On This Date in Sports January 26, 1992: Hail to the Redskins

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The Washington Redskins win their third Lombardi Trophy in ten years, beating the Buffalo Bills 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. It is the second of four straight Super Bowl losses for the Bills. The game's tone was set when Thurman Thomas misplaced his helmet and missed the first series. Thomas was held to 13 yards on ten carries, as Washington dominated the game. Mark Rypien was named Super Bowl MVP, passing for 292 yards with a pair of touchdowns. 

Thurman Thomas had a great game when the Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Giants 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV. Thomas would have been Super Bowl MVP had Scott Norwood made the field goal. The Bills, led by Marv Levy, posted a record of 13-3 for the second straight season as Thurman Thomas was named NFL MVP with 2,038 All-Purpose yards. In the playoffs, the Bills rumbled to a second straight Super Bowl, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 37-14 and the Denver Broncos 10-7. 


The Washington Redskins led by Joe Gibbs, got off to a great starting beating the Detroit Lions 45-0 in the Sunday night season opener. Washington would win their first 11 games before suffering a 24-21 loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins would post the best record in franchise history at 14-2, with their second loss coming with the backups on the field in the final game of the season. The Redskins beat the Atlanta Falcons in the rain 24-7 in the Divisional Playoffs and again pounded the Lions 41-10 in the NFC Championship. 

Super Bowl XXVI at the Metrodome got off to a sloppy start. NFL MVP Thurman Thomas lost his helmet and missed Buffalo's first offensive series. Washington had the first chance to score as they drove down to the two. A touchdown pass from Mark Rypien to Art Monk was called back after a replay. The game was the final game with the initial replay run as it was removed for the 1992 season and did not return until 1999. The Redskins would not score as Jeff Rutledge fumbled the snap on a field goal attempt. The Redskins quickly got the ball back as Brad Edwards picked off Jim Kelly. However, again Washington failed to score, as Kirby Jackson picked off Rypien in a scoreless first quarter. 

The Redskins made it into Buffalo territory again in the second quarter; this time, they got three points on a 34-yard field goal by Chip Lohmiller. After a poor punt by Chris Mohr, the Redskins again drove down the field with Ernest Byner scoring on a ten-yard pass. Darrell Green intercepted Jim Kelly on the next possession, setting up another Washington score, as Gerald Riggs scored from the one to make it 17-0. 


Jim Kelly's nightmarish game continued in the second half as his first pass after halftime was picked off by Kurt Goviea. Riggs would score from the two on the next play, stretching Washington's lead to 24-0. The Bills had their first sustained drive, with Scott Norwood nailing a 21-yard field goal to put the Bills on the board. The Bills later got a touchdown from Thurman Thomas to cut the deficit to 24-10, as they took advantage of a pass interference call in the end zone. 

It would be as close as the Bills got, as the Redskins went down the field with Gary Clark catching a 30-yard touchdown pass from Mark Rypien to make it 31-10 as the game went into the fourth quarter. A fumble by Jim Kelly would set up a field goal for Chip Lohmiller as the Redskins began to taste victory. Lohmiller added a second field goal to extend the lead to 37-10, as Jim Kelly tossed his fourth interception of the game. Kelly, who struggled all game, had two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late as the Redskins won 37-24.