1951 Philadelphia Eagles season

1951 Philadelphia Eagles season
Head coach Bo McMillin 2–0 and
Wayne Millner 2–8
Owner Happy Hundred
Home field Shibe Park
Record 4–8
Division place 5th NFL American
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 1951 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 19th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 6–6, winning only four games.[1] The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Off Season

The Eagle hired Bo McMillin who took on the challenge of returning the Philadelphia Eagles to their previous glory was hired on February 8, 1951. However, after just two games (both wins), McMillin underwent surgery for what was believed to be ulcer troubles. The verdict was far worse: stomach cancer, which ended his coaching career. Assistant coach Wayne Miller took over as head coach for the rest of the year. He would resign weeks before the 1952 season citing health as the reason for stepping down.

NFL Draft

The 1951 NFL Draft was held on January 18–19, 1951. This draft would be for players coming out of college and because Baltimore Colts folded after the 1950 season. The NFL placed their players in the 1951 NFL draft. The draft was 30 rounds with eleven teams picking. There was a total of 362 players drafted. 27 former Colts players were drafted including Y. A. Tittle by San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles would rotate getting the 5th, 6th and 7th picks through the rounds as a results of their 6–6 record in 1950, tying them with Pittsburgh and Detroit.

With the lottery bonus pick as the #1 pick of the draft, the New York Giants choose Kyle Rote a Halfback from Southern Methodist University The 2nd pick in the draft was made by the Chicago Bears. This was the Baltimore Colts 1st round pick that would have had, that was earlier traded to Chicago. With this pick they choose Bob Williams a Quarterback from the Notre Dame.

With their 1st pick as the 7th selection in the 1st round the Eagles choose, Ebert Van Buren, brother of Steve Van Buren,[2] a Fullback/Halfback out of LSU.

Player Selections

The table shows the Eagles selections and what picks they had that were traded away and the team that ended up with that pick. It is possible the Eagles' pick ended up with this team via another team that the Eagles made a trade with. Not shown are acquired picks that the Eagles traded away.

= Pro Bowler [3] = Hall of Famer
Rd Pick Player Position School Rd Pick Player Position School
17Ebert Van BurenBackLSU 18Chet Mutryn
(From Detroit Lions)
221Pick Taken byWashingtonRedskins 332Al BrunoEndKentucky
443Fran NagleBackNebraska 557Jack DwyerBackLoyola (CA)
668Ken FarragutCenterMississippi 779Frank BoydstonBackBaylor
893Jack RichardsEndArkansas 9104Denny DoyleGuardTulane
10116Louis SchaufeleBackArkansas 11130Bob PopeTackleKentucky
12141Henry RichBackArizona State 13152Pete MastelloneCenterMiami (FLA)
14166Bobby WalstonEndGeorgia 15177Bobby NorthBackGeorgia Tech
16188Hal HatfieldEndUSC 17202Hal WaggonerBackTulane
18213Bill WeeksBackIowa State 19224Jack BoveTackleWest Virginia
20238John GloriosoBackMissouri 21249Neal FranklinTackleSMU
22260Jack RuckerBackMississippi State 23274Jack BigheadEndPepperdine
24285Tony KotowskiEndMississippi State 25296Glenn DrahnBackIowa
26310Billy StewartBackMississippi State 27321Bob WinshipTackleRice
28332Marv StendelEndArkansas 29346Roscoe HansenTackleNorth Carolina
30357John "Model-T" FordQuarterbackHardin–Simmons .

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 30, 1951 at Chicago Cardinals W 17–14
2 October 6, 1951 San Francisco 49ers W 21–14
3 October 14, 1951 at Green Bay Packers L 37–24
4 October 21, 1951 at New York Giants L 26–24
5 October 28, 1951 Washington Redskins L 27–23
6 November 4, 1951 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 34–13
7 November 11, 1951 at Cleveland Browns L 20–17
8 November 18, 1951 Detroit Lions L 28–10
9 November 25, 1951 Pittsburgh Steelers L 17–13
10 December 2, 1951 at Washington Redskins W 35–21
11 December 9, 1951 New York Giants L 23–7
12 December 16, 1951 Cleveland Browns L 24–9

Game Recaps

Week 2 vs SF 49ers

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles (2–0–0) vs San Francisco 49ers (1–1–0)
1 2 34Total
49ers 7 0 0714
Eagles 7 0 7721

at Shibe Park on Grass,

  • Date: October 6, 1951
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: degrees, wind mph
Game information

Week 9 vs Pitt Steelers

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles (3–6–0) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (3–5–1)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 10 7 0017
Eagles 0 6 0713

at Shibe Park on Grass,

  • Date: November 25, 1951
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: degrees, wind mph
Game information

Week 12 vs Cleve Browns

The Eagles lost for the 4th time to the former AAFC member. They were out played by the American Conference champions Cleveland Browns, as they could only manage a net passing yard total of 8 yards for the game on 9 completions. The Eagles forced the Browns to turn the ball over 4 times, and sacked Otto Graham in the end zone for a safety as the only bright points of the game for the Eagles.

