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The 1998 Eagles Season in Review

This past season could have been a new Jeff Lurie Hollywood production called "Nightmare on Broad Street."  That could sum up the whole season for the Eagles.  It was one which nobdy wanted, but had to endure.   It was truly painful.  The offense was one of the most inept one in NFL history, and the team as a whole, set the Eagles record for most losses in a season at 13.   Once again, the team failed to win a game on the road.  the one bright spot for Eagles was the team now is in a position to draft Heisman Trophy winner, Ricky Williams.

The preseason previewed to the fans how bad the season would become.  The Eagles did manage to win one game ofsack.gif (10699 bytes) the four, as Koy Detmer brought them back to win against Pittsburgh.  Even with the thrilling come-from-behind victory, many within the organization and the fans knew the worst was yet to come.  The one surprise for them was just how bad it was going to get.  The first game of the season set the tempo.

The Eagles opened the season at home against the Seattle Seahawks, and were quickly buried in the game.  They failed to put a single point on the scoreboard.  the game was a complete embarrassment, as the Seahawks dominated them, 38-0.  The Eagles would travel to Atlanta for their first road game of the season.  It was the tale of two teams in the game, as the Eagles had the early lead, only to lose it in the second half as the offense forgot how to play.  It was one of the few game during this season, which Atlanta running back Jamal Anderson to less than a hundred yards rushing.  The Eagles held a 9-0 lead at the half, only to lose in the end, 17-12.

The Eagles would travel to Arizona for their next game.  This was a game of inefficiency as neither team could score a point through the first three quarters of the game.  The bad part for the Eagles was they had two chances to put up touchdowns, only to succumb to turnovers.  Bobby Hoying got hurt on the play that thwarted one drive, by fumbling it away, and Peete would throw an interception while they were in the red zone for another chance.  the Eagstaley.gif (10071 bytes)les finally scored a field goal in the fourth quarter to take the lead, only to have the Cardinals ripped off 17 unanswered point s to win the game, 17-3.

Rodney Peete would start for the injured Hoying in their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Vet.  Peete seemed to fire up the offense in this game, but did not get enough from them, as the Chiefs came from behind in the fourth quarter to win, 24-21.  Next it was time to travel to the home of the Super Bowl Champion Broncos.  This was a mismatch, if there ever was one.  The Eagles were blasted early and often.  Broncos running Terrell Davis ran over, under, around and through the Eagles defense.  He rushed for 168 yards on 20 carries, and it was all done in the first half of the game.  Davis did not play in the second half.   If he did, the score would have been much worse than the 41-16 beating the Eagles took.  It was a game which featured Bubby Brister as the quarterback for the Broncos, not John Elway.

The team would now come home to face another winless team in the Washington Redskins.  This game was known as "The Toilet Bowl."  In the end the Eagles finally flushed an opponent, as the Eagles beat the Redskins, 17-12.  There was finally some relief in Philadelphia with the win, but it would be short-lived.  They would travel to the west coast for their next game against the San Diego Chargers, a team which fired their hed coach the week of the game.   The strategy paid off as thehoying.gif (8627 bytes) stingy Chargers defense shut down the Eagles and won 13-10.  Now the Eagles would get their bye-week and their record stood at 1-6.

Their next game was on a Monday night and they were fcing the dreaded Dallas Cowboys.  The problem for the Eagles was the game was primetime and they were burnt by "Prime Time" as Deion Sanders ran back a punt for a touchdown to lead the Cowboys to the 34-0 victory over the Eagles.  "It was an embarrassment," said Jeff Lurie.  "That's about all you can say."  It was the first time the Eagles were shutout twice at home since the 1950s and the first time a team was shutout by more than 30 points twice in a season at home.  In this game, Rodney Peete was hurt early in the game, and Hoying replaced him and continued his disappointing play.

It seems like the Eagles always follow a terrible game with a hard fought game.  They played hard against the Falcons, after the stench-filled performance against the Seahawks.  They beat Washington, after looking like a high school team playing the Super bowl champions.  Now they took a beating from the Cowboys, and followed it by fighting tooth-and-nail against the Detroit Lions.   The Eagles won their second game of the year with a 10-9 score.

The road was where the Eagles were headed with the next two games, and the offense forgot to go with them, as the Eagles filed to score a touchdown in the two games against division rivals, the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.  the Eagles would be shutout for the third time in the season by the Giants.  the Eagles fell 28-3 to the Redskins and 20-0 to the Giants.  This would mark the end of the season for Hoying, as he was dropped to third-string quarterback, and Koy Detmer would arrive on the scene.

Their next game ws played at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.  Koy Detmer put some spark into the Eagles offense in this game by throwing the first two touchdown passes of the season to a wide receiver.   The Eagles had a lead in the third quarter and the packers were playing bad, until Detmer started his swash-buckling performance directed at Brett Favre.  That sparked the Packers and they went on to beat the Eagles 24-16.

Dick Vermiel would make his first trip back to Veterans Stadium for their  next game against the Rams.  The Eaglesi_fryar.jpg (9347 bytes) showed they could score some points as the managed to get 17 in this game, including the first play of the season over 40 yards.  It was a 63-yard scoring play to Irving Fryar, who caught his first touchdown pass of the season.  The Eagles went on to win the game 17-14, thanks to poor clock management by the Rams.  This would be their last victory of the season, though the Eagles played it tough in the remaining games.

The Eagles would lose to the Cardinals 20-17 in overtime, 13-9 to Dallas on the road, and finish the season with a 20-10 loss to the Giants.  This would mark the end of the Ray Rhodes era.

One bright spot was Duce Staley, who on a 65-yard touchdown run, would go over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.  He ran for most of his yards while hampered by a hernia.  The game against the Giants would be the last NFL game for Irving Fryar as he announced his retirement during the week prior to the game.  He received a Harley-Davidson from the organization for his efforts with the team.  He went to the Pro Bowl his first two seasons with the Eagles, but he never got it started this season.

The Eagles ended the season with a lot of questions and not many answer.  When the new coaching staff is selected and they get things in place, it will be time to rebuild the team again.  It seems to be a yearly process.   Hopefully this one will be good year with player acquistions.  They dearly need it.

 

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