Attendance: 63,130
MVP: Mark Rypien
Setting the Stage | Scoring Summary | The Game | Stats | Fan Comments | Links
Setting the Stage:

The Redskins team that won Super Bowl XXVI was one of the greatest teams ever assembled. They're easy to dismiss because of the 'generic' talent, but their domination was undeniable.

Mark Rypien had a career year. A year that he would never again duplicate. There were basically two reasons for his success. He threw the long pass with unparallelled success and accuracy. It seemed every time 'Ryp' aired it out, it flew squarely into the outstreched arms of a receiver in full stride. And he also received the best pocket protection that an NFL quarterback had ever seen or has since seen. Version two of the Hogs allowed an incredible 9 sacks in 18 regular and post season games

I'll always remember a couple of things from the very start of the game. Firstly, I remember them interviewing both Jim Lachey and Bruce Smith before the game. It wasn't anything either of them said, it was that after both interviews, the commentator remarked that he was shocked and to paraphrase him, 'and that it was usually the defensive players that were the intense guys'. Lachey was normally very quiet, but the fire in his eyes that day was unmistakeable.

Secondly, I remember (fondly) the Thurman Thomas helmet fiasco. I knew the Redskins were in good shape when the Bills had to run their first series with Kenneth Davis because Thomas could not find his helmet. It wasn't because of the drop in talent between Thomas and Davis, but because it went hand-in-hand with the interview portion that I'd seen earlier... the Redskins were there to win, the Bills were not.

They say big games often come down to coaching and on that day, Marv Levy was certainly no match for Joe Gibbs.

-Mark Solway

Scoring Summary:

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Washington Redskins 0 17 14 6 37
Buffalo Bills 0 0 10 14 24

WAS- FG Lohmiller 34, 1:58 2nd
WAS- Byner 10 pass from Rypien (Lohmiller kick), 5:06 2nd
WAS- Riggs 1 run (Lohmiller kick), 7:43 2nd
WAS- Riggs 2 run (Lohmiller kick), 0:16 3rd
BUF- FG Norwood 21, 3:01 3rd
BUF- Thomas 1 run (Norwood kick), 9:02 3rd
WAS- Clark 30 pass from Rypien (Lohmiller kick), 13:36 3rd
WAS- FG Lohmiller 25, 0:06 4th
WAS- FG Lohmiller 39, 3:24 4th
BUF- Metzelaars 2 pass from Kelly (Norwood kick), 9:01 4th
BUF- Beebe 4 pass from Kelly (Norwood kick), 11:05 4th
Super Bowl XXVI - Washington Redskins vs. Buffalo Bills


The Game:

In what would become a dubious four-year run of frustration and disappointment, 1991 marked the Buffalo Bills second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. Many expected this Super Bowl to be a high-scoring affair as the leagues top two offenses went toe-to-toe.

That prediction seemed to be in jeopardy at the close of a scoreless first quarter, as neither team had been able to get rolling. The Redskins wasted two drives inside the Buffalo 10-yard line with a botched field goal attempt and a Kirby Jackson interception on the 7-yard line. Including Jackson’s interception, the league’s two absolute best offensive units combined for two three and outs, a fumbled snap, and two interceptions.

It wasn’t until early in the second quarter that Chip Lohmiller finally ended the scoring drought with his 34-yard field goal. This seemed to be a catalyst for the sleeping Redskins offense as they would score on the following two drives as well.

After the Redskins defense forced another three and out, Mark Rypien and Earnest Byner went to work. Rypien hit Gary Clark on the left sideline for a 16-yard gain, followed by a 6-yard scamper for Byner. Rypien then hit another pass to Monk for 8-yards. Rypien tried Monk again, resulting in an incompletion, but Buffalo LB Cornelius Bennett picked up a roughing the passer call, moving the ball half the distance to the goal. Byner then rumbled right for a 1-yard pick-up, before increasing the Washington lead to ten with a 10-yard reception for the first touchdown of Super Bowl XXVI.

After the ensuing kick-off, Jim Kelly threw an incomplete pass, followed by his second interception of the day to Darrell Green. Washington took the turnover opportunity and ran with it. After picking up a first down from an illegal contact penalty on a deep pass to Monk, Ricky Ervin picked up a yard. Rypien hit Gary Clark across the middle for a 34-yard pick-up and Ervins took it another 14 to the Buffalo 1-yard line. As he had all season, Gerald Riggs came in to take it in for a 1-yard score.

