1981 Philadelphia Eagles season

1981 Philadelphia Eagles season
Head coach Dick Vermeil
General manager Jim Murray
Owner Leonard Tose
Home field Veterans Stadium
Results
Record 10–6
Division place 2nd NFC East
Playoff finish Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Giants) 27–21

The 1981 Philadelphia Eagles season resulted in an appearance in the postseason for the fourth straight season (first time in franchise history the Eagles had made the postseason four straight times). The team was coming off a Super Bowl loss to the Oakland Raiders the previous season. Because they made the Super Bowl in 1980, they were picked by many to not only reach the Super Bowl, but to win it as well. The Eagles began the 1981 season with 6 straight wins, their best ever start to a season at the time. The Eagles would win then 3 of their next 5 games to sit at 9-2. They would then lose their next 4 games to slip to 9-6 and were in danger of missing out on the playoffs. The next week, they hammered the Cardinals 38-0 to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth straight season. In the playoffs, they met their arch rivals the Giants. It was New York's first playoff appearance in 18 years. In the game, the Giants would stun the eagles 27-21, ending the Eagles season as well as hopes for a second straight Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles would not make the playoffs again until 1988. They also wouldn't reach the Super Bowl again until 2004.

Offseason

NFL Draft

After going 12–4 and winning the NFC title and losing in Super Bowl XV to the Oakland Raiders in the 1980 season the Eagles would be picking next to last in the 12 rounds of the draft

The 1981 NFL Draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 28–29, 1981. ESPN would cover all 12 rounds live for the first time. ESPN would then show a replay later that night. This would be over 2 days.

The Philadelphia Eagles would get the 27th pick in the 12 rounds. The Eagles would draft 10 players in this year's draft.

RoundPickPlayerPositionSchool
127Leonard MitchellDEUniversity of Houston
255Dean MiraldiGUniversity of Utah
383Greg LaFleurTELSU
4110Calvin MurrayRBOhio State
5NO PICK
6165Traded Pick to New York Giants
7174Alan DuncanKTennessee
7192Doak FieldLBBaylor University
8220Traded pick to Baltimore Colts
9247Chuck CommiskeyOLMississippi
10275Hubert OliverRBArizona
11303Gail DavisDTVirginia Union
12331Ray EllisDBOhio State

Personnel

Staff

1981 Philadelphia Eagles staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Lynn Stiles

Roster

1981 Philadelphia Eagles roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams


Rookies in italics

Regular season

The 1981 season schedule was set by how the Eagles finished in 1980, 1st in NFC East. The way it was laid out, 4 of the 5 teams in the same 5 team division could end up having 10 to 14 common opponents during the 1981 season. Also, when the last regular season game is over you know who you play the following year.

  • A home and home series vs Dallas, New York Giants, St. Louis and Washington = 8 games
  • The top 4 teams in the NFC East play the top 4 teams AFC East from the 1980 season = 4 games
  • The 1st and 4th place team in NFC Central and NFC West in the 1980 Season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 at New York Giants W 24–10
72,459
2 September 13, 1981 New England Patriots W 13–3
71,089
3 September 17, 1981 at Buffalo Bills W 20–14
78,331
4 September 27, 1981 Washington Redskins W 36–13
70,664
5 October 5, 1981 Atlanta Falcons W 16–13
71,488
6 October 11, 1981 at New Orleans Saints W 31–14
52,728
7 October 18, 1981 at Minnesota Vikings L 35–23
45,459
8 October 25, 1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20–10
70,714
9 November 1, 1981 Dallas Cowboys L 17–14
72,111
10 November 8, 1981 at St. Louis Cardinals W 52–10
48,421
11 November 15, 1981 Baltimore Colts W 38–13
68,618
12 November 22, 1981 New York Giants L 20–10
66,827
13 November 30, 1981 at Miami Dolphins L 13–10
67,797
14 December 6, 1981 at Washington Redskins L 15–13
52,206
15 December 13, 1981 at Dallas Cowboys L 21–10
64,955
16 December 20, 1981 St. Louis Cardinals W 38–0
56,656

