As it often does, a simple query through the NFL history books led to a trip down the rabbit hole of fun facts about the Eagles’ Monday Night Football opponent and the history between the two NFC East franchises.
Washington’s team was established just one year (1932) before the Philadelphia Eagles (1933) and the two have faced off 167 times in the years since — although for the first five seasons, they were the Boston Redskins before moving to D.C.
Washington leads the overall series 85-76-6, and even recently, they swept the Eagles in 2015 and 2016 before Philadelphia finally went undefeated against them during their Super Bowl in 2017.
But while Washington may lead the Eagles in certain categories, there are plenty of others that the team from Philadelphia takes charge. Plus, the Eagles aren’t in the record books for what on paper is the most embarrassing loss in the history of professional football.
1) Washington has the worst loss in NFL history
It was December 8, 1940 and Washington was hosting the Chicago Bears at home in Griffith Stadium for the Championship Game. According to ProFootball Reference, there were 36,034 people in attendance for what would soon become a game for the record books.
The Bears put up 73 unanswered points over their Washington hosts, and at 73-0, the result goes down as the most points scored by a winner in NFL history. No matter what they tried, Washington could not get on the board, and even went through three different quarterbacks, who combined for 8 (!) interceptions on the day, three of which were returned for a score.
Just look at these stats by ProFootball Reference:
1940 Championship results
|Net Pass Yards||138||226|
In an attempt at full disclosure, the Eagles were terrible in 1940, finishing the year 1-10 and starting quarterback Davey O’Brien had just five touchdowns against 17 interceptions during the season. But, they still never lost a game 73-0.
2) Eagles beat Washington in the team’s last home game at Griffith Stadium
Washington called Griffith Stadium home from 1937-1960 and played 145 games on the grass of the outdoor stadium. Their last regular season game in 1960 would also be the last one played at Griffith Stadium, and it just so happened Washington was hosting the Philadelphia Eagles.
It wasn’t the final chapter that Washington had hoped for, with the Eagles getting the win 38-28. And while it may not have been the way they wanted to say goodbye to their 23-year home field, it wasn’t entirely unexpected with the Eagles finishing the 1960 season 10-2 and Washington barely surviving at 1-9-2.
Mini fun fact: Washington’s punter was Eagle Day that season.
3) Eagles have scored more all-time points against Washington than any other team
It’s already been noted above that Washington leads the all-time series between these two teams, but despite them leading in wins, the Eagles have scored more points overall and more points against Washington than any other team in the league. In their 167 meetings, the Eagles have put up 3,507 points to Washington’s overall 3,323.
4) The Eagles’ 59-28 win over Washington in 2010 ranks No. 23 all-time in points scored by the winning team
There are few games that I think compare to the 2010 matchup between these teams.
From the very first play, it was obvious that the Andy Reid offense was playing lights out, and with their 59 points, sit at No. 23 all-time in points scored by the winning team, and the No. 1 spot for the most points in the Washington-Philadelphia series by 10 points — breaking the previous record set in 1954.
Not only did you have Donovan McNabb playing for a division rival, but Michael Vick had perhaps one of his and the franchise’s best quarterback performances ever.
He became the first player in the NFL history to record the following stats in a single game:
300+ passing yards
50+ rushing yards
4+ passing TDs
2+ rushing TDs
It was a (delightful) bloodbath. The Eagles scored on the first PLAY of the game thanks to an 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, who got space late in his route and blew past LaRon Landry with his dangerous speed.
This was a defining game for Michael Vick, but was also the epitome of what the offense could do with talents like Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
5) Eagles lead Washington in all-time playoff runs and conference championships
These two NFC East teams have only met in the playoffs one time, with Washington getting the win 20-6 in January 1991. Despite that, the Eagles actually claim one more playoff run than their counterpart, and one additional conference championship as well.
All-Time Playoff Records
|All-Time Playoffs||43 Games (22-21)||42 Games (23-19)|
|Wild Card Round||15 Games (7-8)||9 Games (6-3)|
|Divisional Round||14 Games (8-6)||16 Games (7-9)|
|Conference Championship||7 Games (3-4)||6 Games (5-1)|
|Super Bowl||3 Games (1-2)||5 Games (3-2)|
|Championship (pre-1966)||4 Games (3-1)||6 Games (2-4)|
Sure, Washington has been to and won more Super Bowl games, but the Eagles finally bucked tradition in February 2018 and could soon flip the script on that particular stat.
6) Eagles have more First-team All-Pro selections than Washington
Ok, so admittedly, I’m cherry-picking the stats in this section to fit my narrative.
The Eagles boast 75 First-team All-Pro (AP1) selections compared to Washington’s 64. This is true. However, if you look at the full Pro Bowl stats for each team, Eagles lead in AP1 selections, but Washington has earned more overall Pro Bowl selections with 291 (vs. 268 for the Eagles).
Overall, the Eagles have had 124 players who combined, totaled 75 First-team All-Pro selections and 268 total Pro Bowl selections. Linebacker legend Chuck Bednarik leads both teams however, with 6 AP1 and 8 Pro Bowl selections (14 total).
For Washington, they’ve had 158 players who combined, totaled 64 First-Team All-Pro selections and 291 total Pro Bowl selections. Their franchise leader is also a linebacker, Chris Hanburger, who earned 4 AP1 and 9 Pro Bowl selections (13 total).
I’m still going to call this category for the Eagles, because Bednarik over everything.
After all this research it dawned on me that it’s incredibly exciting to have so much history to look back on between these two franchises, and with so many NFL teams being bought and sold, moved and added, the history of the Philadelphia and Washington franchises and series should be celebrated.
(Although, it should be celebrated more if the Eagles get a win on Monday night.)