Most intriguing Commanders half
- Jeff Rutledge – 1990
We all know that the greatest quarter – and by extension, the greatest half – in NFL history came in Super Bowl XXII when the now-Washington Commanders roared back from a 10-0 deficit at the beginning of the second quarter to score 35 unanswered points by halftime. But since we all know that one, I’ll go in a different direction here.
Washington was trailing 35-14 early in the third quarter at the Detroit Lions when Joe Gibbs pulled starting quarterback Stan Humphries - who had thrown three interceptions - for journeyman backup Jeff Rutledge.
Rutledge responded with one of the greatest halves a quarterback has ever played. In the second half and overtime, he completed 30 of 42 passes for 363 yards. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Washington pulled out an unlikely win.
The signal-caller played in the NFL for 13 years. If you toss out that 1990 season, Rutledge only had three other campaigns in which he had more yards for the entire year than he had in that one half.
Alas, for Rutledge, the glory would be short-lived. He started the following week but was totally ineffective. Humphries briefly replaced him before a kid named Mark Rypien would take over full-time.