The New York Giants travel to DC to take on the Washington Redskins on Monday night. The two teams are in the 81st season of their rivalry, with the Giants holding the upper hand in head-to-head matchups, compiling a 92-63-4 record vs. the Redskins. They have only met twice in the playoffs, with each coming out on top once, but these old-time NFL powerhouses have a combined 13 NFL Championships, which include seven Super Bowls. Here is some Giants-Redskins history, some trivia and some minutiae.
The Redskins began life as the Boston Braves, in 1932. After losing the opener that year to the Brooklyn Dodgers, 14-0, the Braves defeated the Giants, 14-6, at Braves Field, for the franchise's first-ever victory. They finished their debut season in fourth place, with a 4-4-2 record, while the Giants were right behind them in the standings, with a 4-6-2 mark. The Braves changed their name to the Redskins the following year (they moved to Washington, DC, in 1937), and the Giants notched their first victory over the Redskins franchise, with a 7-0 win at the Polo Grounds on Nov. 12 (the 'Skins' home field was Fenway Park that season).
The Giants' record vs. the Redskins by the decade: 1930s: 9-5-2; 1940s: 12-9; 1950s: 15-5; 1960s: 12-5-1; 1970s: 7-13; 1980s: 10-11; 1990s: 11-8-1; 2000s: 14-6; 2010s: 3-2
The first time the two teams met in the playoffs came on Dec. 19, 1943, when they finished in a tie for first place in the East Division, with 6-3-1 records. Washington steamrolled over the Giants, winning 28-0. They were led by Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who threw for 199 yards, on 16-for-21 passing, with a touchdown pass and two interceptions. He intercepted two passes himself playing defensive back, and he also punted four times in that game. Andy Farkas rushed for three touchdowns for the Redskins. Emery Nix and Tuffy Leemans both completed two passes in 10 attempts for the Giants, while Leeman tossed three picks. Washington lost to the Bears, though, 41-21, in the NFL title game. The Giants exacted playoff revenge on Jan. 11, 1987, in the NFC Championship Game, by whipping the 'Skins, 17-0, on a typical blustery day at the Meadowlands. Washington punter Steve Cox punted nine times and had all kinds of trouble with the wind, while Jay Schroeder threw 50 passes but only completed 20 of them. Phil Simms on the other hand, only tossed 14 passes, completing seven of them, one a touchdown to Lionel Manuel. Joe Morris ran for 87 yards with a touchdown, while Gary Reasons had a sack and an interception in the game.
The Giants and Redskins not only played two of the lowest scoring games in NFL history (a pair of 0-0 ties, one two weeks after their first-ever meeting in '32 and the other in '39), they played in the highest scoring game as well, a 72-41 Redskins victory, on Nov. 27, 1966, at District of Columbia Stadium (later to be renamed RFK Stadium). There were 16 touchdowns in all, with six scores of 50 or more yards: A.D. Whitfield of the Redskins scored on a 63-yard run, the 'Skins' Brig Owens returned a fumble 62-yards for a touchdown, Homer Jones and Gary Wood had a 50-yard touchdown connection, Charley Taylor and Sonny Jurgensen hooked up for 72 yards, Washington's Rickie Harris returned a punt 52 yards and Owens scored another touchdown, this time on a 60-yard interception return. While Jurgensen went an efficient 10-for-16, throwing for 145 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, Wood and Tom Kennedy of the Giants threw a combined five picks. Brothers Pete and Charlie Gogolak kicked 14 extra points (they each missed one), while Charlie booted a 29-yard field goal for the final three points of the game for the Redskins, possibly at the urging of former Giant and then-Redskin linebacker Sam Huff, who wanted to rub the win in his old team's face.
The biggest shutout of the series occurred on Nov. 5, 1961, at Yankee Stadium, with the Giants shellacking the Redskins, 53-0. The Giants opened the scoring with a safety, when they tackled their future quarterback, Norm Snead, in the end zone (they would get another safety in the second quarter as well). Receiver Del Shoffner was the star for the Giants, with three touchdowns catches, six receptions and 122 receiving yards. Y.A. Tittle went 15-for-28, for 192 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Snead was 7-for-20, for 83 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. A backup for each team also threw two picks for a total of eight interceptions in the game.
On Nov. 18, 1985, one of the most infamous moments in NFL history took place, when Lawrence Taylor broke Joe Theismann's leg on Monday Night Football. The Redskins won the game, though, 23-21. The Giants had a 21-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Mark Moseley booted a 28-yard field goal and Clint Didier caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jay Schroeder for the winning points. Taylor had two sacks in the game, while Theismann threw for 50 yards on 7-for-10 passing, with one touchdown, in the final game of his career. Schroeder threw for 221 yards on 13-for-20 passing. Art Monk had a big day, with seven receptions and 130 yards. Joe Morris scored all three Giant touchdowns, while rushing for 118 yards.
Eli Manning has had a lot of success against Washington, compiling an 11-5 record against the 'Skins, including this year's "doesn't take a rocket scientist" 27-23 win. He made his third career start vs. Washington, on Dec. 5, 2004, a 31-7 loss. He went 12-for-25, threw for 113 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. Derrick Ward returned a kickoff 92 yards for the only New York touchdown. The 24-17 victory in Week 3 of the 2007 season jump-started the Giants' road to the Super Bowl. Losing 17-3 at halftime, the Giants scored 21 unanswered points in the second half, with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Plaxico Burress being the winning points. The game ended when the Giants defense made a goal-line stand, stopping Washington from scoring from New York's one-yard line on three consecutive plays after Jason Campbell spiked the ball in first down.
The Redskins have coincidentally employed two Green Bay Packers legends at the end of their careers. Packers founder and coach Curly Lambeau finished his coaching career with two years on the Redskins' sideline (1952, '53), after 29 years with the Packers (1921-49) and two seasons leading the Chicago Cardinals. Lambeau had a 3-1 record vs. the Giants in those two season. Vince Lombardi ended 14 straight losing seasons for Washington in his one year as Redskins coach in 1969, leading them to a 7-5-2 record. He beat the Giants that year, 20-14, on Oct. 19. Hall of Famers Fran Tarkenton and Sonny Jurgensen faced each other in the game, but no touchdown passes were thrown, as each team had two rushing touchdowns, with the difference being a Rickie Harris 86-yard punt return for the winning score. Lombardi died less than a year later, on Sept. 3, 1970, of cancer, at the age of 57.