31 Oct 1999: Shane Mathews #9 of the Chicago Bears is sacked during the game.
Flashback Friday returns today to take younger Redskins fans back to a time that you’ve only thought of as a mythical time, a time when the Redskins built 45-0 leads and pulled their starters early in the 3rd quarter. Yes, young fans, there was a time when such things happened.
It wasn’t so long ago, October 31, 1999...4 days after the Redskins announced that FedEx had bought the naming rights to Redskins Stadium for $200 million bucks. The Redskins new owner, Dan Snyder had bought the team for $800 million in May of 1999. In a move that would come to personify Dan Snyder as a owner, he immediately erased Jack Kent Cooke’s name from the stadium and turned a profit. Over the next decade he would find a way to cram 90,000+ fans into that stadium that was designed to fit 75,000 in order to maximize profit. He then charged to watch training camp and charged a small fortune for parking. Wait, I’m off topic…Dan Snyder has changed?!
Let’s focus on the game. The Redskins jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a Stephen Davis 76 yard touchdown run. This wouldn’t prove to be the biggest play of the game, let alone the first quarter. A few minutes later another BIG play happened, provided by Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson. Wilkinson, who was listed at 313lbs in the program but easily weighed more, took a tipped pass from Bears QB Shane Matthews (making his biggest play as a QB for the Redskins, haha) 88 yards for a score to put the Redskins up 14-0.
The Redskins would add 2 more TD’s and a 50 yard Brett Conway field goal in the 2nd quarter. Brad Johnson scored on a 1 yard rush and Michael Westbrook hauled in a 13 yard pass from Johnson to make the score 31-0 at half.
Davis scored from 2 yards out on a run and Larry Centers had a 22 yard TD reception from Johnson to make the score Redskins 45 Bears 0, midway thru the 3rd quarter. The Bears would bring in rookie Cade McNown to put up some numbers against the Redskins prevent defense the rest of the way. 2 long passes from McNown to Marcus Robinson helped make the final score a more respectable looking 48-22.
Offensively the Redskins were led by Davis, who would rush for 143 yards and 2 TD’s on only 12 carries. Johnson had 3 total TD’s and 205 yards passing. Westbrook caught 6 balls for 85 yards and a touchdown. Because of the huge lead, Rodney Peete finished up at QB, completing only 2 out of 8 passes with an interception…how did Holly Robinson not leave him?
Wilkinson would add a sack to go along with his TD and Marco Coleman had 2 sacks. Matt Stevens, who would later become paralyzed due to a motorcycle accident, had 2 interceptions and Sam Shade added another interception.
The 1999 Redskins would go on to win the NFC East, the last time they have done so. The team was built by Charley Casserly, the long-time Redskins GM who was fired by Snyder only 3 months into Snyder’s tenure. The Redskins haven’t won, or even hosted a home playoff game since 1999.
Cheers and Hail