- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 9, 2018

When the New York Giants hung their 40th point on the board at FedEx Field, Washington Redskins fans were legitimately wondering if Sunday’s game might end up as the worst loss in team history.

Josh Johnson entered the game at quarterback and somehow, improbably, stopped enough of the bleeding to ease those fears, with two garbage-time scoring drives restoring a shred of respect to a 40-16 loss.

Still, with the team supposedly still fighting for a playoff berth, it was an embarrassing loss for the Redskins. How embarrassing?

Enough so to rank in our five worst blowouts in franchise history.

5. Cowboys 38, Redskins 3 (1993)

This marks the most lopsided loss Washington has ever suffered to its most important, most hated rival. It also happened during the 1993 season, which was a major “turning point” season for the franchise.

The Redskins were coming off their third Super Bowl victory, but Joe Gibbs retired after the season. The team crashed back to earth under Richie Petitbon’s one and only season as coach, and his fate might have been sealed after this Week 16 drubbing. Emmitt Smith picked up 153 yards rushing in the blowout, and the Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl and wrest back the mantle of the NFC’s top team from Washington.

4. Giants 40, Redskins 16 (2018)

Perhaps the Redskins can’t be faulted for injuries at quarterback and elsewhere, but that alone doesn’t explain how a team can find itself losing 40-0 in the third quarter of an NFL game — especially against a 4-8 Giants team missing Odell Beckham Jr. The defense had its worst showing yet this season, while the offense threw three interceptions and had to punt eight times.

During the third quarter, Johnson entered the game at quarterback to replace Mark Sanchez. Johnson had signed up for a league called the Alliance of American Football before the Redskins signed him five days before this game. He assured the Redskins wouldn’t be shut out — and the Giants had sat Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley by that point — but the final score still doesn’t tell the story of how poorly Washington played for most of the game.

3. Packers 37, Redskins 0 (2001)

In a nationally-televised Monday night game at Lambeau Field, the most revered stadium in the league, the Redskins couldn’t manage to score a point.

Washington followed up a 30-3 shellacking at the hands of the Chargers in Week 1 with this embarrassing shutout. The quarterback matchup might tell the story best: 31-year-old Brett Favre versus 33-year-old Jeff George. One is in the Hall of Fame, the other a punchline to this day. The Redskins started that season 0-5, but to their credit, they managed a turnaround and finished second in the division at 8-8.

2. Chiefs 45, Redskins 10 (2013)

In many ways, Dec. 8, 2013, was one of the lowest points in franchise history both on and off the field. Despite the supposed “sellout streak,” the team announced an attendance of 56,247, the lowest in FedEx Field history. The Chiefs (led by someone named Alex Smith) scored the first 31 points of the day and Jamaal Charles ran for 150 yards.

But the game also marked the end of the Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III era in Washington. It was the day the public first caught wind of reports that the relationship between Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder was on the outs. Shanahan was fired at the end of the year. Griffin III was deactivated for the remaining three games after this loss, and he would never again produce the magic of his rookie season.

1. Bears 73, Redskins 0 (1940)

Nothing tops No. 1 on our list. After all, the 1940 NFL Championship Game remains the most lopsided score in league history.

When Washington beat Chicago 7-3 in the regular season that year, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall infamously told the press the Bears were “crybabies,” “front-runners” and “quitters.” George Halas used that as what could be considered the first modern example of “bulletin board material” for the rematch. To lose that badly, with the league title on the line? It might be impossible to top.

Dishonorable mentions: Patriots 52, Redskins (2007) and Bears 45, Redskins 10 (1985)

These were lopsided losses, no doubt, but they came at the hands of teams that were steamrolling opponents on their way to Super Bowl appearances. The 1985 Bears famously went 15-1 and won Super Bowl XX in commanding fashion, while the 2007 Patriots finished the regular season 16-0 and rang up 40 or 50 points on several other opponents.

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