Game summaries

Week 1

Sunday, September 6, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Giants StadiumThe Meadowlands on an AstroTurf playing surface in 70F degrees with an 11 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (1–0)0107724
New York Giants (0–1)300710
SCORING PLAYSNY GPHILTIME
1stGiantsJoe Danelo 27-yard field goal03
2ndEaglesPerry Harrington 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)73
EaglesTony Franklin 47-yard field goal103
3rdEaglesRodney Parker 55-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)173
4thEaglesWilbert Montgomery 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)243
GiantsLeon Perry 19-yard pass from Phil Simms (Joe Danelo kick)2410

Week 2

Sunday, September 13, 1981 Kickoff 4:00 PM Eastern

TV Broadcast: NBC Announcers: Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen

Played at Veterans Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface weather= 74 °F (Sunny)

1234Total
New England Patriots (2–0)30003
Philadelphia Eagles (2–0)0310013
SCORING PLAYSNEPHILTIME
1stPatriotsJohn Smith 22-yard field goal30
2ndEaglesTony Franklin 46-yard field goal33
3rdEaglesTony Franklin 22-yard field goal36
EaglesPerry Harrington 6-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)313

Week 3

Thursday, September 17, 1981 Kickoff 8:30 PM Eastern

Played at Rich Stadium on AstroTurf playing surface in 55F degrees with an 8 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (3–0–0)737320
Buffalo Bills (2–1–0)0140014
SCORING PLAYSPHILBUFTIME
1stEaglesKeith Krepfle 1-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)70
2ndBillsJoe Cribbs 4-yard rush (Nick Mike-Mayer kick)77
EaglesTony Franklin 29-yard field goal107
BillsFrank Lewis 20-yard pass from Joe Ferguson (Nick Mike-Mayer kick)1014
3rdEaglesHarold Carmichael 15-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)1714
4thEaglesTony Franklin 46-yard field goal2014

Week 4

Sunday, September 27, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface weather= 68 °F (Sunny)

1234Total
Washington Redskins (0–4–0)060713
Philadelphia Eagles (4–0–0)0772236
SCORING PLAYSWASHPHILTIME
2ndEaglesLouie Giammona 13-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)07
RedskinsMark Moseley 19-yard field goal37
RedskinsMark Moseley 22-yard field goal67
3rdEaglesLouie Giammona 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)614
4thRedskinsJohn Riggins 3-yard rush (Mark Moseley kick)1314
EaglesCharlie A. Smith 29-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)1321
EaglesTony Franklin 28-yard field goal1324
EaglesSafety, Clarke tackled Theismann in end zone1326
EaglesTony Franklin 36-yard field goal1329
EaglesGreg Brown 7-yard fumble return (Tony Franklin kick)1336

Week 5

Monday, October 5, 1981 Kickoff 9:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf playing surface weather= 62 °F (Clear)

1234Total
Atlanta Falcons (3–2)0010313
Philadelphia Eagles (5–0)670316
SCORING PLAYSATLPHILTIME
1stEaglesTony Franklin 36-yard field goal03
EaglesTony Franklin 34-yard field goal06
2ndEaglesCharlie A. Smith 30-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)013
3rdFalconsMick Luckhurst 35-yard field goal313
FalconsKenny Johnson 20-yard fumble return (Mick Luckhurst kick)1013
4thEaglesTony Franklin 43-yard field goal1016
4thFalconsMick Luckhurst 43-yard field goal1316

Week 6

Sunday, October 11, 1981 Kickoff 12:00 PM Central

Played at Louisiana Superdome on an AstroTurf playing surface in 72F degrees indoors

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (6–0–0)14107031
New Orleans Saints (1–5–0)700714
SCORING PLAYSPHILN ORTIME
1stSaintsGeorge Rogers 5-yard rush (Benny Ricardo kick)07
EaglesKeith Krepfle 11-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)77
EaglesBooker Russell 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)147
2ndEaglesBooker Russell 1-yard rush (Reggie Wilkes pass from Ron Jaworski)217
EaglesTony Franklin 22-yard field goal247
3rdEaglesFrank LeMaster 47-yard fumble return (Tony Franklin kick)317
4thSaintsGeorge Rogers 3-yard rush (Benny Ricardo kick)3114

