1991 Philadelphia Eagles season
Head Coach Rich Kotite
Home Field Veterans Stadium
Record 10–6
Place 3rd NFC East
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous Season Next Season
1990 1992

The 1991 Philadelphia Eagles season resulted in missing the postseason, despite having a 10–6 record and finishing with the top-ranked defense in the NFL. During Week 1, quarterback Randall Cunningham was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Overview[edit | edit source]

A "Real" Fresh Start[edit | edit source]

On January 8, team owner Norman Braman opted not to renew the contract of Buddy Ryan, the Eagles' head coach since 1986. On the same day, Braman promoted then-offensive coordinator Rich Kotite, making him the 18th head coach in club history. They opened with a 3–1 mark, their best start since 1981, despite having lost QB Randall Cunningham for the year due to a knee injury suffered at Green Bay on opening day. After coming on to lead the Eagles to their solid start, backup QB Jim McMahon was also injured in game 5.

A Winless October[edit | edit source]

With McMahon sidelined, the Birds suffered through a four-game skid. By midseason, Philadelphia had used an astounding five different quarterbacks (This list also including rookie Brad Goebel, & veterans Pat Ryan, & Jeff Kemp) in eight games and seen its record sink to 3–5.

A Relatively Healthy McMahon Returns[edit | edit source]

Week 10 saw McMahon return to the line-up for a Monday night, 30-7 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants at "The Vet". However, the following week in Cleveland would be a little closer. The Eagles won 32-30 as Philadelphia spotted Cleveland a 23-0 lead before staging a comeback behind a battered Jim McMahon (passing for 341 yds, & 3 TD's). Before the game, McMahon's elbow was so swollen, his roommate Ron Heller had to tie his pony tail for him, & then told his lineman he wouldn't be able to play. But Birds trainer Otho Davis used a concoction he calls "Grandma's Goop" on the elbow and McMahon was able to go. These wins would resurrect the Eagles season, & they would continue this surge into contention for a playoff birth with a six-game winning streak (the club's longest since the start of '81) This upped their record to 9–5.

Heart Of A Champion[edit | edit source]

A season ending rib injury to (already the teams backup QB) McMahon in week 15 (a 19–14 win against the Giants) made way for a devastating loss at home to Dallas in week 16, ending Philadelphia's playoff hopes. However, the season was highlighted by a 10–6 record, allowing the Eagles to join the 49ers as the only NFL clubs to post 10-or-more wins in each of the last four seasons.

A Defense That Rewrote the Record Books[edit | edit source]

The defense finished the season ranked #1 in the NFL in terms of fewest yards allowed overall, vs. the run, and vs. the pass. As such, the Birds became only the fifth club in NFL history and the first since 1975 to accomplish this rare triple. In addition, the Eagles' defense led the NFL in sacks and fumble recoveries and tied for the league lead in takeaways. Five members of that defensive unit represented the Eagles in the Pro Bowl – DEs Reggie White and Clyde Simmons, DT Jerome Brown, and LB Seth Joyner were selected as starters while CB Eric Allen also made the NFC squad. The selection of White, Simmons, and Brown marked only the sixth time in NFL history that three defensive linemen from one team were elected to the Pro Bowl.

Offseason[edit | edit source]

NFL Draft[edit | edit source]

The 1991 NFL Draft draft was held April 21–22, 1991 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan, New York. On that day, Raghib "Rocket" Ismail from the University of Notre Dame, who was projected as the number one overall pick,[1] signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Los Angeles Raiders made him the 100th pick of the draft in the 4th round.

The Eagles with a 10 – 6 record in 1990 had the 19th or 20th pick in each round. The Eagles also that a pick at number 8 in the 1st round and they chose Antone Davis a Tackle out of Tennessee. The Eagles 1st round pick at number 19 was traded away earlier and acquired by the Green Bay Packers. They made 12 picks in the 12 rounds of the 1991 draft.

The overall number 1 pick was made by the Dallas Cowboys and they chose Russell Maryland a Defensive Tackle out of the Miami (FL)

Player Selections[edit | edit source]

= Pro Bowler [1] = Hall of Famer
1 8 Antone Davis
Pick Acquired from San Diego Chargers
OT 02/28/1967 Tennessee
1 19 Pick Made by Green Bay Packers
2 48 Jesse Campbell DB 04/11/1969 North Carolina State
3 75 Rob Selby OG 10/11/1967 Auburn
4 104 William Thomas LB 08/13/1968 Texas A&M
5 131 Craig Erickson QB 05/17/1969 Miami
6 156 Andy Harmon
Pick Acquired from Seattle Seahawks
DT 04/06/1969 Kent State
6 160 Pick Acquired from San Diego Chargers
7 187 James Joseph RB 10/28/1967 Auburn
8 216 Scott Kowalkowski LB 08/23/1968 Notre Dame
9 242 Chuck Weatherspoon RB 07/31/1968 Houston
10 271 Eric Harmon OG 03/03/1967 Clemson
11 298 Mike Flores DE 12/01/1966 Louisville
12 327 Darrell Beavers DB 11/24/1968 Morehead State

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Staff[edit | edit source]

1991 Philadelphia Eagles staff
Front Office
  • Owner – Norman Braman
  • President/Chief Operating Officer – Harry T. Gamble
  • Director of Player Personnel – Joe Woolley

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Secondary – Bud Carson
  • Defensive Line – Dale Haupt
  • Linebackers – Jim Vechiarella
  • Defensive/Special Teams Assistant – Peter Giunta

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Jim Williams


Regular season[edit | edit source]

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 1 at Green Bay Packers W 20–3
2 September 8 Phoenix Cardinals L 26–10
3 September 15 at Dallas Cowboys W 24–0
4 September 22 Pittsburgh Steelers W 23–14
5 September 30 at Washington Redskins L 23–0
6 October 6 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 14–13
7 October 13 New Orleans Saints L 13–6
8 Bye week
9 October 27 San Francisco 49ers L 23–7
10 November 4 New York Giants W 30–7
11 November 10 at Cleveland Browns W 32–30
12 November 17 Cincinnati Bengals W 17–10
13 November 24 at Phoenix Cardinals W 34–14
14 December 2 at Houston Oilers W 13–6
15 December 8 at New York Giants W 19–14
16 December 15 Dallas Cowboys L 25–13
17 December 22 Washington Redskins W 24–22

Standings[edit | edit source]

NFC East
Washington Redskins 14 2 0 .875 485 224
Dallas Cowboys 11 5 0 .688 342 310
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 285 244
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 281 297
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 196 344

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

NFL Comeback Player of the Year – Jim McMahon QB

UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year – Reggie White DE

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Players are identified as a Pro Bowler if they were selected for the Pro-Bowl at any time in their careers.
  2. 1991 Philadelphia Eagles Media Guide. pp. 3–15. 


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