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Doug Williams, who began the season as Washington's backup quarterback, threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter alone, sparking the Redskins to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
The Super Bowl victory was the second for Washington and head coach Joe Gibbs, using a second different starter at quarterback. Gibbs would go on to lead the Redskins to a third Super Bowl victory with a third different starting quarterback, Mark Rypien, four years later.
Washington won outright as a three-point Super Bowl underdog, and the game played OVER its total of 47.
Denver, playing in the Super Bowl for the second straight season, jumped out to a 10-0 lead on an early John Elway touchdown pass and a Rich Karlis field goal. But on Washington's first possession of the second quarter Williams connected with wide receiver Ricky Sanders for an 80-yard score, and on their next possession Williams hit Gary Clark from 27 yards out for another touchdown and a 14-10 Redskins lead.
On Washington's next possession running back Timmy Smith, a rookie making his first NFL start, bolted 58 yards for another Redskins score, and shortly after that Williams found Sanders again for a 50-yard touchdown connection. Another Washington score followed, this one a Williams-to-Clint Didier pass, capping off a record-setting second quarter, sending the Redskins into halftime with a 35-10 lead.
The Washington defense took over from there, stifling any Denver attempts at a comeback.
Smith, who finished with a Super Bowl-record 204 yards rushing, completed the scoring with a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
On the day the Redskins outgained the Broncos 602-327, ran the ball for 280 yards and intercepted Elway three times.
Williams, with 340 yards passing and those four scores, was named game MVP. It was the 12th time through the first 22 Super Bowls that a quarterback had won the award.
The Washington victory was the fourth in what would become a 13-game Super Bowl winning streak for the NFC.
Denver and Elway went on to lose Super Bowl XXIV two years later to the San Francisco 49ers. However, eight years after that Elway and the Broncos broke their hex by winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles.