Eagles Insider

The 10 worst teams in Eagles history

Eagles Insider

One team lost its first 11 games. Another was winless in its last nine games. Another opened up 7-2 and never won another game. Another was shut out four straight weeks.

The Eagles have been really good for much of their existence. They have the 6th-best record in the NFL over the last 40 years. 

But they've also had 45 losing seasons since the franchise was founded in 1933, including this year. 

Which were the worst? We set out to find the 10 worst teams in Eagles history. Here they are in chronological order:

1936 

Record: 1-11

Head Coach: Bert Bell

Best Player: John Kusko (209 rushing yards, 4.3 average)

Worst Player: Don Jackson (0 TDs, 11 INTs)

The Eagles opened up the 1936 season with a 10-7 win over the Giants, then proceeded to lose their next 11 games, scoring just 41 points in the 11 losses. Their .083 winning percentage remains the worst in franchise history, and they were shut out six times, including four games in a row at one point. No NFL team has been blanked four times in a row within the same season since, and only the 1977 expansion Buccaneers have also been shut out six times in a season. Their 51 points — 4.3 per game — is lowest in franchise history. Their various halfback/quarterbacks combined for three TD passes and 36 interceptions. 

1963

Record: 2-10-2

Head Coach: Nick Skorich

Best Player: Timmy Brown (1,328 scrimmage yards, 28.6 kick return average)

Worst Player: King Hill (10 TDs, 17 TDs, 49.9 passer rating)

 

Five weeks into the season, the Eagles were 2-2-1. They then proceeded to 0-8-1 in their final nine games, and they remain the only team in franchise history that was winless the last nine weeks of a season. That team lost six games by at least two touchdowns and remains one of only four NFL teams since 1950 to win two of its first five games and not win another game. There were some all-time greats on 1963 Eagles - Pete Retzlaff, Tommy McDonald, Timmy Brown, Maxie Baughan - but they still averaged just 13 points per game during their season-ending winless streak, losing by an average of 14 points.

1968

Record: 2-12

Head Coach: Joe Kuharich

Best Player: Tom Woodeschick [947 rushing yards, 4.4 average, 328 receiving yards]

Worst Player: Norm Snead [11 TDs, 21 INTs]

The only Eagles team to start out 0-11, which cost “Coach for Life” Joe Kuharich his job after five years. Even though they won two of their last three games, their .143 winning percentage is second-worst in franchise history. But not only did this team lose its first 11 games, it only scored more than 17 points twice and never scored more than 14 points in seven road games. Woodeschick made the Pro Bowl and Ben Hawkins had a nice year, with 707 receiving yards and five TDs. But Norm Snead became the first (and only) Eagles QB since 1960 to throw 10 more interceptions than touchdowns.  

1972

Record: 2-11-1

Head Coach: Ed Khayat

Best Player: Harold Jackson (62 catches, 1,048 yards, 4 TDs)

Worst Player: Po James (40 rushing yards per start, 3.1 rushing average)

During the 16-year period from 1962 through 1977 the Eagles had only one winning season, and their 73-142-9 record was the worst in the league among teams that were in existence the entire 16-year span. It was a grim era of Eagles football, and the 1972 team might have been the worst of the bunch. It’s the only Eagles team in the last 48 years to win two or fewer games, and they ranked last in the NFL in offense and 22nd of 26 teams in defense. The 1972 team is the only one in the last 60 years ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in yards and points allowed and yards and points. Harold Jackson led the NFL in receiving and made the Pro Bowl and Bill Bradley had nine interceptions and made all-pro. But there wasn't much else to cheer about.

1976

Record: 4-10

Head Coach: Dick Vermeil

Best Player: Bill Bergey (Made third of five straight Pro Bowls)

Worst Player: Charlie Smith (Averaged 29 yards in 14 starts at WR)

Dick Vermeil took over a team that hadn’t had a winning season in a decade, averaging 4.3 wins over the previous nine seasons. It took a few years, but eventually Vermeil got the Eagles rolling, with four straight playoff seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 1980. But 1976 was rough. After a 2-2 start, the Eagles went 2-8 the rest of the year and at one point they lost five straight games, scoring seven or fewer points in four straight, something no other Eagles team has done since 1941 and only seven other NFL teams have done since.

