10 wild Eagles-Browns historical facts, including Rich Kotite vs. Bill Belichick

Reuben Frank
·4 min read

Roob's 10 wild Eagles-Browns historical facts originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles and Browns don’t play very often these days - today’s game will be only their ninth meeting since 1983. But once upon a time they were NFL American Division and East Division rivals, and from 1950 through 1966 they played twice a year, so there’s a rich history between these two teams.

Here are 10 fascinating historical and statistical tidbit from a series that the Browns once dominated that’s recently been dominated by the Eagles:

REMEMBER THIS CARSON WENTZ? Carson Wentz made his NFL debut against the Browns on opening day of 2016 and went 22-for-37 for 278 yards, two TDs and no INTs. He’s one of only four QBs in NFL history to throw for 250 yards with two TDs and no INTs in his NFL debut. He’s had nine games since with 250 or more yards, two TDs and no INTs but none in his last 13 games. 

KOTITE VS. BELICHICK?: The Eagles won only 12 of 44 games against the Browns through 1994, but they’ve won five straight since and four straight in Cleveland. The Browns’ last win over the Eagles was a 26-7 game at the Vet in 1994 - Bill Belichick over Rich Kotite. Heh. Their careers went in different directions. The Browns’ last win over the Eagles in Cleveland  was 19-3 in 1988, with 38-year-old Don Strock at QB. 

DARNELL AUTRY MADE HISTORY: The Eagles’ longest rushing touchdown in nine games against the Browns in Cleveland since 1965 is a 3-yarder by Darnell Autry of all people in a 35-24 win in 2000. In 26 games in Cleveland, the Eagles have only five rushing TDs over three yards, most recently Timmy Brown’s 54-yarder in 1965.

THE BROWNS HAVE BEEN BAD FOR A LONG TIME: None of the last three Browns QBs to face the Eagles has thrown a touchdown pass. Ken Dorey in 2008, Brandon Weeden in 2012 and Robert Griffin III combined for no TDs and seven INTs and completed 39 percent of their passes. The last three Browns QBs to throw TD passes against the Eagles are all former Eagles - Mark Rypien in 1994, Doug Pederson in 2000 and Jeff Garcia in 2004. The last QB to throw more than one TD in a game against the Eagles was Bernie Kosar in 1991. 

WHERE'S JUQUA PARKER? There are nine players who’ve played at least 25 games for both the Eagles and Browns, led by Carl “Big Daddy” Hairston, who played more than 90 games for both teams. The others are Sheldon Brown [128 with the Eagles, 47 with the Browns], Dave Lloyd [105, 38], Sam Baker [82, 26]. Ray Ellis [73. 27], Hank Fraley [72, 63], Floyd Peters [70, 51], Barry Gardner [64, 30], Mike Caldwell [62, 47], Willingboro’s Anthony Griggs [57, 33], Chris Gocong [47, 32] and Steve Everitt [45, 46].

LIGHTING UP THE BROWNS: Donovan McNabb’s 118.9 passer rating in three starts against Cleveland is the highest ever by an opposing quarterback against the Browns with a minimum of 100 attempts. Next-highest are Trent Green [117.0], Dan Fouts [112.6], Lamar Jackson [111.5], Matt Stafford [107.7] and Marcus Mariota [106.8].

WE MILT THIS CITY: The highest passer rating ever by a Browns QB against the Eagles is Milt Plum’s 113.2 in 10 games from 1957 through 1961. Plum is a South Jersey native who grew up in Westville, graduated from Woodbury High School in 1953 and played at Penn State before a 13-year NFL career.

THE BEST EVER: Jim Brown had five 150-yard games against the Eagles - more 150-yard games against the Eagles than any other team. He had three against the Steelers and Cards. The only other backs with more than one 150-yard game against the Eagles are Emmitt Smith [4] and Ottis Anderson [2]. 

READY, WILLING AND GOEBLE: Seven quarterbacks played for the Browns and the Eagles: Josh McCown, Jeff Garcia, Kelly Holcomb, Doug Pederson, Ty Detmer, Mark Rypien and, Brad Goebel. They had an 11-35 record with the Browns and 16-19 with the Eagles.

TOMMY MCDONALD WAS A BROWN: Eagles all-time great Tommy McDonald finished his career in 1968 with the Browns, catching 7 passes for 113 yards and the 84th and final TD catch of his Hall of Fame career, a 12-yarder from Frank Ryan against the Giants on Dec. 1, 1968. That Browns team lost to the Colts 34-0 in the NFL Championship Game. Playing for the Colts in that game? His former teammate and another all-time Eagles great, Timmy Brown.

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