Week 7

Sunday, October 18, 1981 Kickoff 12:00 PM Central

Played at Metropolitan Stadium on a grass playing surface in 44F degrees with a 27 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (6–1)6301423
Minnesota Vikings (5–2–0)0217735
SCORING PLAYSPHILMINNTIME
1stEaglesWilbert Montgomery 1-yard rush (kick failed)60
2ndVikingsJoe Senser 11-yard pass from Tommy Kramer (Rick Danmeier kick)67
EaglesTony Franklin 30-yard field goal97
VikingsSammy White 50-yard pass from Tommy Kramer (Rick Danmeier kick)914
VikingsBob Bruer 1-yard pass from Tommy Kramer (Rick Danmeier kick)921
3rdVikingsAhmad Rashad 5-yard pass from Tommy Kramer (Rick Danmeier kick)928
4thEaglesWilbert Montgomery 25-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)1628
VikingsTed Brown 1-yard rush (Rick Danmeier kick)1635
EaglesHarold Carmichael 21-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)2335

Week 8

Sunday, October 25, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface weather= 55 °F (Rain)

1234Total
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4–4–0)700310
Philadelphia Eagles (7–1–0)0701320
SCORING PLAYST BPHIL
1stBuccaneersDoug Williams 1-yard rush (Bill Capece kick) 070
2ndEaglesKeith Krepfle 6-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)77
4thEaglesTony Franklin 44-yard field goal710
BuccaneersBill Capece 29-yard field goal1010
EaglesTony Franklin 32-yard field goal1013
EaglesWilbert Montgomery 2-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)1020

Week 9

Sunday, November 1, 1981 Kickoff 4:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface weather= 60 °F (Cloudy)

1234Total
Dallas Cowboys (8–1–0)0301417
Philadelphia Eagles (7–2-0)077014
SCORING PLAYSDALPHILTIME
2ndCowboysRafael Septien 21-yard field goal30
EaglesWilbert Montgomery 2-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)37
3rdEaglesHarold Carmichael 85-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)314
4thCowboysDoug Cosbie 17-yard pass from Danny White (Rafael Septien kick)1014
CowboysCowboys Tony Dorsett 9-yard rush (Rafael Septien kick)1714

Week 10

Sunday, November 8, 1981 Kickoff 12:00 PM Central

Played at the Busch Memorial Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface in 57F degrees with an 8 mph wind.

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (8–2–0)710142152
St. Louis Cardinals (3–7–0)730010
SCORING PLAYSPHILST LTIME
1stEaglesWilbert Montgomery 19-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)70
CardinalsMel Gray 42-yard pass from Jim Hart (Neil O'Donoghue kick)77
2ndCardinalsNeil O'Donoghue 21-yard field goal710
EaglesRodney Parker 33-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)1410
EaglesTony Franklin 32-yard field goal1710
3rdEaglesHarold Carmichael 14-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)2410
EaglesHarold Carmichael 38-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)3110
4thEaglesBilly Campfield 2-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)3810
EaglesWally Henry 20-yard pass from Joe Pisarcik (Tony Franklin kick)4510
EaglesBooker Russell 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)5210

Week 11

Sunday, November 15, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf weather= 54 °F (Light rain)

1234Total
Baltimore Colts (1–10–0)600713
Philadelphia Eagles (9–2–0)71410738
SCORING PLAYSBALPHILTEAM
1stEaglesKeith Krepfle 15-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)07
2ndColtsCurtis Dickey 1-yard rush (kick failed)67
EaglesWilbert Montgomery 5-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)614
EaglesWilbert Montgomery 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)621
EaglesTony Franklin 32-yard field goal624
EaglesCharlie A. Smith 30-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)631
4thColtsZachary Dixon 17-yard pass from Bert Jones (Mike Wood kick)1331
EaglesWally Henry 44-yard pass from Joe Pisarcik (Tony Franklin kick)1338

Week 12

Sunday, November 22, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface weather= 46 °F (Cloudy)

