Super Bowl 22 Washington 42 Denver 10; Doug Williams MVP
Williams returned with 14:17 left in the second quarter, and the Washington offense began to click. And much like they had in the second half of Super Bowl XXI against the New York Giants, the Broncos defense collapsed.
On the Redskins' first play of the second quarter, receiver Ricky Sanders got behind defensive back Mark Haynes (who tried to jam him at the line of scrimmage) and safety Tony Lilly, and caught a pass from Williams, and took it 80 yards for a touchdown. After forcing the Broncos to punt on their next possession, Washington advanced to the Denver 27. Facing third-and-one, Williams connected with receiver Gary Clark who made a diving catch in the end zone to give Washington a 14–10 lead.
After the ensuing kickoff, Denver drove to the Washington 26, aided by running back Sammy Winder's 27-yard reception and Elway's 21-yard run. But left tackle Dave Studdard, blocking defensive end Dexter Manley, went down with a knee injury. After Elway threw an incomplete pass on third down, Karlis missed a 43-yard field goal attempt. On the first play of the Redskins' ensuing drive, Williams threw a 16-yard completion to Clark. Then on the next play, running back Timmy Smith, a rookie in his first NFL start, took off for a 58-yard touchdown run, with blocking from guard Raleigh McKenzie and tackle Joe Jacoby, making the score 21–10. Washington's offensive line featuring McKenzie and Jacoby figured greatly in a play known as the Counter Gap, which the Skins ran repeatedly in the game.
The Redskins increased their lead to 28–10 on their next possession with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Sanders, making him the first player in Super Bowl history to catch two touchdowns in one quarter. Four plays after the ensuing kickoff, Washington defensive back Barry Wilburn intercepted a pass from Elway on the Redskins 21, and once again, the Redskins stormed down the field to score. First, Smith broke loose for a 43-yard run, then Williams completed a pair of passes to Sanders to reach the Denver 7. Two plays later, Williams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clint Didier to make the score 35–10. On Denver's next drive, Elway completed three consecutive passes for 40 total yards to advance to the Redskins 36. However, Washington rookie defensive back Brian Davis intercepted Elway's next pass at the 21 with seven seconds left in the half.
In the second quarter alone, Williams completed 9 of 11 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns; Smith rushed five times for 122 yards and a touchdown; and Sanders caught five passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. The Redskins scored 35 points and gained 356 yards in total offense, both Super Bowl records, and scored five touchdowns on 18 total offensive plays.
During the regular season, the Broncos had allowed 35 points for the entire game only once—and it was in that game, a 40-10 loss to the Houston Oilers in Week 4, that they fielded replacement players, with the regular players having gone on strike.
Washington's 25-point lead at the half surpassed the previous record of 20 points set by San Francisco in Super Bowl XVI.