The Redskins’ brutal 2017 schedule has already taken them to places they’ve never won (Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium) and places they’ve never lost during the regular season (Seattle’s CenturyLink Field). After falling to 4-5 with a loss to the Vikings in a home game that looked and sounded more like a road game on Sunday, Washington hits the road again this week for New Orleans, where the 7-2 Saints await.
To borrow a hashtag from Wizards Twitter, it would be #SoRedskins for Jay Gruden’s team, which opened as a 7.5-point underdog, to surprise the Saints in New Orleans and then lose to the lowly Giants at home on Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a reason to believe the first part of this scenario is possible, it could be a letdown game for the Saints, who are coming off a blowout win at Buffalo and travel to Los Angeles to face the equally hot Rams next week. There’s also this: The Redskins have been almost as good at the Superdome as they’ve been at CenturyLink Field.
The Redskins are 7-1 all-time at the Superdome and have won four straight at New Orleans dating back to 1994, with their most recent win coming in Robert Griffin III’s sparkling NFL debut in 2012. Fourteen other teams boast a winning record against the Saints at the Superdome, which opened in 1975, but the Saints’ only non-divisional opponent (NFC West or NFC South) with as many wins as the Redskins in New Orleans during that span is the Eagles (7-4).
Here’s a look back at the Redskins’ eight games at the Superdome since 1982.
Dec. 26, 1982: Redskins 27, Saints 10 | Box Score
Joe Theismann passed for 264 yards and two long touchdowns, both to rookie Charlie Brown, and the Redskins claimed sole possession of the No. 1 seed in the NFC thanks to Dallas’s loss to the Eagles. (The Flyers snapping the Capitals’ 14-game unbeaten streak was the primary story on The Post’s Sports front.)
“There is nothing better than to be No. 1,” Dexter Manley said after the Redskins’ defense sacked Saints quarterback Guido Merkens five times and limited him to 104 yards passing. “Maybe this will help us get a little more recognition. I was so glad that Dallas lost. They’ll be back, but I think our time is here.”
“We just aren’t going to have any easy ones,” said Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs, who watched his team pull away with 10 fourth-quarter points. “We now have a knack of winning. But this is a fantastic feeling to be in first place. The only problem is, now we have to make sure we stay where we are.”
Washington would finish the strike-shortened regular season 8-1 en route to winning its first Super Bowl.
Oct. 5, 1985: Redskins 14, Saints 6 | Box Score
Former Saint George Rogers rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown and Art Monk caught a touchdown pass from Jay Schroeder to help the Redskins improve to 5-0, their best start since 1978. Neither team eclipsed 300 yards of offense in the game, which was scoreless after halftime.
“We were killing ourselves,” said Schroeder, who was 14 for 27 for 170 yards and improved to 10-1 as Washington’s starter. “It was just one of those things. We just didn’t play good football. It’s frustrating. It’s really frustrating. You know the team has done this and done this and done this, and then you don’t do it.”
“It’s nice to be boring when you’re 5-0,” guard R.C. Thielemann said.
Oct. 1, 1989: Redskins 16, Saints 14 | Box Score
Washington overcame a 14-3 halftime deficit to even its record at 2-2 despite managing only six points off four Saints turnovers. Gerald Riggs rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown and Chip Lohmiller booted three field goals for the Redskins, who caught a break when Saints kicker Morten Andersen missed a 36-yard field goal with 2:34 to play.
Nov. 23, 1992: Saints 20, Redskins 3 | Box Score
The Saints’ only win against the Redskins in the Superdome came in a defensive struggle on “Monday Night Football.” New Orleans sacked Mark Rypien four times and limited Earnest Byner to 29 yards on 13 carries. Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert was an efficient 14 for 18 for 142 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Quinn Early.
“The Saints played a good, solid game and right now, we’re just not able to make plays,” Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said after Washington was held to a season-low 227 yards and committed 92 yards worth of penalties. “Right now, we can’t win a game like this. We can’t make enough plays to beat a good team like the Saints. We’d have to have a few things go our way.”
Sept. 11, 1994: Redskins 38, Saints 24 | Box Score
Veteran quarterback John Friesz threw four touchdown passes, including two to Henry Ellard, to help Norv Turner earn his first win as an NFL head coach and further delay the start of the Heath Shuler Era in Washington.
“Heath will have his day,” Turner said of the Redskins’ No. 3 overall pick in the 1994 draft. “He will have some great days. When he’s ready to play, we’ll get him playing, but today was a great day for John. John is going to start next week. We’ve got momentum going. The guys have some confidence and we’ll keep working in practice to get Heath ready.”
Brian Mitchell, who fumbled a punt in Washington’s season-opening loss to the Seahawks, had a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown and an 86-yard kickoff return to set up another score.
Friesz started the Redskins’ next two games against the Giants and Falcons, but was replaced by Shuler after throwing three interceptions against Atlanta. Shuler made his first start in a 34-7 loss to the Cowboys the following week. He would not have many great days as an NFL quarterback.
Dec. 30, 2001: Redskins 40, Saints 10 | Box Score
Stephen Davis rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, Ki-Jana Carter rushed for two touchdowns and the Redskins intercepted Aaron Brooks three times in a dominating win that improved Washington to 7-8.
“I’m very proud of this football team,” Redskins Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. “I think they’ve got a tremendous amount of heart in them. There is no quit in them.”
The Redskins, who started the season 0-5, won their regular season finale against Arizona to finish 8-8. Schottenheimer was fired anyway, so that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder could hire Steve Spurrier.
Dec. 17, 2006: Redskins 16, Saints 10 | Box Score
Ladell Betts topped 100 yards rushing for the fourth consecutive game, Jason Campbell threw a touchdown pass to Santana Moss and the Redskins improved to 5-9 while dropping the Saints to 9-5.
“They’re screaming, ‘Let us have it, we want to run it,'” Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said of the offensive line after Washington rushed for 161 yards on 31 carries. “They’ve taken the physical approach like we’ve talked about the last four weeks, and certainly they’ve responded. I’m just really proud of them.”
Sept. 9, 2012: Redskins 40, Saints 32 | Box Score
Washington’s most recent trip to the Superdome was sure memorable. In his NFL debut, Robert Griffin III passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including an 88-yarder to Pierre Garcon that produced the Griffining meme.
“It was definitely loud, first of all. You could feel it in your body, the amount of loudness,” Griffin said. “The guys told me it was going to be like that — the loudest place I’ll ever play in — but why not? It’s New Orleans and the Superdome, so we came out and played big in a big arena, big stage and did a good job.”
“Robert did an unbelievable job,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “For him to play the way he did in his first game in the National Football League, with the poise that he played [with] and some of the throws that he made, and to execute the offense in this environment.”
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