1978 Philadelphia Eagles season

1978 Philadelphia Eagles season
Head coach Dick Vermeil
General manager Jim Murray
Owner Leonard Tose
Home field Veterans Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 2nd NFC East
Playoff finish Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Falcons) 13–14

The 1978 Philadelphia Eagles season was the team's 46th season in the National Football League. The Eagles reached the postseason for the first time in eighteen years, which ended the longest postseason drought in the franchise's history and one of the longest in the history of the NFL.

The Miracle at the Meadowlands

The Miracle at the Meadowlands is the term used by sportscasters and Philadelphia Eagles fans for a fumble recovery by cornerback Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978 NFL game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium.

It was seen as miraculous because it occurred at a point in the game when the Giants were easily capable of running out the game's final seconds. The Giants had the ball, and the Eagles had no timeouts left. Everyone watching expected quarterback Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball, thus running out the clock and preserving a 17–12 Giant upset. Instead, he attempted to hand it off to fullback Larry Csonka and botched it, allowing Edwards to pick up the ball and run 26 yards for the winning score.

The Eagles were 6–5 going into this game, and the win was crucial in that it ultimately allowed the Eagles to get the fifth-and-final playoff spot in the 1978 NFC playoffs.

Off Season

The Eagles held their last training camp at Widener University in the city of Chester, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania)

NFL Draft

The 1978 NFL Draft The draft was held May 2–3, 1978. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season. The draft was 12 rounds long with a total of 334 players selected.

The Eagles, because of previous trades made, had to wait until the 3rd round for their first pick. They would only have 7 picks and of these 7 players selected, 5 made the team and played during the season. With the 66th pick the Eagles as their first pick in the draft the Philadelphia Eagles selected Reggie Wilkes a Linebacker out of Georgia Tech.

The number 1 overall pick in the draft was taken by the Houston Oilers who selected the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner, Earl Campbell [1] a Running Backout of the University of Texas

Future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, in 2006, Warren Moon, a Quarterback from University of Washington, went undrafted. He is also in the Canadian Football League's Hall of Fame.

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 [2] = Hall of Famer
Rd PICK PLAYER POS SCHOOL
18 Pick Traded to
Cincinnati Bengals
235 Pick Traded to
Cincinnati Bengals
366Reggie WilkesLinebackerGeorgia Tech
492Dennis HarrisonDefensive tackleVanderbilt
5118Pick Traded to
Kansas City Chiefs
5130Norris Banks
Acquired Pick
Running backKansas
6145Pick Traded to
Buffalo Bills
7176Pick Traded to
Oakland Raiders
7186Greg Marshall
Acquired Vikings Pick
Defensive tackleOregon State
8204 Pick traded to
Minnesota Vikings
9230Charles WilliamsDefensive backJackson State
10261 Pick traded to
Cleveland Browns
11288Bill CampfieldRunning backKansas
12315Mark SlaterCenterMinnesota

Pre Season

  • On August 5, the NFL played its first game in Mexico City. The New Orleans Saints beat the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 14–7.[3]

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 3, 1978 Los Angeles Rams L 16–14
64,721
2 September 10, 1978 at Washington Redskins L 35–30
54,380
3 September 17, 1978 at New Orleans Saints W 24–17
49,242
4 September 24, 1978 Miami Dolphins W 17–3
62,998
5 October 1, 1978 at Baltimore Colts W 17–14
50,314
6 October 8, 1978 at New England Patriots L 24–14
61,016
7 October 15, 1978 Washington Redskins W 17–10
65,722
8 October 22, 1978 at Dallas Cowboys L 14–7
60,525
9 October 29, 1978 St. Louis Cardinals L 16–10
62,989
10 November 5, 1978 Green Bay Packers W 10–3
64,214
11 November 12, 1978 New York Jets W 17–9
60,249
12 November 19, 1978 at New York Giants W 19–17
70,318
13 November 26, 1978 at St. Louis Cardinals W 14–10
39,693
14 December 3, 1978 at Minnesota Vikings L 28–27
38,722
15 December 10, 1978 Dallas Cowboys L 31–13
64,667
16 December 17, 1978 New York Giants W 19-17[4]
56,396

Game Recap

Week 1 vs LA Rams

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles vs Los Angeles Rams
1 2 34Total
Rams 3 3 01016
Eagles 0 0 01414

at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,

  • Date: September 3, 1978
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 76 degrees, wind 9 mph
Game information

Week 9 vs St Lou Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals come into the game with a win-loss record of 0–8 against the 4th place, 4 wins and 4 losses Philadelphia Eagles.

