It's the last final of the regular season, and the Eagles' fate hangs precariously in the balance.
Which is nothing new for the Eagles.
There have been several instances over the years where the Eagles needed a win on the last day of the season to reach the playoffs. And one game in which they earned a first-round bye because of how they lost.
The Eagles will clinch a wild-card berth and a home playoff game next weekend against the 49ers-Seahawks loser with a win over the Giants this afternoon in East Rutherford, N.J., or with a Cowboys loss to the Redskins in Arlington, Texas.
Let's go back in time and look at previous crucial last-day-of-the-season Eagles games.
Eagles 20, Giants 3
Dec. 17, 1978, Veterans Stadium
The Eagles hadn’t been in the postseason since the 1960 Championship season, but on the final day of the season they ended that 17-year drought with a win over the Giants combined with a Packers loss to the Rams and a Redskins loss to the Bears, both earlier in the day. The Eagles jumped on top 13-0 on two Wilbert Montgomery TD runs in the first quarter and never looked back. Montgomery (130) and Mike Hogan (100) both hit 100 rushing yards, and on a day when Ron Jaworski completed only four passes the Eagles easily got past the Giants to secure a wild-card berth. That’s the last time the Eagles completed just four or fewer passes in a game.
Cowboys 35, Eagles 27
Dec. 21, 1980, Texas Stadium
The way the tie-breakers worked out, the Eagles knew they would win the division as long as they didn't lose to the Cowboys by 25 or more points. The Cowboys did lead by as many as 25 points at 35-10 early in the fourth quarter before the Eagles scored the last 17 points of the game to clinch the NFC East title and a first-round bye with an 8-point loss. Had the score remained 35-10? The Eagles would have been in the playoffs, but they would have had to play in the wild-card round, and their road to Super Bowl XV would have been much more difficult.
Eagles 38, Cards 0
Dec. 20, 1981, Veterans Stadium
At 9-6, the Eagles went into the last day of the 1981 season needing either a win over the Cards or a Packers loss to the Jets get into the postseason. The Eagles took care of the Cards, building a 28-0 halftime lead on the way to a lopsided shutout win. The Eagles picked off Neil Lomax three times — two for Herm Edwards, one by John Sciarra — and Wilbert Montgomery ran for 108 yards for the Eagles. As it turned out the Jets did beat the Packers, but the Eagles took care of business and made the postseason as a wild-card team.
Eagles 23, Cowboys 7
Dec. 18, 1988, Texas Stadium
When the day began, the Eagles could either be out of the playoffs, in as a wild-card or NFC East champs. They clinched a playoff berth with their easy win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium in what turned out to be Tom Landry’s final game as an NFL head coach. Then they stayed on the field as a group until they learned (from a team official who was shouting out updates while getting them on a telephone) that the Jets had upset the Giants on Ken O’Brien’s last-second TD pass to Al Toon. That gave them their first NFC East title since 1980 and a first-round bye.
Eagles 44, Cowboys 6
Dec. 18, 2008, Lincoln Financial Field
For the Eagles to even go into the 4 p.m. Dallas game with a chance at the postseason, the 7-8 Texans had to upset the 9-6 Bears and the 5-10 Raiders had to beat the 9-6 Buccaneers. Incredibly, both those things happened, and the Eagles took care of the rest. They broke a 3-3 tie with a 24-point second quarter and put the game away on long fumble return TDs by Chris Clemons (73 yards) and Joselio Hanson (96 yards) and went on to reach the NFC title game for the fifth time in eight years.
Eagles 24, Cowboys 22
Dec. 29, 2013, AT&T Stadium
Once again, the Eagles finished the season with the Cowboys, with the winner locking up the NFC East title and the loser going home. Nick Foles threw touchdown passes to LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, Shady ran for 131 yards and Brandon Boykin secured the win when he picked off a Kyle Orton pass intended for Miles Austin in the end zone with 1:43 left in the game.
Eagles 24, Redskins 0
Dec. 30, 2018, FedEx Field
In their most recent win-or-go-home scenario, the Eagles only led the Redskins 3-0 late in the first half before Nick Foles’ TD pass to Alshon Jeffery just before halftime extended the lead to 10-0. Foles added two TD passes to Nelson Agholor in the second half, and the Eagles limited the Redskins to 89 net yards of offense. That win, combined with the Bears’ 24-10 win over the Vikings in Minneapolis, gave the Eagles a wild-card berth and a first-round game against those very same Bears.
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