Many NFL teams have had either great quarterbacks and or running backs over the years. Yet how often have any of them been fortunate to have teamed up together at the same time?
For the Redskins, they have had a few throughout their history. This year I think it is safe to say they have another dynamic duo in RG3 and Alfred Morris. What is remarkable, beyond all their achievements, is they are both rookies.
In the entire NFL, five rookie quarterbacks have won playoff games since 1970. Mark Sanchez (yes that Mark Sanchez), Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger Shaun King and T.J Yates. None of them were paired up with a rookie running back.
There have been a few rookie running backs who have won playoff games, most notably Chris Johnson, Joseph Addai, and Reggie Bush. None of them were paired up with a rookie quarterback and no Redskin rookie running back has won a playoff game.
The rookie QB / rookie RB combo (certainly one which is successful and stands an excellent chance of winning their first playoff game) is truly remarkable.
To find the last Redskin rookie quarterback to win a playoff game, you have to go all the way back in the record books to 1937 to this person who happens to be none other than the great Sammy Baugh. As you will see below, he also helped lead the Redskins to a Super Bowl Victory over the Chicago Bears that very same year.
Will history repeat itself this year? Lets hope so.
Listed below are what I consider the greatest Redskin quarterback / running back combos.
And yes, I am including RG3 and Morris in this list.
SAMMY BAUGH (1937 – 1952)
During his rookie season in 1937, Baugh played quarterback, defensive back, and punter, set an NFL record for completions with 91 in 218 attempts and threw for a league-high 1,127 yards. He led the Redskins to the NFL Championship game against the Chicago Bears, where he finished 17 of 33 for 335 yards and his second-half touchdown passes of 55, 78 and 33 yards gave Washington a 28–21 victory. His 335 passing yards are the most in a playoff game by any rookie QB in NFL history.
- 5× All-Star selection (1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942)
- Pro Bowl selection (1951)
- 7× First-team All-Pro selection (1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1948)
- 2× Second-team All-Pro selection (1938, 1941)
- 2× NFL Player of the Year (1947, 1948)
CLIFF BATTLES (1932 – 1937)
- 6× All-Pro selection (1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937)
- 2× NFL Rushing champion (1932, 1937)
SONNY JURGENSEN (1964 – 1974)
Five time Pro Bowl selections (four with Washington). Led the NFL in passing three years 1966, 1967, 1969)
In 1967, Jurgensen broke his own record by passing for 3,747 yards and also set NFL single-season records for attempts (508) and completions (288).
In 1969 Jurgensen led the NFL in attempts (442), completions (274), completion percentage (62%) and passing yards (3,102).
LARRY BROWN (1969 – 1976)
He went to four consecutive Pro Bowls during his first four seasons and led the Redskins to their 1973 Super Bowl VII appearance against the “perfect season” Miami Dolphins. Brown was the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player in 1972.
He finished in the top five of the league for rushes five times, rushing yards three times, yards from scrimmage three times and total touchdowns twice. Brown was the first Redskins running back to gain more than 1,000 yards in a single season.
JOE THEISMANN (1974 – 1985)
One Time Super Bowl Champion (1983) and two time Pro Bowl selections and NFL Offensive Player of the year 1983.
Theismann led the Redskins to a win in Super Bowl XVII and an appearance in Super Bowl XVIII and would go on to set several Redskins franchise records, including most career passing attempts (3,602), most career passing completions (2,044) and most career passing yards (25,206), while also throwing 160 touchdown passes, with 138 interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 1,815 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was named NFL MVP in 1983 by four organizations. He earned the Player of the Game Award in the second of his two Pro Bowl appearances.
JOHN RIGGINS (1976 – 1979) (1981 – 1985)
Super Bowl MVP and Champion (1983)
he gained 444 Playoff yards in victories over the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings (where he had a franchise playoff record 185 yards), and Dallas Cowboys, and helped the Redskins reach Super Bowl XVII. Riggins rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards on 38 carries as the Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17. He was then named Super Bowl MVP.
4) – Just to review their remarkable achievements so far
ROBERT GRIFFIN III (2012 – Present)
- Pro Bowl (2012)
- 2× NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (September 2012; November 2012)
- 2× NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 1, 2012; Week 11, 2012)
- 7× Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 1, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 16 2012)
- 59th “Perfect Game” in NFL History (November 18, 2012 vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
ALFRED MORRIS (2012 – Present)
- Washington Redskins Franchise Record of All-Time Rushing Leader in a Single Season (1,613 yards; 2012–present)
- 2× Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 7, 2012; Week 14, 2012)
- NFC Offensive Player of the Week (2012: Week 17)
All Stats referenced from wikipedia.org and pro-football-reference.com
Who do you think makes, or made, a great QB – RB Combo?