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Jalen Mills and the best quirk games in Eagles history

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The beginning of every season gives some humorous statistical anomalies. I particularly enjoyed this one:

“That would be bad.” Thank’s,,, PFF. If you prorate that over 16 games, Mills would set the NFL record with 16 interceptions. Left that one out.

Prorating one game to a full season can be silly. No one expects Matthew Stafford or Alex Smith to throw 64 touchdowns, or Andy Dalton to throw 64 interceptions, though that seems slightly more plausible. Nor do we expect Kareem Hunt to demolish the single season rushing record with 2,368 yards, or Adam Thielen to catch 144 passes. Players have great games, bad games and quirky games. That’s part of the fun of sports.

That got me thinking, what are some of the quirkiest games in Eagles history? Isolating a single game by a defender from years past is basically impossible because there are fewer individual defensive statistics, most individual defensive weren’t officially recorded for decades (sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982, so we’ll never truly know if Norm “Wild Man” Willey had the 17 sacks in one game that he claims), and individual defensive statistics are all positive: for example tackles get recorded, broken tackles do not. But we can easily find weird offensive games, both good and bad.

Receiving

19 players have had 21 games in which they caught just one pass for negative yardage while gaining no yardage as a runner.

Date Opp Result Tgt Rec Yds Y/R
Reggie Singletary 12/13/1987 MIA L 10-28 1 -11 -11
Bob Gaona 10/13/1957 @ CLE L 7-24 1 -9 -9
Kenjon Barner 12/26/2015 WAS L 24-38 3 1 -7 -7
Dick Bielski 10/13/1957 @ CLE L 7-24 1 -5 -5
Earl Gros 10/9/1966 @ DAL L 7-56 1 -5 -5
Frank LeMaster 12/5/1976 DAL L 7-26 1 -4 -4
Jim Parmer 11/20/1955 @ NYG L 7-31 1 -4 -4
Chad Hall 12/24/2011 @ DAL W 20-7 1 1 -3 -3
Wally Henry 11/30/1981 @ MIA L 10-13 1 -3 -3
Art Malone 9/12/1976 @ DAL L 7-27 1 -3 -3
Cecil Martin 12/19/1999 NWE W 24-9 3 1 -3 -3
Herman Hunter 11/17/1985 @ STL W 24-14 1 -2 -2
Cecil Martin 11/21/1999 IND L 17-44 2 2 -2 -1
Jerrold McRae 12/2/1979 DET W 44-7 1 -2 -2
Richard Osborne 10/1/1978 @ BAL W 17-14 1 -2 -2
Josh Parry 1/2/2005 CIN L 10-38 2 2 -2 -1
Tom Sullivan 11/19/1972 DAL L 7-28 1 -2 -2
Jason Avant 11/11/2012 DAL L 23-38 2 1 -1 -1
Clay Harbor 11/18/2012 @ WAS L 6-31 6 1 -1 -1
Cecil Martin 12/9/2001 SDG W 24-14 4 1 -1 -1
Owen Schmitt 10/17/2010 ATL W 31-17 1 1 -1 -1
Charlie Smith 10/7/1979 WAS W 28-17 1 -1 -1

Cecil Martin ingloriously shows up thrice. Clay Harbour had six passes throw his way that day, he caught just one of them and would have been better off dropping it.

22 players caught one pass in a game for at least 40 yards, didn’t catch another and didn’t score.

