes to play at FedEx Field, the sparse remains of the Redskins crowd stood as one. And they did nothing.
They did not cheer. They did not exhort their team to block a long field goal by a Kansas City rookie named Ryan Succop, the final player picked in the last NFL draft, which would put the awful Chiefs, losers of 28 of their previous 30 games, ahead 9-6.
The crowd did not boo, either. Instead, in a sight I can never remember at a sporting event, the fans spontaneously shared a moment of silence, a communal mortification, as they stood witness to the bleakest moment — all factors considered — in the history of the Redskins franchise.

With the Redskins trailing 3-0 at halftime, Todd Collins replaced an ineffective Jason Campbell in the third quarter and didn’t fare any better.

“I feel awful for the fans,” Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, who was stripped of his play-calling duties after the game, said. “The fans sacrifice a lot, too. I am not naive about that. I am upset, too.”

Dec. 8, 2013, at FedEx Field: Chiefs 45, Redskins 10

The highlight of the game for Washington was a seven-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Logan Paulsen with one minute remaining before halftime and the Chiefs already leading 31-0. Quintin Demps returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to squash any hopes of a historic comeback.

“To put up a performance like this and get booed in your home stadium,” linebacker London Fletcher said. “I understand the fans’ frustration. I wanted to boo us too. It’s just not something you would’ve imagined going through. It’s pretty difficult.”

“They beat our [butts], man,” wide receiver Santana Moss said. “It was embarrassing. Ain’t nothing to say about the performance. We stunk.”

The loss, which dropped Washington to 3-10, came on the same day that a report leaked that Coach Mike Shanahan’s relationship with Snyder was damaged beyond repair. Shanahan was fired after the season.

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30 years later, Redskins players remain proud they stuck together during strike