The organization has been around for 81 years and has produced some tremendous quarterbacks and unforgettable performances.
Randall Cunningham, the patriarch of the rifle-armed running quarterbacks. Michael Vick, the greatest two-way threat ever. Ron Jaworski, who took toughness and durability to levels never seen before in NFL history. Donovan McNabb, who put up borderline Hall of Fame numbers in his 11 years in Philly.
And Nick Foles?
After Foles’ performance Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland, it’s impossible not to examine just where Foles fits in among the all-time greatest quarterback performances in the history of a franchise that dates back to the Herbert Hoover Presidency.
It’s right at the top.
In his ninth career start and coming into his first game since a disaster against the Cowboys, the 24-year-old second-year pro from Arizona fashioned the greatest quarterback performance in Eagles history.
Here’s a look at our Top 10:
1. Nick Foles at Raiders, Nov. 2, 2013 (49-20 win)
22-for-28, 406 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs
The game: Foles tied the NFL record for touchdowns in a game, became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns before the end of the third quarter and also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards while having fewer incompletions than touchdowns. He did it against the NFL’s No. 10 defense, and he did it just 14 days after suffering a concussion during a dismal performance against the Cowboys. And we don’t even know if he’s starting next week!
Key stat: Forget the seven TDs for a moment. Foles also became only the 11th quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards while completing 75 percent of his passes and not throwing an interception.
2. Adrian Burk at Redskins, Oct. 17, 1954 (49-21 win)
19 for 27, 232 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT
The game: Burk, the second overall pick in the 1950 draft, won only 15 games in his seven-year career but was 5-2-1 in 1954 and went to the Pro Bowl after leading the NFL with 23 touchdown passes. Nearly a third of them came that one afternoon in Washington, when he set the NFL record with seven TD passes –- three each to Bobby Walston and Pete Pihos and one to Toy Ledbetter.
Key stat: After his NFL-record seven TD passes, Burk won just two more games in an Eagles uniform.
3. Michael Vick at Redskins, Nov. 15, 2010 (59-28 win)
20 for 28, 333 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 80 rush yards, 2 rush TDs
The game: In his fifth start in an Eagles uniform, Vick put up 45 first-half points on the way to a revenge win over the Redskins and quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had beaten the Eagles at the Linc a few weeks earlier. Vick connected with DeSean Jackson on an 88-yard touchdown on the first play of the game and never looked back.
Key stat: Vick’s performance remains the only one in NFL history in which a quarterback threw four TDs, passed for 300 yards and ran for at least 80 yards.
4. Randall Cunningham at Redskins, 1989 (42-37 win)
34 for 46, 447 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
The game: Earlier in the day, at the Eagles’ hotel in Arlington, Va., Cunningham had signed a long-term contract extension. Then he went out and rallied the Eagles back from a 30-14 early third-quarter deficit –- and 37-28 deficit with less than two minutes left in the game. Keith Byars (8 for 130) and Keith Jackson (12 for 126, 3 TDs) were Cunningham’s big weapons that day, with Jackson catching the game-winner, a four-yard TD with 52 seconds left in the game. One play earlier, Al Harris forced a fumble by Gerald Riggs –- who had rushed for 221 yards in the game –- and Wes Hopkins returned it to the 4-yard-line to set up Cunningham’s final TD of the day.
Key stat: This is one of only two games since 1960 that the Eagles have won after trailing by 16 or more points (30-14) at halftime. The other was the Giants in 2010, the DeSean Jackson punt return game.
5. Donovan McNabb vs. Lions, Sept. 23, 2007 (56-21 win)
21 for 26, 389 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
The game: The Eagles scored touchdowns on their first five possessions and led 35-0 after just 18½ minutes before coasting. Kevin Curtis didn’t do much as a free agent with the Eagles –- I still think he should have caught that 4th-down pass in the NFC Championship Game in Arizona in 2008 -- but in this game he was 11-for-221 with three touchdowns.
Key stat: McNabb was 14-for-15 for 332 yards, four touchdowns and no INTs ... in the first half.