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles (4–8) vs Cleveland Browns (11–1)
1 2 34Total
Browns 7 3 7724
Eagles 0 0 279

at Shibe Park on Grass,

  • Date: December 16, 1951
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: degrees, wind mph
Game information


NFL American Conference
Cleveland Browns 11 1 0 .917 9–0 331 152 W11
New York Giants 9 2 1 .818 7–2–1 254 161 W4
Washington Redskins 5 7 0 .417 4–5 183 296 L1
Pittsburgh Steelers 4 7 1 .364 3–5–1 183 235 W1
Philadelphia Eagles 4 8 0 .333 3–6 234 264 L2
Chicago Cardinals 3 9 0 .250 0–8 210 287 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


The Philadelphia eagles finished with a 4–8–0 record and failed to make it to the 1951 NFL Championship Game. The game was played between the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles on December 23, 1951, with an attendance of 59,475.

1951 Roster

(All time List of Philadelphia Eagles players in franchise history)

= 1951 Pro Bowl [4] = Hall of Famer
NO. Player AGE POS GP GS WT HT YRS College
Bo McMillin56Coach2record
Wayne Millner38Coach10record
1896–11stNotre Dame
80Neill Armstrong25E-DB121896–24Oklahoma State
74Walt Barnes33G122386–13LSU
60Chuck Bednarik+26LB-C122336–32Pennsylvania
10Adrian Burk24QB-Punter12121906–21Baylor
36Gerry Cowhig30LB-FB-DB112156–24Notre Dame
33Russ Craft32DB-HB121785–95Alabama
53Ken Farragut23C-LB112406–4RookieMississippi
64Mario Giannelli31MG-G102656–03Boston College
86Bud Grant24E-DE121996–3RookieMinnesota
89John Green30DE-E101926–14Tulsa
73Roscoe Hansen22T-DT92156–3RookieNorth Carolina
78Mike Jarmoluk29DT-T-MG122326–55Temple
76Bucko Kilroy30G-MG-T-DT122436–28Notre Dame
52Vic Lindskog+37C112036–17Stanford
88Jay MacDowell32T-DE122176–25Washington
39Bill Mackrides26QB61825–114Nevada-Reno
67John Magee28G122205–103La-Lafayette,
49Pat McHugh32DB-HB81665–114Georgia Tech
81Red O'Quinn26DB-E51956–21Wake Forest
43Jim Parmer25FB-HB111936–03Oklahoma State,
Texas A&M
35Pete Pihos28E-DE122106–14Indiana
21Al Pollard23HB-FB61966–0RookieArmy,
Loyola Marymount
30Bosh Pritchard32HB61645–119Georgia Tech,VMI
11John Rauch24QB-DB41956–12Georgia
40Frank Reagan32B121825–1110Pennsylvania
68Ray Romero24G72135–11RookieKansas State
31Dan Sandifer24DB-HB121906–13LSU
27Clyde Scott27HB-DB121746–02Arkansas,Navy
79Vic Sears33T-DT122236–310Oregon State
72Dick Steere24G52406–4RookieDrake
75Walt Stickel29T-DT112476–35Pennsylvania
45Joe Sutton27DB-HB111805–112Temple
17Ebert Van Buren27DB-LB-FB-HB122106–2RookieLSU
15Steve Van Buren31HB102006–07LSU
83Bobby Walston23E-HB-K121906–0RookieGeorgia
44Norm Willey24DE-G-E112246–21Marshall
70Al Wisert31G-T-DT122146–18Michigan
41Frank Ziegler28HB-DB1201755–112Georgia Tech
38 Players
Team Average

Post Season

  • Wayne Millner resigns before 1952 season after training camp


  1. 1951 Philadelphia Eagles
  2. ISBN 978-1-59213-449-6 The Eagles Encyclopedia
  3. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  4. Players are identified as a 1951 All-Star.
  5. http://www.collegefootball.org/famer_selected.php?id=20006%7CCollege Hof F
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