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles vs St Louis Cardinals
1 2 34Total
Cardinals 0 13 0316
Eagles 0 10 0010

at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,

  • Date: October 29, 1978
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 52 degrees, wind 8 mph
Game information

Week 11 vs NY Jets

Week 11: Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Jets
1 2 34Total
Jets 0 3 609
Eagles 0 7 3717

at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,

  • Date: November 12, 1978
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 50 degrees, wind 9 mph
Game information

Week 12: at NY Giants

The Miracle at the Meadowlands is the term used by sportscasters and Philadelphia Eagles fans for a fumble recovery by cornerback Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978 NFL game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium. It was seen as miraculous because it occurred at a point in the game when the Giants were easily capable of running out the game's final seconds. The Giants had the ball, and the Eagles had no timeouts left. Everyone watching expected quarterback Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball, thus running out the clock and preserving a 17–12 Giant upset. Instead, he attempted to hand it off to fullback Larry Csonka and botched it, allowing Edwards to pick up the ball and run 26 yards for the winning score.

Week 12: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 6 01319
Giants 14 0 3017

at The Meadowlands on AstroTurf,

  • Date: November 19, 1978
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 49 degrees, wind 14 mph
  • Referee: Cal Lepore
Game information

Week 13 at St Louis Cardinals

After the games of week 11 the Philadelphia Eagles' outlook of being an NFC playoff team was slim. They were in 3rd place in the NFC East and behind 4 teams for a Wild Card team spot. That was some of the reasoning why the placekicking duties were given to the punter Mike Michel when regular kicker Nick Mick-Meyer got hurt. At the end of week 13 the Eagles found themselves trailing division leading Dallas by 1 game, and tied with the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins for 1 of 2 Wild Card team playoff spots.

Week 12: Philadelphia Eagles at St Louis Cardinals – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 7 0714
Cardinals 3 0 0710

at Busch Memorial Stadium on AstroTurf,

  • Date: November 26, 1978
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 43 degrees, wind 15 mph
Game information

Standings

The Eagles were hampered by the loss of their placekicker (Nick Mike-Mayer) in the closing weeks of the season and his replacement (punter Mike Michel) missed an extra point kick in each of the last three games of the season.

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys(2) 12 4 0 .750 7–1 9–3 384 208 W6
Philadelphia Eagles(5) 9 7 0 .563 4–4 6–6 269 250 W1
Washington Redskins 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 273 283 L5
St. Louis Cardinals 6 10 0 .375 3–5 6–6 248 296 W1
New York Giants 6 10 0 .375 2–6 5–9 264 298 L1

1978 Roster

1978 Philadelphia Eagles Team Starters
'Offense
7   Ron Jaworski        QB
31  Wilbert Montgomery  RB
35  Mike Hogan          FB
17  Harold Carmichael   WR
82  Ken Payne           WR
84  Keith Krepfle       TE
75  Stan Walters        LT
72  Wade Key            LG
50  Guy Morriss         C
69  Woody Peoples       RG
76  Jerry Sisemore      RT
Defense
79   Manny Sistrunk     LDE
65   Charlie Johnson    NT
78   Carl Hairston      RDE
51   Reggie Wilkes      LB
66   Bill Bergey        LB
55   Frank LeMaster     LB
54   Drew Mahalic       LB
20   John Outlaw        LCB
46   Herman Edwards     RCB
41   Randy Logan        SS
26   John Sanders       FS
Kicking Team
1   Nick Mike-Mayer    K
2   Mike Michel        P
21  John Sciarra       DB/PR
37  Billy Campfield    RB/KR

|style="background-color:#FFCC00; border:1px solid #aaaaaa; width:2em;"| |= 1978 Pro Bowl Selection [5]|| |style="background-color:#CCFFCC; border:1px solid #aaaaaa; width:2em;"| |= Hall of Famer |}