1234Total
New York Giants (8–4)3701020
Philadelphia Eagles (9–3)730010
SCORING PLAYSOAKPHILTIME
1stGiantsJoe Danelo 39-yard field goal30
EaglesKeith Krepfle 6-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)37
2ndGiantsLeon Bright 1-yard rush (Joe Danelo kick)107
EaglesTony Franklin 27-yard field goal1010
4thGiantsJoe Danelo 30-yard field goal1310
GiantsTerry Jackson 32-yard interception return (Joe Danelo kick)2010

Week 13

Monday, November 30, 1981 Kickoff 9:00 PM Pacific

Played at Orange Bowl on grass playing surface in 73F degrees with an 8 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (9–4–0)703010
Miami Dolphins (8–4–1)0301013
"SCORING PLAYSPHILMIATIME
1stEaglesWilbert Montgomery 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)70
2ndDolphinsUwe von Schamann 42-yard field goal73
3rdEaglesTony Franklin 42-yard field goal103
4thDolphinsDuriel Harris 17-yard pass from Don Strock (Uwe von Schamann kick)1010
DolphinsUwe von Schamann 27-yard field goal1013

Week 14

Sunday, December 6, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on a grass playing surface in 43F degrees with a 21 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (9–5)0130013
Washington Redskins (6–8)600915
"SCORING PLAYSPHILWASHTIME
1stRedskinsJoe Washington 6-yard rush (kick failed)06
2ndEaglesBilly Campfield 25-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)76
EaglesBilly Campfield 5-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (kick failed)136
4thRedskinsMark Moseley 45-yard field goal139
RedskinsMonte Coleman 52-yard interception return (kick failed)1315

Week 15

Sunday, December 13, 1981 Kickoff 3:00 PM Central

Played at Texas Stadium on an AstroTurf playing surface in 44F degrees with a 9 MPH wind

1234Total
Philadelphia Eagles (9–6–0)370010
Dallas Cowboys (12–3–0)077721
SCORING PLAYSPHILDALTIME
1stEaglesTony Franklin 50-yard field goal30
2ndEaglesBooker Russell 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)100
CowboysTony Hill 8-yard pass from Danny White (Rafael Septien kick)107
3rdCowboysButch Johnson 36-yard pass from Danny White (Rafael Septien kick)1014
4thCowboysRon Springs 12-yard rush (Rafael Septien kick)1021

Week 16

Sunday, December 21, 1981 Kickoff 1:00 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf playing surface weather= 29 °F (Sunny)

1234Total
St. Louis Cardinals (7–9)00000
Philadelphia Eagles (10–6)72110038
SCORING PLAYSST LPHILTIME
1stEaglesCharlie A. Smith 4-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)07
2ndEaglesWilbert Montgomery 9-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)014
EaglesHubie Oliver 13-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick)021
EaglesHarold Carmichael 6-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)028
3rdEaglesBilly Campfield 29-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)035
EaglesTony Franklin 44-yard field goal038

Standings

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Dallas Cowboys(2) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 8–4 367 277 L1
Philadelphia Eagles(4) 10 6 0 .625 4–4 7–5 368 221 W1
New York Giants(5) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 8–6 295 257 W3
Washington Redskins 8 8 0 .500 3–5 6–6 347 349 W3
St. Louis Cardinals 7 9 0 .438 2–6 4–8 315 408 L2

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Wildcard December 27, 1981 New York Giants L 27–21
71,611

Playoffs

NFC Wildcard Game

Sunday, December 27, 1981 Kickoff 3:30 PM Eastern

Played at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf playing surface weather= 38 °F (Light drizzle)

1234Total
New York Giants (10–7)2070027
Philadelphia Eagles (10–7)077721
SCORING PLAYSNY GPHILTIME
1stGiantsLeon Bright 9-yard pass from Scott Brunner (kick failed)60
GiantsJohn Mistler 10-yard pass from Scott Brunner (Joe Danelo kick)130
GiantsMark Haynes 0-yard fumble return (Joe Danelo kick)200
2ndEaglesHarold Carmichael 15-yard pass from Ron Jaworski (Tony Franklin kick)207
GiantsTom Mullady 22-yard pass from Scott Brunner (Joe Danelo kick)277
3rdEaglesWilbert Montgomery 6-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick) 27 142714
4thEaglesWilbert Montgomery 1-yard rush (Tony Franklin kick) 27 212721

References

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