WASHINGTON – The Washington Redskins can not only win the NFC East Division should they beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but they also can make D.C., Maryland and Virginia sports history.
Between them the cities of Washington and Baltimore have won 24 NFL division titles. The Redskins have 12 division crowns since moving from Boston in 1937 while the Baltimore Colts (eight) and Baltimore Ravens (four) have provided Charm City with 12 division titles of their own.
Despite a combined 24 first-place finishes though – the most recent one coming last Sunday when the Ravens clinched the AFC North – the cities of Washington and Baltimore have never shared an NFL division title in the same season. That could change Sunday with a Redskins win against the Cowboys.
“They call it the Battle of the Beltways,” Ravens running back Ray Rice said ahead of his team’s Dec. 9 meeting with the Redskins at FedEx Field.
“I always said it would be kind of crazy if we ever had a Ravens-Redskins Super Bowl.”
Well, before we start talking about a Beltway Super Bowl, a couple of home playoff games, on the same weekend, less than 35 miles apart, would be a nice start. While the Ravens are guaranteed a home playoff date the first weekend of January, the Redskins would host their first playoff game since 1999 should they win their regular-season finale.
It should be noted that while the Baltimore Colts’ 1984 move to Indianapolis made it impossible for Washington and Baltimore to share NFL success until the Ravens arrived in 1996, Charm City’s football void was temporarily filled by the USFL’s Baltimore Stars and by the CFL’s Baltimore Stallions.
The Stars and Stallions gave Baltimore three years of professional football in 1985, 1994 and 1995, with the Stallions winning the CFL’s South Division in ’95. The Redskins though, went 6-10 that fall and finished in 3rd place in the NFC East.
All in all, a Redskins division title Sunday would be a nice way to close out calendar year 2012 for the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area sports fan. Already this year both the Nationals and Orioles qualified for Major League Baseball’s postseason, marking the first time that MLB teams from Washington and Baltimore did so in the same season.