6. Donovan McNabb vs. 49ers, Sept. 18, 2005 (42-3 win)
23 for 29, 342 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
The game: Before things got really ugly between Donovan and T.O. in 2005, both were off to tremendous starts. Neither one would finish the season –- McNabb got hurt, T.O. got suspended. But in Week 2, McNabb connected with Owens on a 68-yard touchdown on the third play of the game, and both finished with huge performances. T.O. was 5-for-143 with two TDs. But the inner turmoil had already begun. He played only five more games in an Eagles uniform.
Key stat: This performance made McNabb the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 340 or more yards with five or more TDs, no interceptions and a 75-percent completion percentage. Since 2005, that’s been achieved by Tom Brady three times, Drew Brees twice and ... Nick Foles once.
7. Donovan McNabb vs. Packers, Dec. 5, 2004 (47-17 win)
32 for 43, 464 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
The game: The Eagles were closing in on the No. 1 seed in the NFC when Brett Favre and the Packers came to town. A year earlier, Favre was on the losing end of the 4th and 26 game –- we all remember Dawk picking off Favre in overtime to set up David Akers’ game-winning field goal to send the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game. Things didn’t go much better for Favre in 2004. He threw for just 131 yards and was picked off by Sheldon Brown and again by Dawk. Meanwhile, McNabb was brilliant, throwing all five touchdowns before halftime. Look at McNabb’s first-half numbers: 24-for-28 for 303 yards, five TDs and no INTs. Insane.
Key stat: This remains the only game in NFL history in which a QB threw for 450 yards and five touchdowns, completed at least 74 percent of his passes and didn’t throw an INT.
8. Rodney Peete vs. Lions, Dec. 30, 1995 (58-37 W-C win)
17 for 25, 270 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
The game: By far the greatest playoff performance in Eagles history, and it came from a quarterback who during the regular season threw eight touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 12 starts. But against his former team, Peete oversaw one of the most ridiculous halves of playoff football in NFL history. The Eagles scored 31 second-quarter points, second-most of any quarter in postseason history, and had 38 by halftime on the way to their first home playoff win in 15 years -- since the 1980 NFC Championship Game against Dallas.
Key stat: Peete to this day remains one of only 11 quarterbacks to complete 68 percent of his passes for 270 or more yards with three or more TDs and no interceptions in a playoff game.
9. Randall Cunningham vs. Pats, Nov. 4, 1990 (48-20 win)
15 for 24, 240 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 124 rushing yards, 1 TD
The game: This was the peak of SuperWeapon, and 23 years ago today, Cunningham produced one of the wildest games of his career. He completed only 15 passes, but he tossed four touchdows, including 37-yarders to Keith Jackson and Fred Barnett, and also had an unforgettable 52-yard touchdown run, helping him record a ridiculous 124 total rushing yards. Earlier in his career, Cunningham wasn’t a very consistent passer. Later in his career, he wasn’t as electrifying a runner. In 1990, he was both, and against the Patriots it all came together in astounding fashion.
Key stat: This remains the only performance in NFL history in which a quarterback ran for 100 yards and threw four touchdown passes.
10. Norm Snead vs. Steelers, Sept. 28, 1969 (41-27 win)
22 for 30, 335 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
The game: This list is dominated by modern Eagles quarterbacks for obvious reasons –- back in the early days of the NFL, quarterbacks just didn’t throw this often, this accurately and this far down the field so efficiently. But early in an otherwise non-descript season -– the Eagles finished 4-9-1 and Snead led the NFL in interceptions –- Snead put together a masterpiece against the Steelers at Franklin Field. Snead threw four TD passes to Ben Hawkins (to set a record that still stands) and one to Harold Jackson and the Eagles rallied back from a 13-0 first-quarter deficit –- one of only 11 times they’ve done that since 1940.
Key stat: Snead became only the second player in NFL history to throw for 330 or more yards with five touchdowns and a 70-percent completion percentage. Don Meredith did it five years earlier for the Cowboys.