Worst moments in Philadelphia Eagles history

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Donovan McNabb threw three interceptions in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. (AP)
Donovan McNabb threw three interceptions in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. (AP)

What are the worst moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).

Eagles Best Moments | All 32 Teams Best Moments | All 32 Teams Worst Moments

5. The Fog Bowl

Buddy Ryan’s first playoff game as Philadelphia Eagles head coach works was a fitting metaphor for his coaching tenure in Philly: Bright and full of promise early on, but by the time it was over you were wondering what the hell happened. On Dec. 31, 1988, Ryan returned to Soldier field for only the second time since he left the iconic Super Bowl champion 46 defense in the wake of his bitter feud with Mike Ditka. A thick fog rolled into the stadium in the second quarter, making visibility so poor, broadcaster Verne Lundquist couldn’t see anything beyond 10 feet in front of him. Despite the fog, Randall Cunningham threw for 407 yards, but still the Eagles couldn’t find the end zone. Back-to-back penalties wiped out a golden scoring chance early on and all the Eagles could manage were four Luis Zendejas field goals in a 20-12 Bears victory.

4. The T.O. workout plan

For all the talk of how short-lived Terrell Owens’ run in Philly was, how it ended and whether he’s a deserving Hall of Famer (he is), admit, it: when the Eagles traded for T.O. prior to the 2004 draft, you celebrated. The Eagles finally had the missing link. Seas parted. The sun shone bright. The disappointment of the three most recent NFC title games dissipated. Well, that last part is truer than any fan wants to reckon with because yes, the Eagles did get over the hump and back into the Super Bowl, but what happened six and a half months after that letdown signaled the beginning of the end of the early 2000s run. Just as he had in San Francisco, Owens started griping to the media. About his contract, about his teammates, about the organization. It came to a head on Aug. 10, 2005, when coach Andy Reid sent Owens home where, with reporters in tow, he gleefully put on a workout in his driveway, taking time between reps to throw more verbal jabs. He was deactivated seven games into the 2005 season, one the Eagles would finish 6-10, missing the playoffs for the first time in five years.

3. Losing Reggie White in free agency

Reggie White, simply put, was the most dominant force ever to put on an Eagles uniform. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1985 from the Memphis Showboats of the recently disbanded USFL. By 1986 he was a Pro Bowler and first-team All-NFL, splitting time between the interior and defensive end. In eight seasons for the Eagles, he amassed 124 sacks, 794 total tackles and 18 forced fumbles. In four of his final five seasons in Philly, under Buddy Ryan and Rich Kotite, the Eagles made the playoffs four times and were ranked in the top six in total defense three times. But the Packers shocked the NFL world prior to the 1993 season by signing the Minister of Defense to a four-year, $17 million contract. The impact is undeniable. The Eagles wouldn’t make the playoffs for two more seasons, while the Packers immediately began a run of six straight playoff appearances, two NFC titles and won Super Bowl XXXI.

2. Losing Super Bowl XV

There was plenty to be optimistic about in January of 1981. The first Super Bowl in Eagles history. The first time they would play for the title in over 20 years. These Eagles had beaten a bitter rival to get there and faced a team they’d already defeated in the regular season. It was Harold Carmichael’s last of four Pro Bowl seasons (including three straight) and Ron Jaworski’s first and only. If only one of them had showed up for the game. Jaworski had only thrown 12 interceptions that season but threw three in the Super Bowl, all to Oakland Raiders linebacker Rod Martin. Carmichael jumped offside on what would have been an early touchdown to tie the score. Instead the Eagles punted and the Raiders went down the field to seize a commanding 14-0 lead they wouldn’t come close to giving up.

1. Losing Super Bowl XXXIX

No, Donovan McNabb didn’t throw up in the huddle, but he did throw three interceptions in Super Bowl XXXIX; the first two were costly and the third sealed the game. McNabb underthrew Brian Westbrook at the goalline in the first quarter, instead finding New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, for what would have been the game’s first score. Then, midway through the fourth quarter he overthrew Dorsey Levens and found the waiting arms of Teddy Bruschi. Freddie Mitchell’s miraculous 4th-and-26 reception vs. the Packers three weeks before and Terrell Owens’ incredible effort on a sprained ankle were wasted.