20 saddest moments in Washington Commanders history

Sean Taylor
Sean Taylor / James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders saddest games - Part 1

These are the saddest games in franchise history. In chronological order.

Commanders vs. Bears

  • December 8, 1940 - Griffith Stadium

Washington-Chicago was among the best rivalries in the earliest years of the NFL. The now-Commanders had defeated the Bears in Chicago three years prior for its first championship. The rematch didn’t go quite as well.

In the most lopsided game in NFL history, the Bears humiliated George Preston Marshall, Ray Flaherty, Sammy Baugh et.al. to the tune of 73-0. At least the game did lead to one famous quote from the quarterback.

Down a touchdown early, the signal-caller hit Charley Malone with a would-be touchdown pass, only to see him drop the ball. A reporter asked Baugh after the game if the outcome might have been different had his teammate held on.

“I reckon it would have been 73-7” was Sammy’s answer.

Commanders vs. NY Giants

  • November 6, 1961 - Yankee Stadium

The Commanders franchise’s long, slow slide through mediocrity to irrelevance reached its nadir in 1961, the worst season in team history. Rock Bottom came on a warm, humid day in the house that Babe Ruth built against Allie Sherman’s New York Giants.

It began with former Washington player Dick Modzelewski tackling quarterback Norm Snead for a safety and it ended with three Giants’ scores in the fourth quarter. The final score was 53-0, and if you can believe it, the mood around the team was even worse than that score suggests.

At least the Bears debacle in 1940 could be written off as a fluke. But this was Washington’s third scoreless game in four weeks. They managed a grand total of 82 yards (to the Giants’ 383).

It was Washington’s 16th consecutive loss. They would lose one more before breaking the streak with a tie against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks later.