Riggs’ touchdown ended the second quarter excitement, as the two teams combined for five punts before Mark Rypien knelt at the Washington 33 to end the half; the score Washington 17, Buffalo 0.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, the Washington pass rush hurried a Jim Kelly throw, and forced his third interception. Washington linebacker, Kurt Gouveia returned the interception 23-yards and the Redskins started at the Buffalo 2-yard line. Once again they called upon Gerald Riggs to bang it home and three seconds later, the Redskins had a commanding 24-0 lead.

Kelly was finally able to get his unit rolling against the smothering Redskins defense on the next possession, . Kelly hit 5 passes on the drive to get Buffalo down to Washington's 3-yard line. All 10 plays on the drive were passing plays, including a 43-yarder to Don Beebe over the middle. The Redskins defense bent but didn't break, and stuffed the Bills. Scott Norwood came out and finally put Buffalo on the board with a 21-yard field goal, reducing the deficit to 21 points.

The Redskins were unable to answer, and Buffalo took over on their own 44-yard line after a Kelly Goodburn punt ricocheted off of punt returner Clifford Hicks and bounced out of bounds. The Redskins defense stiffened, but a 29-yard penalty on cornerback Martin Mayhew in the end zone put the Bills on the 1-yard line. After stuffing Thurman Thomas on first down and Kenneth Davis on second, Thomas was able to find running room on the left side for a score. Washington had seen their 24-point lead shrink to 14 points in just over 6 minutes.

The Redskins started the next drive on their 21-yard line, and Gary Clark decided it was time to put his mark on the game. After receptions of 6, 10 and 14-yards respectively, Clark found the right corner of the end zone on a 30-yard strike from Rypien. Just like that, the 21-point lead was restored.

On Buffalo’s next drive, Washington’s defense resumed it’s dominating ways. Alvoid Mays crushed Jim Kelly on the 8-yard line, causing him to fumble. Redskins defensive end Fred Stokes recovered the ball on the Buffalo 14-yard line. Up by 21, with the ball, and heading into the fourth quarter. But the offense stalled after a holding penalty to Raleigh Mckenzie, and Washington had to settle for a 25-yard Lohmiller field goal.

But Kelly’s woes only continued. A sack, an incomplete pass, followed by a Brad Edwards 35-yard interception return. The Redskins mercifully opted for three straight time killing Ricky Ervins’ runs, before settling for a 39-yard field goal.

Buffalo tried desperately to come back. On the next possession, Pete Metzelaars capped off a 79-yard, 15 play drive with a 2-yard reception from Kelly. Buffalo recovered their onside kick attempt, and cashed in a 9-play, 50 yard drive with a leaping catch from Don Beebe on a 4-yard pass. The Bills were within two scores at 37-24 with just under four minutes to go, but it was too little, too late.

The Redskins recovered the second Buffalo onside kick attempt. And even when the whole stadium knew that the Redskins were going to run the ball, the Bills defense couldn't stop the Hogs and Ricky Ervins from peeling off 29 yards on three consecutive runs. The Bills used two of their timeouts to bring up a third and two with just two and a half minutes to go. But the Hogs and Ervins lined up and did it again and moved the chains for the last time with a two-yard first down run that took the game all the way down to the two-minute warning. With only one timeout left to stop the clock, Rypien knelt 4 straight times to take the clock down to 25 seconds.

Coach Marv Levy went to the bench and brought in quarterback Frank Reich who had made a name for himself with his uncanny ability to put together amazing comebacks. There was no magic on this day however. Reich completed an 11-yard pass to Kenneth Davis before time expired. The Washington Redskins had reached the pinnacle of their sport for the third time in 10 years, beating the Buffalo Bills 37-24.

- Scott Hurrey



Team Statistics:

Redskins Bills
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 24 25
Rushing 10 4
Passing 12 18
Penalty 2 3
TOTAL NET YARDAGE 417 283
Total Offensive Plays 73 82
Average Gain per Offensive Play 5.7 3.5
NET YARDS RUSHING 125 43
Total Rushing Plays 40 18
Average Gain per Rushing Play 3.1 2.4
NET YARDS PASSING 292 240
Pass Att.–Comp.–Int. 33–18–1 59–29–4
Times Sacked–Yards Lost 0–0 5–46
Gross Yards Passing 292 286
Avg. Gain per Pass (Incl. Sacks) 8.8 3.8
PUNTS–YARDS 4–150 6–210
Average Distance 37.5 35.0
Had Blocked 0 0
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE 95 90
Kickoff Returns–Yards 1–16 4–77
Punt Returns–Yards 0–0 3–9
Interception Returns–Yards 4–79 1–4
TOTAL TURNOVERS 1 5
Fumbles–Lost 1–0 6–1
Had Intercepted 1 4
PENALTIES–YARDS 5–82 6–50
TOTAL POINTS SCORED 37 24
Touchdowns Rushing 2 1
Touchdowns Passing 2 2
Touchdowns Returns 0 0
Extra Points 4 3
Field Goals–Attempts 3–3 1–1
Safeties 0 0
THIRD–DOWN EFFICIENCY 6/16 7/17
FOURTH–DOWN EFFICIENCY 0/1 2/2
TIME OF POSSESSION 33:43 26:17
Click here for individual statistics



