1988 ‐ Super Bowl XXII ‐ Washington Redskins vs Denver Broncos
Washington Redskins 42
Denver Broncos 10
January 31, 1988
Super Bowl XXII was at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium before a sellout crowd of 73,302. The NFC champion Redskins (14-4) faced the AFC champion Broncos (12-5-1). 115 million watched the game on ABC and 13.7 million listened on CBS radio.
Washington’s Doug Williams was the first African-American quarterback to start in a Super Bowl. Taking over for struggling starter Jay Schroeder in the strike-shortened 1987 season, Williams helped the Redskins finish as NFC East champions.
The Broncos advanced to their second straight Super Bowl and third overall thanks to another excellent season by quarterback John Elway.
Elway hurled a 56-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage 1:57 into the game. After a Redskins punt, Denver went on a 61-yard drive and completed a 24-yard field goal to lead 10-0.
In the second quarter, Washington exploded for a record 35 points and cruised for the rest of the game. Washington scored in 18 plays and possessed the ball for 5:47. Washington had a record 356 yards. Williams threw a record-tying four touchdowns.
Overall, Williams had 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards, exceeding Joe Montana’s record of 331 yards in Super Bowl XIX. Williams was voted MVP, becoming the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
Cornerback Barry Wilburn had two of Washington’s three interceptions and safety Alvin Walton had two of Washington’s five sacks.
49ers receiver Ricky Sanders finished with 193 yards on nine catches, breaking Lynn Swann’s record of 161 yards in Super Bowl X.
Rookie running back Timmy Smith had a record 204 yards, breaking the mark of 191 yards by Marcus Allen in Super Bowl XVIII.
The two teams had a record total 929 yards. Washington’s six touchdowns, 280 rushing yards, and 602 total yards were also records.
Washington’s Super Bowl XXII victory was its second championship of the 1980s.
Around the World on January 31:
- An oil tanker sank near Anacortes, WA, spilling 70,000 gallons of oil.
Around the NFL in 1988:
- March 10 – The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld the jury verdict in July 1986 that awarded the USFL $1 in its $1.7 billion antitrust suit against the NFL.
- March 17 – Instant replay was continued. A 45-second clock replaced the 30-second clock.
- March 14-18 – NFL owners approved the Cardinals’ move from St. Louis to Phoenix; a supplemental draft each year before training camp and the regular season; and a series of American Bowl games in Asia starting in the 1989 preseason.
- April 24-25 – The NFL draft was returned to a two-day format and held on Sunday for the first time.
- August 25 – Steelers founder and owner Art Rooney died at 87.
- September 4 – Johnny Grier became the first African-American NFL referee.
- December 16 – Commissioner Rozelle announced that two teams would play a preseason game in Japan in August 1989.