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Washington Commanders – Established 1932


The recently renamed Washington Commanders are one of the eldest and most storied franchises in all of professional football. Washington has gone through a few names since 1932 but started off as the Boston Braves. The Braves were brought into the NFL to replace the temporarily traveling Cleveland Indians and played their first game on October 2, 1932.


The Braves’ name didn’t last long and was changed to the Redskins for the 1933 season before the entire team relocated to Washington D.C. in 1937. It was that same year that the Redskins won their first NFL Championship. A feat they would accomplish for a second time in 1942 before the Super Bowl era. Additionally, they played in and lost the 1936m 1940, 1943, and 1945 Championship Games during a dominant period for Washington football.


However, between 1946 to 1970, the state of the team went downhill and stayed there for decades. During that time, Washington posted just four winning seasons and did not make a single appearance in the playoffs. During these dark days, the Redskins went 12 years, between 1956 and 1968, without notching a winning season. 1961 was their worst season to date with a 1-12-1 record.


The franchise got back on track in 1971 with their first trip to the playoffs in decades. The following season, in 1972, the Redskins made it to their first Super Bowl but lost to the Dolphins 14-7. The Redskins would make it back to the playoffs three more times between 1973 and 1973 but failed to make it out of the first round each time.


Then, in the 1980s, the franchise enjoyed its most successful years in the Super Bowl era. They won three Super Bowls between 1982 and 1991 under the tutelage of head coach Joe Gibbs. Gibbs coached the team from 1981-1992 and dominated the league for most of it. So much so that their place kicker Mark Mosley won the NFL MVP one year. Joe Theisman led the team for much of that run and helped them become one of the most legendary teams in NFL history.


Since 1991. Things have not been great in Washington with just four NFC East titles and nine winning seasons in the last 32 years. The name of the franchise was changed again in 2022 to the Washington Commanders after years of debate