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Washington's Best All-Time Opener: MVP To The Rescue

WFT has been surprisingly mediocre in Week 1

Evidenced by its 42-43-4 all-time record, Week 1 hasn't always been kind to the Washington Football Team.

Last year, however, the burgundy and gold beat the Philadelphia Eagles and on Sunday head coach Ron Rivera's squad will be a slight favorite over the Los Angeles Chargers in its 2021 debut in D.C.

Opening day has given Washington fans its share of memories.

READ MORE: WFT 2021 Season Preview

In 1973, the Redskins' defense harassed and humiliated a quarterback named Johnny Unitas in a 38-0 rout of the Chargers. Two seasons later quarterback Billy Kilmer threw four touchdown passes in a 41-3 romp over the New Orleans Saints. The 1991 Super Bowl season began with a 45-0 shutout in a preview of the NFC Championship Game against Barry Sanders and the Detroit Lions. In 1993 the Redskins beat the defending Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, 35-16, on Monday Night Football. And in 2004, critics of the trading of Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey were quickly silenced as running back Clinton Portis debuted with a 74-yard touchdown run in a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But for drama - and, in the end, frenzied satisfaction - no Washington Week 1 game delivered like Sept. 12, 1982.

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Down 10-0 early and 27-14 entering the fourth quarter against the Eagles in Veterans Stadium, the Redskins rallied behind a 78-yard pass from Joe Theismann to Charlie Brown and a scoring plunge by John Riggins.

The 1982 NFL MVP took it from there.

Kicker Mark Moseley made three field goals in clutch time: a 30-yarder late in the fourth quarter, a 48-yarder that forced overtime and a the game-winner in the extra period from 26.

READ MORE: How Close Was WFT To Trading For QB Matthew Stafford?

The frantic rally jump-started a magical season for both Mosely and Washington. In a strike-shortened season sliced to nine games, the old-school, straight-on kicker made 20 of 21 field goals and provided the pivotal points in five of Washington's eight victories.

After going 8-1 in the regular season, Washington beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game and then thumped the Miami Dolphins to win Super Bowl XVII.

And it all started in Philly in September.