Mark Rypien came out of Washington State University and few people expected the kind of career he would end up having. When it was all done, he had two Super Bowl rings and a Super Bowl MVP award, among other individual awards.
One of his best days though came in a game against the Atlanta Falcons in 1991.
On November 10th, 1991, the 5-4 Atlanta Falcons came to RFK Stadium to meet the seemingly unbeatable 9-0 Washington Redskins. The Falcons would be the first to strike, thanks to a 31 yard field goal made by Falcons kicker Norm Johnson. The Redskins answered back with a 9 yard touchdown pass from Mark Rypien to Terry Orr and at the end of the first quarter they had the lead at 7-3. Rypien would strike three times in the second quarter, first on a 61 yard pass to Gary Clark, then on a four yard TD run, and finally on a 19 yard touchdown pass to Gary Clark. At halftime that put the Redskins ahead 28-3 over the Falcons.
The Falcons opened up the second half looking to make a game of it. First Billy Joe Holbert connected with Michael Haynes on a 75 yard touchdown pass and then he hooked up with Andre Rison on a 15 yard touchdown pass. Rypien would connect again, this time for 19 yards to Art Monk and the Redskins would see victory in sight as they had a 35-17 lead after the third quarter. It was all Redskins in the fourth quarter as they would extend their lead with an 82 yard touchdown pass from Rypien to Gary Clark, follow it up with a 64 yard touchdown pass from Rypien to Art Monk, and finish it off with a 15 yard interception return for a touchdown by Andre Collins. When the final gun sounded, the score was Washington 56 and Atlanta 17.
Mark Rypien would finish having not only the best game of his career, but one of the best games by any quarterback ever. He completed just 16 of 31 passes which is just one completion over 50%. But, the yardage he racked up was 442 yards on those 16 completions. He also had six touchdowns that day and no interceptions.
Gary Clark had a monster game that day as a wide receiver, catching four passes from Rypien for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Art Monk would add in seven receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns.