10 Greatest Philadelphia Eagles Teams of All Time

The Eagles have won titles in three different decades

Philadelphia Eagles fans are some of the most ferocious in pro football. Their hijinks are the stuff of sports legend, including their throwing snowballs at Santa Claus at a halftime show in 1968.

 

But even though they may be nasty, they are intensely loyal, selling out every home game since 1999. Throughout the franchise's 86-year history, these fans have also been rewarded with some great teams.

 

Before we delve into this list, I want to give a shout-out to the 1991 team. They lost quarterback Randall Cunningham to a knee injury for the season in Week 1, but the defense banded together and led the league in both passing and rushing yards allowed. These Eagles missed the playoffs by one game, but this defense is one of the best in NFL history.

 

Now without further ado, here are the 10 greatest Eagles teams of all time.

 

10. 2001

Finished: Lost to St. Louis Rams 29-24 in the NFC Championship

Regular Season Record: 11-5

Philadelphia made the first of four straight conference championship games. In this one, they led the Rams 17-13 at halftime, but the "Greatest Show on Turf" proved to have more firepower in the second half.

 

9. 1947

Finished: Lost to Chicago Cardinals 28-21 in NFL Championship

Regular Season Record: 8-4

The Eagles were tied with the 8-4 Pittsburgh Steelers for the NFL Eastern Division crown so they played an elimination game in the Steel City to settle things. Philadelphia won that game 21-0 but lost the championship game to the Cardinals. The team would get revenge the next season.

 

8. 2002

Finished: Lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-10 in NFC Championship Game

Regular Season Record: 12-4

In the last season played at Veterans Stadium, the Eagles opened the playoffs by beating Atlanta 20-6 at home. The next week, the Bucs came to town and throttled them on their way to earning the Lombardi Trophy. For Eagles fans, it is one of the most devastating losses in franchise history.

 

7. 2003

Finished: Lost to Carolina Panthers 14-3 in NFC Championship Game

Regular Season Record: 12-4

Philadelphia started 0-2 but rebounded to win the NFC East and home-field advantage for the playoffs. However, the Eagles trailed the Green Bay Packers 17-14 in the final minutes of the Divisional Round. Facing 4th-and-26 from their own 26-yard line, quarterback Donovan McNabb took the snap and hit Freddie Mitchell with a 28-yard pass down the middle. Philadelphia drove down the field to tie the game and then won by a field goal in overtime. Although Philadelphia lost to Carolina the next week, "4th-and-26" is one of the more famous plays in NFL history.

 

 

6. 1948

Finished: Beat Chicago Cardinals 7-0 in NFL Championship

Regular Season Record: 9-2-1

The franchise's first championship came in a blizzard so bad that Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren was sitting at home that day thinking it would not be played. When told that it was still on, he had to take three trolleys and walk 12 blocks to Shibe Park to be on time for the game. It was a good thing he did. Van Buren's five-yard touchdown run with a minute left in the game sealed the win.

 

5. 1949

Finished: Beat Los Angeles Rams 14-0 in NFL Championship

Regular Season Record: 11-1

Two great things happened for the Eagles for the 1949 season. First, they drafted Penn center and linebacker Chuck Bednarik with the first pick and he would become the last full-time two-way player in league history. Then, they rolled through the regular season and held the Rams to 119 yards of offense in the championship game as they won their second straight title.

 

4. 1980

Finished: Lost to Oakland Raiders 27-10 in Super Bowl XV

Regular Season Record: 12-4

The Eagles won 12 games for the first time in franchise history and their first division title in 20 years. They easily beat Minnesota and Dallas to make the Super Bowl, where they lost to a Raiders team playing its best football.

 

3. 1960

Finished: Beat Green Bay Packers 17-13 in NFL Championship

Regular Season Record: 10-2

Philadelphia only made the postseason once from 1950-77 but made the most of that one appearance. Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to Philadelphia in 1958 and put together an MVP season in '60. Meanwhile, Chuck Bednarik averaged 58 minutes a game as the Eagles handed Vince Lombardi's Packers their only championship defeat. After stopping fullback Jim Taylor on the Eagles' 10-yard line on the final play, Bednarik said, "You can get up now, Taylor. This damn game's over."

 

2. 2004

Finished: Lost to New England Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX

Regular Season Record: 13-3

The Eagles signed Terrell Owens, Jevon Kearse, and Jeremiah Trotter in the offseason and the new talent helped them jump out to a 13-1 start and their first trip to the Super Bowl since 1980. They were tied 14-14 with the Patriots going into the fourth quarter, but 10 straight points by New England proved to be the difference in the game.

 

1. 2017

Finished: Beat New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII

Regular Season Record: 13-3

After losing quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL in Week 14, Philadelphia entered the playoffs as an underdog despite being the top seed. Then backup Nick Foles took control and led the Eagles to their first championship since 1960, thanks in part to this play.

 

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

 

(Top photo courtesy of www.philadelphiaeagles.com)

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