Date Opp Result Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD
Freddie Mitchell 11/15/2004 @ DAL W 49-21 5 1 60 60 0
Matt Schobel 9/24/2006 @ SFO W 38-24 1 1 60 60 0
Jim Kelly 10/8/1967 @ ATL W 38-7 1 59 59 0
Jason Dunn 9/22/1996 @ ATL W 33-18 3 1 58 58 0
Dick Bielski 11/29/1959 @ PIT L 0-31 1 57 57 0
Jason Dunn 9/1/1996 @ WAS W 17-14 3 1 54 54 0
Bibbles Bawel 10/4/1952 NYG L 7-31 1 52 52 0
Tommy McDonald 10/16/1960 DET W 28-10 1 51 51 0
Irving Fryar 9/9/1996 @ GNB L 13-39 4 1 50 50 0
Richard Osborne 11/26/1978 @ STL W 14-10 1 48 48 0
Todd Pinkston 11/23/2003 NOR W 33-20 2 1 48 48 0
Mike Quick 11/20/1983 NYG L 0-23 1 47 47 0
Hal Giancanelli 11/8/1953 NYG W 30-7 1 45 45 0
Todd Pinkston 12/3/2000 TEN L 13-15 1 1 45 45 0
Frank Budd 11/25/1962 DAL W 28-14 1 44 44 0
Melvin Hoover 10/28/1984 STL L 14-34 1 44 44 0
Josh Huff 12/14/2014 DAL L 27-38 2 1 44 44 0
Kenny Jackson 9/30/1990 IND L 23-24 1 43 43 0
Brent Celek 11/17/2013 WAS W 24-16 1 1 42 42 0
Jim Whalen 11/28/1971 WAS L 13-20 1 41 41 0
Gregg Garrity 11/29/1987 @ NWE W 34-31 1 40 40 0
Bobby Walston 10/12/1952 PIT W 26-21 1 40 40 0

Freddie Mitchell’s is the Donovan McNabb 14 second scramble. If you include players who also gained yardage as a runner, in 1994 Herschel Walker caught a pass for 93 yards and didn’t score. Ouch.

Rushing

Six players have had just one carry in a game, but ran for at least 40 yards.

Date Opp Result Yds TD
Herman Hunter 11/24/1985 @ DAL L 17-34 74 1
DeSean Jackson 10/26/2009 @ WAS W 27-17 67 1
Jerry Norton 11/10/1957 DET L 16-27 61 0
James Thrash 9/8/2003 TAM L 0-17 47 0
Frank Reagan 11/12/1950 @ WAS W 33-0 40 0
Jerry Williams 10/10/1953 @ CLE L 13-37 40 0

Jerry Norton ran for 61 yards and didn’t find the end zone. That’s embarrassing.

13 players had at least 10 rushing attempts and gained less than 10 total yards rushing.

Date Opp Result Att Yds Y/A TD
Steve Van Buren 12/3/1950 @ CLE L 7-13 10 -2 -0.2 0
Keith Byars 10/26/1986 SDG W 23-7 10 0 0 1
Billy Ray Barnes 9/24/1961 WAS W 14-7 12 2 0.17 0
Lee Bouggess 11/8/1970 MIA W 24-17 12 2 0.17 0
DeMarco Murray 9/20/2015 DAL L 10-20 13 2 0.15 0
Billy Ray Barnes 12/4/1960 @ STL W 20-6 10 4 0.4 0
Bryce Brown 12/9/2012 @ TAM W 23-21 12 6 0.5 0
Duce Staley 9/26/1999 @ BUF L 0-26 10 6 0.6 0
Frank Ziegler 10/17/1953 PIT W 23-7 11 6 0.55 1
Billy Ray Barnes 11/13/1960 WAS W 19-13 13 8 0.62 0
Randall Cunningham 11/19/1989 MIN W 10-9 10 8 0.8 0
Herman Hunter 10/13/1985 STL W 30-7 10 8 0.8 0
Jim Parmer 12/12/1954 NYG W 29-14 13 8 0.62 0

Steve Van Buren with an incredible -2 yards on 10 attempts proves that anyone can have a really, really, really bad game. Keith Byars and Frank Zeigler at least scored a touchdown.

Passing

There have been 55 games where a passer threw the ball at least 10 times (which means they got meaningful playing time) with a passer rating of less than 20. However nearly half of those were pre-merger, when throwing more interceptions than passes in a season didn’t get you benched. Post merger, 16 players over 29 games reached this dismal threshold.

