Younger NFL fans wouldn’t remember this, but once upon a time Redskins vs. Colts was an actual rivalry. From 1953 through 1983 the Colts played in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, just about an hour’s drive from Washington’s RFK Stadium. Of course, it was hardly a rivalry on par with Raiders vs. Chiefs or Redskins vs. Cowboys, but it was something.
For this week’s flashback I’m going to share some programs from the earlier years of Redskins vs. Colts, starting with the first regular-season meeting between the two teams in D.C.
The Redskins earned their 1st victory of the 1954 season on Halloween at Griffith Stadium. Washington rolled out a balanced ground game, and Dale Atkeson rushed for two scores. Colts QB Gary Kerkorian passed for 262 yards and a TD in the losing effort. Final score: Washington 24, Baltimore 21.
Washington welcomed the Colts to brand-new D.C. Stadium amidst a dismal season for them. Weeb Ewbank’s Colts had no problem with the Redskins even though Johnny Unitas was picked off three times. Lenny Moore rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown, while the entire Redskins offense managed just 53 total yards. Final score: Baltimore 27, Washington 6.
Unitas was on fire this time, throwing for 355 yards and three touchdowns. A 17-point fourth quarter for the Colts was the difference here. Final score: Baltimore 36, Washington 20.