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January 01, 2024

The 12 worst 'no-show' Eagles losses of the last 25 years

The Eagles' collapse against the Cardinals on Sunday joins an infamous list of no-show performances from the past quarter century.

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010124EaglesCardinals Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles got their asses kicked by a 3-12 team on Sunday, in case you missed it.

With the NFC East and crucial playoff seeding implications on the line on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles no-showed against the Arizona Cardinals. That got me wondering what the other worst Eagles no-shows have been over the last quarter century.

Here are a dozen. Let's do this in chronological order. 

NFC Championship Game, 2003: Panthers at Eagles, 14-3: The Ricky Manning Jr. game

Ronde Barber's interception return for a touchdown will forever be the the most iconic image from the Eagles' three straight NFC Championship Game losses, but their loss to the Panthers was easily the biggest no-show. The Birds scored as many points (3) as Ricky Manning Jr., a 5'9 rookie corner, had interceptions. This was an especially brutal loss considering that the Eagles were coming off the 4th and 26 game, which had locals believing that the Eagles were destined to win the Super Bowl.

Week 8, 2005: Eagles at Broncos, 49-21: T.O. kicked off the team thereafter

The 2005 season was a nightmare, as Terrell Owens criticized Donovan McNabb, butted heads over his contract with team management, and literally fought Hugh Douglas. His last game as an Eagle was this blowout loss in Denver, after which he was suspended.

Wildcard round, 2009, 34-14: Eagles at Cowboys: Air guitar game

In the final game of the 2009 regular season, the Eagles faced the Cowboys. It was a unique situation in which the winner of that game would win the NFC East and host the loser in the wildcard round of the playoffs. The Cowboys smoked the Eagles 24-0 in the regular season game, and then again in the playoff game, 34-14. This game is best remembered for McNabb playing an air guitar while walking onto the field.

I'm pretty sure every Eagles fan on the planet knew immediately that they were going to lose that game after seeing the air guitar.

Week 16, 2010: Vikings at Eagles, 24-14: The Joe Webb game

Remember "Miracle at the Meadowlands III?" You know, the DeSean Jackson punt return game? Well, the very next game was "The Joe Webb Game," when a depleted 5-9 Vikings team traveled to Philly to face the Eagles on Tuesday Night Football after inclement weather delayed the game, angering Ed Rendell.

The Eagles were favored by 14.5 points, but they never got their offense going, while Webb and the Vikings did enough to ruin the Eagles' positioning in the NFC playoffs.

Week 10, 2011: Cardinals at Eagles, 21-17: The John Skelton game

This list wouldn't be complete without a game from the Dream Team season, and this game effectively put the nail in the coffin of the 2011 Eagles. Despite heading into this game with a 3-5 record, the Eagles were 13-point favorites, but they lost to Skelton and the then 2-6 Cardinals.

MORE: Just about everything went wrong as Eagles blow it against Cardinals

Week 15, 2012: Bengals at Eagles, 34-13: Andy left no doubt he was done in Philly

During Andy Reid's final year in Philly, there was a home game at the end of the season against the Bengals in which the the team looked grossly unorganized. On their opening possession, Jeremy Maclin fumbled, leading to a Bengals TD. On their second possession, the Eagles went three-and-out, and boos rained down. While lined up for the ensuing punt, backup TE Clay Harbor ran out onto the field late, which drew more boos, and then the punt was blocked, lol. The Eagles would get blown out, fall to 4-10, and Reid would be fired at the end of the season.

Week 12, 2015: Eagles at Lions, 45-14: Thanksgiving massacre

In Week 11 of the 2015 season, the Eagles got blown out by the Buccaneers 45-17 behind five Jameis Winston touchdown passes. The following week, the Eagles took an even worse beating at the hands of the Lions on Thanksgiving. By the end of that game, I had the Lions' fight song memorized. 

It became clear that Chip Kelly's scheme was cooked, and that their season was over. He would be fired in-season a month later.

Week 13, 2016: Eagles at Bengals, 32-14: The bad effort game

During Doug Pederson's first season as the head coach, the Eagles were down 29-0 at one point late in the third quarter against the Bengals. But worse than the score was the effort (or lack thereof) on several occasions throughout the game, most notably by Zach Ertz, who jumped out of the way of linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was trying to track down Carson Wentz.


That was an inconsequential play during that game, but people noticed it, and Pederson was peppered by questions about the team's effort the following day in his press conference. Pederson would admit that "not everybody" played hard.

Week 11, 2018: Eagles at Saints, 48-7: The kinda / sorta / not really rematch

The 2017 Eagles won the Super Bowl, and Saints players, notably Alvin Kamara, said that they would have beaten the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game if not for "The Minneapolis Miracle."

The following season, in a game with far lower stakes, the Saints annihilated the Eagles, dropping them to 4-6.

Week 1, 2020: Eagles at Football Team, 27-17: The tone-setting stinker

In the first game of the COVID season, the Eagles got out to a 17-0 lead on the road against the Commanders, and then completely fell apart mainly due to three bad turnovers by Wentz. This loss set the tone for what would be a 4-11-1 season that would get Pederson fired.

Week 13, 2023: 49ers at Eagles, 42-19: Tackling, who needs it?

This one should be fresh in your memories. It was more or less the beginning of the end of the 2023 Eagles, you know, assuming this nightmare of a season continues on the way it's been going.

Week 17, 2023: Cardinals at Eagles, 35-31: Worst defensive performance in recent memory

And finally, there was yesterday, when the 3-12 Cardinals had 15 more first downs, 174 more yards, they ran 25 more plays, they held the ball for for almost 20 more minutes of game clock, they didn't punt, and they scored touchdowns on all four of their second half possessions.

MORE: 10 awards from Eagles-Cardinals

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