Date Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Y/A AY/A
Rick Arrington 10/25/1970 @ GNB L 17-30 3 10 30 16 0 3 0 1.6 -11.9
Pat Ryan 9/30/1991 @ WAS L 0-23 4 14 28.57 24 0 3 0 1.71 -7.93
Donovan McNabb 11/18/2007 MIA W 17-7 3 11 27.27 34 0 2 0.4 3.09 -5.09
Mike Boryla 12/7/1975 CIN L 0-31 6 18 33.33 53 0 3 2.8 2.94 -4.56
Norm Snead 10/18/1970 STL L 20-35 2 10 20 37 0 1 2.9 3.7 -0.8
Norm Snead 12/6/1970 @ BAL L 10-29 8 21 38.1 60 0 3 6.7 2.86 -3.57
Rick Arrington 11/7/1971 @ WAS T 7-7 4 12 33.33 29 0 1 7.6 2.42 -1.33
Ken O'Brien 11/21/1993 NYG L 3-7 4 12 33.33 36 0 1 7.6 3 -0.75
Ron Jaworski 12/13/1981 @ DAL L 10-21 11 32 34.38 140 0 4 9.4 4.38 -1.25
Rodney Peete 11/2/1997 @ ARI L 21-31 3 13 23.08 54 0 1 12.3 4.15 0.69
Brad Goebel 10/6/1991 @ TAM L 13-14 9 20 45 62 0 2 12.9 3.1 -1.4
Pete Liske 9/26/1971 DAL L 7-42 11 29 37.93 132 0 6 13.1 4.55 -4.76
Donovan McNabb 11/23/2008 @ BAL L 7-36 8 18 44.44 59 0 2 13.2 3.28 -1.72
Ron Jaworski 9/25/1977 @ RAM L 0-20 13 29 44.83 99 0 3 14.1 3.41 -1.24
John Reaves 10/15/1972 RAM L 3-34 6 15 40 67 0 2 14.4 4.47 -1.53
Rick Arrington 10/24/1971 NYG W 23-7 5 13 38.46 33 0 1 14.6 2.54 -0.92
Koy Detmer 1/1/2006 WAS L 20-31 5 11 45.45 27 0 1 14.6 2.45 -1.64
Pete Liske 10/29/1972 @ NOR L 3-21 5 14 35.71 42 0 1 14.6 3 -0.21
Roman Gabriel 11/3/1974 @ PIT L 0-27 5 17 29.41 29 0 1 15.1 1.71 -0.94
Kevin Kolb 11/23/2008 @ BAL L 7-36 10 23 43.48 73 0 2 15.3 3.17 -0.74
Doug Pederson 10/3/1999 @ NYG L 15-16 6 15 40 75 0 2 16.7 5 -1
Rick Arrington 12/10/1972 CHI L 12-21 5 13 38.46 46 0 1 16.8 3.54 0.08
Koy Detmer 1/6/2002 @ TAM W 17-13 5 14 35.71 51 0 1 17.3 3.64 0.43
John Reaves 11/18/1973 @ DAL L 10-31 5 19 26.32 17 0 1 17.7 0.89 -1.47
Roman Gabriel 11/3/1975 RAM L 3-42 10 25 40 100 0 2 18.7 4 0.4
Ron Jaworski 12/17/1978 NYG W 20-3 4 13 30.77 72 0 1 18.8 5.54 2.08
Rodney Peete 9/9/1996 @ GNB L 13-39 10 25 40 142 0 3 19.5 5.68 0.28
John Reaves 11/3/1974 @ PIT L 0-27 4 14 28.57 75 0 1 19.6 5.36 2.14

Hey there’s Doug Pederson. Three of these, Rodney Peete in 1996, Roman Gabriel in 1974, and Pat Ryan, came on Monday Night Football, everyone watched how bad they were.

So yeah, one game doesn’t mean a thing. Just don’t do it again Jalen. Except for that interception part, keep that up.