1978 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1978 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League (NFL) 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.
|1978 Philadelphia Eagles season|
|Head coach||Dick Vermeil|
|General manager||Jim Murray|
|Home field||Veterans Stadium|
|Division place||2nd NFC East|
|Playoff finish||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Falcons) 13–14|
The Miracle at the MeadowlandsEdit
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.
The Eagles held their last training camp at Widener University in the city of Chester, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania)
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 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 ||= Hall of Famer|
|1||8|| Pick Traded to
|2||35|| Pick Traded to
|3||66||Reggie Wilkes||Linebacker||Georgia Tech|
|4||92||Dennis Harrison||Defensive tackle||Vanderbilt|
|5||118||Pick Traded to
Kansas City Chiefs
|6||145||Pick Traded to
|7||176||Pick Traded to
Acquired Vikings Pick
|Defensive tackle||Oregon State|
|8||204|| Pick traded to
|9||230||Charles Williams||Defensive back||Jackson State|
|10||261|| Pick traded to
|11||288||Bill Campfield||Running back||Kansas|
- 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.
|1||September 3, 1978||Los Angeles Rams||L 16–14|
|2||September 10, 1978||at Washington Redskins||L 35–30|
|3||September 17, 1978||at New Orleans Saints||W 24–17|
|4||September 24, 1978||Miami Dolphins||W 17–3|
|5||October 1, 1978||at Baltimore Colts||W 17–14|
|6||October 8, 1978||at New England Patriots||L 24–14|
|7||October 15, 1978||Washington Redskins||W 17–10|
|8||October 22, 1978||at Dallas Cowboys||L 14–7|
|9||October 29, 1978||St. Louis Cardinals||L 16–10|
|10||November 5, 1978||Green Bay Packers||W 10–3|
|11||November 12, 1978||New York Jets||W 17–9|
|12||November 19, 1978||at New York Giants||W 19–17|
|13||November 26, 1978||at St. Louis Cardinals||W 14–10|
|14||December 3, 1978||at Minnesota Vikings||L 28–27|
|15||December 10, 1978||Dallas Cowboys||L 31–13|
|16||December 17, 1978||New York Giants||W 20-3|
Week 1 vs LA RamsEdit
at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,
Week 9 vs St Lou CardinalsEdit
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.
at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,
Week 11 vs NY JetsEdit
at Veterans Stadium on AstroTurf,
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 13 at St Louis CardinalsEdit
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.
at Busch Memorial Stadium on AstroTurf,
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.
|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 Philadelphia Eagles Team Starters
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
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
1 Nick Mike-Mayer K 2 Mike Michel P 21 John Sciarra DB/PR 37 Billy Campfield RB/KR
- + After name means 1st team selection
|Dick Vermeil||40||Head Coach||3||San Jose State|
|38||Larry Barnes||24||RB||7||0||220||5–11||1||Tennessee State|
|66||Bill Bergey*||33||LB||16||16||243||6–4||9||Arkansas State|
|34||James Betterson||24||RB||9||0||210||6–0||1||North Carolina|
|25||Bill Bryant||27||DB||3||0||195||5–11||2||Grambling State|
|95||John Bunting||28||LB||6||6||220||6–1||6||North Carolina|
|67||Lem Burnham||31||DE||15||0||236||6–4||1||U.S. International|
|46||Herman Edwards||24||DB||16||16||194||6–0||1|| California and |
San Diego State
|64||Ed George||32||T||16||0||270||6–4||3||Ferrum, Wake Forest|
|33||Louie Giammona||25||RB||7||0||180||5–9||2||Utah State|
|78||Carl Hairston||26||DE-DT-LB||16||16||260||6–3||2||Md-Eastern Shore|
|23||Bob Howard||34||DB||10||6||174||6–2||11||Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and |
San Diego State
|7||Ron Jaworski||27||QB||16||16||196||6–2||4||Youngstown State|
|49||Eric Johnson||26||DB||16||0||192||6–1||1||Washington State|
|72||Wade Key||32||G-T||13||12||245||6–5||8||Texas, Texas State|
|84||Keith Krepfle||26||TE||10||10||227||6–3||3||Iowa State|
|88||Bill Larson||25||TE||5||1||225||6–4||3||Colorado State|
|32||Herb Lusk||25||RB||3||0||190||6–0||2||Long Beach State|
|54||Drew Mahalic||25||LB||9||8||225||6–4||3||Notre Dame|
|81||Oren Middlebrook||25||WR||16||0||185||6–2||Rookie||Arkansas State|
|31||Wilbert Montgomery*||24||RB||14||14||196||5–10||1||Abilene Christian and |
|57||Mike Osborn||23||LB||16||1||235||6–5||Rookie||Kansas State|
|86||Richard Osborne||25||TE||16||7||230||6–3||2||Texas A&M|
|20||John Outlaw||33||DB||14||8||180||5–10||9||Jackson State|
|83||Vince Papale||32||WR||13||0||195||6–2||2||St. Joseph's (PA) |
Played no college football
|69||Woody Peoples||35||G||15||14||252||6–2||10||Grambling State|
|26||John Sanders||28||DB||15||15||175||6–1||4||South Dakota|
|79||Manny Sistrunk||31||DT-DE||16||10||269||6–5||8||Ark-Pine Bluff|
|85||Charlie A. Smith||28||WR||14||5||185||6–1||4||Grambling State|
|11||John Walton||31||QB||4||0||210||6–2||2||Elizabeth City State|
|51||Reggie Wilkes||22||LB||16||13||235||6–4||Rookie||Georgia Tech|
|47||Charles Williams||25||DB||7||1||180||6–1||Rookie||Jackson State|
NFL Wild Card GameEdit
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 honorsEdit
- Bill Bergey – LB
- Harold Carmichael – WR
- Wilbert Montgomery – RB
- Stan Walters – Tackle
- Harold Carmichael, NFC Leader, Receiving Yards – 1072 
- Wilbert Montgomery, NFC Leader, Rushing Avg – 4.6
- Earl Campbell, 1977 Heisman Trophy winner "Heisman Trophy". Heismen. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their career.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.284
- Players are identified as a 1978 Pro Bowl.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 452