But the NFL’s very best team at CenturyLink Field is the team from the license plate, the team from the other Washington, your very own Washington Redskins, who are now 4-0 in regular-season games at that famously inhospitable stadium — well, inhospitable for every team besides Washington. For the Redskins, it seems like home.
Sure, there are a bunch of other NFL teams with .500 records at CenturyLink, including both the Eagles (2-2) and Cowboys (2-2). And yes, this whole oddity is made doubly odd by the fact that three of Washington’s past four playoff appearances have been ended by the Seahawks — twice at CenturyLink. If you factor in the postseason, Seattle’s .726 winning percentage at CenturyLink creeps ahead of Washington’s .667 percentage, which remains second-best. And yeah, I’m mostly writing this because — judging from my Twitter responses Sunday night — pointing out that the Redskins have a better record at CenturyLink Field makes Seahawks fans go absolutely bonkers.
(The Redskins have a better record at CenturyLink Field than the Seahawks, btw.)
But the 4-0 thing … I mean, look back at the box scores. It doesn’t get any less weird when you see the men responsible for those four wins.
There was a 2002 game, when the underdog Redskins and Steve Spurrier headed to face Mike Holmgren’s Seahawks in the first year of CenturyLink Field. Washington won, 14-3, thanks to Shane Matthews’ touchdown passes to Darnerien McCants and Rod Gardner. Yes, Darnerien McCants caught a game-winning touchdown pass in CenturyLink Field.
There was a 2008 game, Jim Zorn’s homecoming, a 20-17 Redskins comeback win that came during a season-closing 2-6 stretch. Yes, the flailing Redskins under Jim Zorn recorded one of their final wins in CenturyLink Field, thanks to 143 rushing yards from Clinton Portis in perhaps the last great running game of his Redskins tenure.
There was a 2011 game, when the underdog Redskins and Mike Shanahan topped the Seahawks, 23-17, thanks to Rex Grossman’s 314-yard two-touchdown performance. The touchdowns were caught by Fred Davis and Anthony Armstrong, whose 50-yard bomb was the winning score. What a weird series. What a weird sport.
And then came Sunday’s 17-14 upset , one of the biggest surprises in recent Redskins history, a win keyed by people such as Will Compton and Brian Quick and Josh Doctson (along with three missed Seattle field goals and 16 Seattle penalties).
The result, of course, is that since CenturyLink opened, the Redskins have a better record there than in any NFL venue, including their own. They’re 2-0 in New Orleans and Oakland and Tennessee, and 1-0 in L.A. They’re 4-1 in Chicago. They’re 1-1 in Baltimore and Cleveland and Houston and Jacksonville. They have more wins in Dallas (5-10) and Philly (7-9) than they do in Seattle. But the fact remains: They have been better in CenturyLink Field than anywhere else, and they have been better there than anyone else.
Weird. Really, really weird.
(Overall, the Redskins are 45-78-1 on the road since 2002, and 58-66 at home.)