With the Eagles taking on the Jets on Sunday, it is interesting to note that the Birds are 8-0 all time against the Jets. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some great games between these two teams however. Probably the greatest came in 1993, in yet another Miracle at the Meadowlands.
The two teams both entered that game in Week 4 at the Meadowlands ready to make a statement. The Eagles were 3-0 and according to the New York Times, looked like a “sure fire playoff contender”. The Jets were 2-1 and looking to compete with the mighty Bills in the AFC East. It was the game of the week, complete with the “A-Team” of John Madden and Pat Summerall announcing. (Here is a pretty fun look at the rosters of the two teams in this matchups piece in the 1993 Inquirer. Lots of guys you had probably forgotten about on the Jets, like Blair Thomas, Johnny Johnson, and Rob Moore.)
The game started out disastrously for the Eagles. Boomer Esiason, the Jets quarterback, unloaded two TDs early to Johnny Mitchell and one to James Thronton. The Eagles found themselves in a 21-0 hole. ANd then things got worse. Randall Cunningham broke his fibula early in the 2nd quarter, and the Eagles had to insert Bubby Brister. Brister actually played well, and the Eagles got back into the game on an 8 yard TD rush from Herschel Walker and a 10-yard TD pass to Mark Bavaro. The score at the half was 21-14 Jets.
In the 3rd quarter, Johnny Mitchell scored his 3rd TD of the game, and the Jets took a 28-14 lead. But Bubby Brister wasn’t done. He threw an 11 yard TD pass to Calvin Williams, then in the 4th Vaughn Hebron tied it with a one yard plunge. But Brister was called for intentional grounding in the end zone a few minutes later, and the Jets took a 30-28 lead. They were then driving for what would be the winning TD when fate intervened. Boomer Esiason tried to complete a pass to WR Chris Burkett. Eric Allen jumped in front of it, and the rest is history, and one of the greatest plays in Philadelphia Eagles history.
It was to be the last hurrah for the Eagles that season. It turned out that Randall was done for the year, and while Bubby filled in admirably, he then got hurt. That’s when the wheels came off. In stepped Ken O’Brien, and the team collapsed. Between Brister and O’Brien, the team lost their next 6 games, and 8 of their next 9. They righted the ship in December, winning their last 3, but by then it was too late. The Eagles finished 8-8, another year of “What might have been” had Randall not gotten hurt. The Jets went 8-8 as well.