  • + After name means 1st team selection
NO. Player AGE POS GP GS WT HT YRS College
Dick Vermeil40Head Coach3San Jose State
38Larry Barnes24RB702205–111Tennessee State
66Bill Bergey*33LB16162436–49Arkansas State
34James Betterson24RB902106–01North Carolina
25Bill Bryant27DB301955–112Grambling State
95John Bunting28LB662206–16North Carolina
67Lem Burnham31DE1502366–41U.S. International
37Billy Campfield22RB1622005–11RookieKansas
17Harold Carmichael*29WR-TE16162256–87Southern
71Ken Clarke22NT-DT1602686–2RookieSyracuse
46Herman Edwards24DB16161946–01 California and
San Diego State
13Rick Engles24P601775–112Tulsa
30Cleveland Franklin23RB1642166–21Baylor
53Dennis Franks25C1602416–12Michigan
64Ed George32T1602706–43Ferrum, Wake Forest
33Louie Giammona25RB701805–92Utah State
78Carl Hairston26DE-DT-LB16162606–32Md-Eastern Shore
68Dennis Harrison22DE1662756–8RookieVanderbilt
89Wally Henry24WR301755–81UCLA
35Mike Hogan24RB14122136–22Tennessee-Chattanooga
23Bob Howard34DB1061746–211Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and
San Diego State
7Ron Jaworski27QB16161966–24Youngstown State
65Charlie Johnson26NT16162666–31Colorado
49Eric Johnson26DB1601926–11Washington State
72Wade Key32G-T13122456–58Texas, Texas State
84Keith Krepfle26TE10102276–33Iowa State
88Bill Larson25TE512256–43Colorado State
55Frank LeMaster26LB16162326–24Kentucky
41Randy Logan27DB16161956–15Michigan
63Tom Luken28G1662536–36Purdue
32Herb Lusk25RB301906–02Long Beach State
54Drew Mahalic25LB982256–43Notre Dame
2Mike Michel24P-K1001775–101Stanford
81Oren Middlebrook25WR1601856–2RookieArkansas State
1Nick Mike-Mayer28K1201865–85Temple
31Wilbert Montgomery*24RB14141965–101Abilene Christian and
Jackson State
50Guy Morriss27C16162556–45TCU
57Mike Osborn23LB1612356–5RookieKansas State
86Richard Osborne25TE1672306–32Texas A&M
20John Outlaw33DB1481805–109Jackson State
83Vince Papale32WR1301956–22St. Joseph's (PA)
Played no college football
82Ken Payne28WR1691856–14Langston
69Woody Peoples35G15142526–210Grambling State
52Ray Phillips24LB1042246–41Nebraska
26John Sanders28DB15151756–14South Dakota
21John Sciarra24DB-QB1621855–11RookieUCLA
76Jerry Sisemore27T-G16162656–45Texas
79Manny Sistrunk31DT-DE16102696–58Ark-Pine Bluff
85Charlie A. Smith28WR1451856–14Grambling State
58Terry Tautolo24LB1622326–22UCLA
75Stan Walters*30T16162756–66Syracuse
11John Walton31QB402106–22Elizabeth City State
51Reggie Wilkes22LB16132356–4RookieGeorgia Tech
47Charles Williams25DB711806–1RookieJackson State
53 Players
Team Average
26.716217.96–1.83.1

Postseason

NFL Wild Card Game

Atlanta Falcons 14, Philadelphia Eagles 13
1 2 34Total
Eagles 6 0 7013
Falcons 0 0 01414

at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta

The Falcons won their first playoff game in team history after they overcame a 13–0 deficit by scoring 2 touchdowns in the final 5 minutes of the game. Punter Mike Michel, who took over placekicker duties when regular placekicker Nick Mike-Mayer got injured in week 12, missed a possible game-winning 34-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

Awards and honors

Pro-Bowl Selections

  • Bill Bergey – LB
  • Harold Carmichael – WR
  • Wilbert Montgomery – RB
  • Stan Walters – Tackle

League Leaders[6]

  • Harold Carmichael, NFC Leader, Receiving Yards – 1072 [7]
  • Wilbert Montgomery, NFC Leader, Rushing Avg – 4.6

References

  1. Earl Campbell, 1977 Heisman Trophy winner "Heisman Trophy". Heismen. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  2. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
  3. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.284
  4. http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/12/herm_edwards_remembers_well_th.html
  5. Players are identified as a 1978 Pro Bowl.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
  7. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 452
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