 

1983

Record: 5-11

Head Coach: Marion Campbell

Best Player:  Mike Quick (Led NFL with 1,409 receiving yards and 13 TDs)

Worst Player: Michael Haddix (2.4 rushing average 6th worst in last 50 years)

A season that began with so much promise ended miserably. The Eagles were 4-2 in mid-October before going 1-9 the rest of the year in Marion Campbell’s first year as head coach. Of 434 teams in NFL history to open a season 4-2, the 1983 Eagles are one of only eight to win only one game the rest of the season. That team actually had a decent defense - they were ranked 8th in the NFL — but the offense was dead last at 14.6 points per game. Mike Quick was the lone bright light, leading the NFL in receiving yards with an NFL-leading 1,409 receiving yards — still the most in franchise history - in his first season as a starter.

1994

Record: 7-9

Head Coach: Rich Kotite

Best Player:  Andy Harmon (9.0 sacks, 3rd-most of NFL interior linemen)

The Eagles’ final record wasn’t one of their worst ever, but it's how they got there. Their collapse from 7-2 to a final mark of 7-9 remains unprecedented. Of the 194 teams in NFL history that opened a season 7-2, the Eagles are the only one that never won another game. The Eagles are one of three of those 194 teams that didn’t finish with a winning record and one of 31 that didn’t make the playoffs. Eric Allen and William Fuller made the Pro Bowl and Fred Barnett had a 1,000-yard season, but one day after the season ended with a loss to the Bengals — who won the game with two field goals in the final three seconds (really) — head coach Rich Kotite was fired, never to be heard from again.

1998

Record: 3-13

Head Coach: Ray Rhodes

Best Player: Duce Staley (1,057 rushing yards, 1,489 scrimmage yards)

Worst Player: Bobby Hoying (0 TDs, 9 INTs)

One of the worst teams in NFL history. The 1998 Eagles averaged 10.1 points per game, the worst by anybody in a 16-game season and second-lowest by any team since 1950, ahead of only the 1977 expansion Buccaneers. They scored more than 17 points once, and they managed to score 10 or fewer points nine times. They won three games, each with a different quarterback. Duce Staley ran for 1,000 yards and caught 57 passes and Hugh Douglas had 12 1/2 sacks, but that’s about it for positives. Rhodes was fired when the season ended and replaced by Andy Reid, and two years later the Eagles were in the conference semifinals. 

2012

Record: 4-12

Head Coach: Andy Reid

 

Best Player: LeSean McCoy (840 yards rushing, 54 catches)

Worst Player: Riley Cooper (Averaged 27.6 receiving yards per start)

In his last 15 seasons as a head coach, Andy Reid has had just one losing record, and it was a doozy. The 2012 Eagles opened the season 3-1, then lost eight games in a row and 11 of their last 12. Only the Jaguars and Chiefs lost more games. Both fired their head coach, Reid replaced Romeo Crennel in Kansas City and the rest is history. As for the 2012 Eagles, their four wins are the franchise’s second-fewest in a 16-game season. Their only win over the last three months of the season came in Tampa in early December and was the first career win for Nick Foles.

2020

Record: 3-8-1

Head Coach: Doug Pederson

Best Player: Miles Sanders (631 rushing yards, 5.3 average, 19 receptions)

Worst Player: Carson Wentz (NFL-leading 15 interceptions)

There are still four weeks to go, so maybe the Eagles can steal a couple wins and earn their way off this list. But as of now, they belong here. This has been an organization-wide failure, from upper management down to the bottom of the roster.  For a team just three years removed from the Super Bowl to put this sort of product on the field is embarrassing. The Eagles went to the bye week in first place at 3-4-1 but have since lost their last four games, failing to score more than 17 points in any of them. With a month to go, only the Bengals, Jaguars and Jets have fewer wins than the Eagles. 

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