Fan Commentary:

Danny Carmical - "That entire year had to be among the best year for any long time Redskins Fan. Total Domination amongst the majority of our opponents. Winning the Super Bowl was just icing on the cake. Brad Edwards was my MVP for that Super Bowl."

Scott Peek - "What a Defense! We came out to hit that day, and hit we did! Jim Kelly was one battered QB after that game."

Dan Hines - "The Skins absolutely dominated the league that year. I was living in California and went to the Thanksgiving Day weekend game against the Rams. The Skins won to go 12-0 and clinch the division. After the game we celebrated in the end zone with the Skins and the D.C. media. Nothing like going to a Skins road game!! I went to a sports bar on the base to watch the SB and there was a big reserve unit from Buffalo their on temporary duty. I ran my mouth so much before the game that they all asked me to put my money where my mouth was. I did and walked out after the game with a few hundred dollars."



More Articles:

Redskins.com Game Summary

Washington Post Game Summary

SuperBowl.com's Official Game Summary

Kornheiser's Skins Bandwagon

Redskins 'Ryp' the Bickering Bills





Washington: 14-2
OpponentScore
DetroitW 45-0
at DallasW 33-31
PhoenixW 34-0
at CincinnatiW 34-27
PhiladelphiaW 23-0
at ChicagoW 20-7
ClevelandW 42-17
at N.Y. Giants W 17-13
HoustonW 16-13
AtlantaW 56-17
at PittsburghW 41-14
Dallas L 24-21
at L.A. RamsW 27-6
at PhoenixW 20-14
N.Y. GiantsW 34-17
at PhiladelphiaL 24-22
Atlanta*W 24-7
Detroit*W 41-10
* NFC Playoffs
Buffalo: 13-3
OpponentScore
MiamiW 35-31
PittsburghW 52-34
at N.Y. JetsW 23-20
at Tampa BayW 17-10
ChicagoW 35-20
at Kansas CityL 33-6
IndianapolisW 42-6
CincinnatiW 35-16
New EnglandW 22-17
at Green BayW 34-24
at MiamiW 41-27
at New EnglandL 16-13
N.Y. JetsW 24-13
at L.A. RaidersW 30-27
at IndianapolisW 35-7
DetroitL 17-14
Kansas City*W 37-14
Denver*W 10-7
* AFC Playoffs
Washington Redskins
Head Coach - Joe Gibbs
Offense
WRArt Monk
TERon Middleton
LTJim Lachey
LGRaleigh McKenzie
CJeff Bostic
RG Mark Schlereth
RTJoe Jacoby
TEDon Warren
WRGary Clark
QBMark Rypien
RBEarnest Byner
Defense
LECharles Mann
LTEric Williams
RTTim Johnson
REFred Stokes
LBWilbur Marshall
LBKurt Gouveia
LBAndre Collins
CBMartin Mayhew
CBDarrell Green
SSDanny Copeland
FSBrad Edwards
Buffalo Bills
Head Coach - Marv Levy
Offense
WRJames Lofton
TEPete Metzelaars
LTWill Woolford
LGGlenn Parker
CKent Hull
RG Jim Ritcher
RTHoward Ballard
TEKeith McKeller
WRAndre Reed
QBJim Kelly
RBKenneth Davis
Defense
LEJeff Wright
NTLeon Seals
REBruce Smith
LBCornelius Bennett
LBShane Conlan
LBCarlton Bailey
LBDarryl Talley
CBNate Odoms
CBKirby Jackson
SSMark Kelso
FSDwight Drane


Mark Rypien was named the game's MVP after going 18 of 33 for 292 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. Statistics alone are not indicative of the leadership 'Ryp' showed in leading the Redskins to victory.
Mark Rypien was born in Calgary, Alberta and was the first Canadian born player to ever start an NFL game. Obviously he was also the first Canadian QB to ever win a Super Bowl.
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