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The rich history of former Eagles QBs facing the Eagles


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The rich history of former Eagles QBs facing the Eagles


Sonny Jurgensen did it. Randall Cunningham did it. Donovan McNabb did it. Even Doug Pederson did it.

Carson Wentz will become the latest in a long list of former Eagles quarterbacks to face his former team Sunday when the Eagles face the Commanders at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

He’ll be the first former Eagles QB to face the Eagles in four years and the first to start against the Eagles in six years, and he’ll try to become the first to beat the Eagles in 10 years.

Sonny Jurgensen

After spending his first seven years with the Eagles – he was a 1st-team all-pro in 1961 – Jurgensen went to Washington in the ill-fated Norm Snead trade and became a Hall of Famer in his 11 years with the Washington Football Team. Jurgensen faced the Eagles 16 times between 1964 and 1974, going 11-3-2 and throwing 33 touchdowns – 2nd-most ever against the Eagles behind Eli Manning’s 54. Only Jim Hart [17] and Roger Staubach [13] have beaten the Eagles more than Jurgensen.

Jack Concannon

Concannon spent his first three seasons with the Eagles mainly backing up Snead and King Hill. He did start three games from 1964 through 1966, going 3-0. He went on to start 42 more games with the Bears, Packers and Lions and faced the Eagles in 1970 for the Bears at Dyche Stadium in Evanston, Ill – the only game the Bears ever played there. Although he only threw for 105 yards, the Bears won 20-16, beating Snead.

Norm Snead

Snead faced the Eagles 10 times – six times before joining the Eagles and four times after leaving. In 1971, he threw for 88 yards in the Vikings 13-0 win over Rick Arrington and the Eagles at the Vet. In 1972 – now with the Giants – he threw three TDs in New York's 27-12 win at the Vet. In 1973, still with the Giants, he passed for 272 yards in a 23-23 tie at Yankee Stadium, and then in 1975 he relieved Steve Spurrier in the second half of the Eagles’ 27-17 win over the 49ers at the Vet. 

Randall Cunningham

Randall didn’t start but played most of the Pickle Juice game in Dallas on opening day 2000 after Troy Aikman got hurt – he was picked off by Carlos Emmons – but his only start against the team he spent his first 11 years with came that season at the Vet, when he went 14-for-22 for 109 yards and an interception (Brian Dawkins) in a game the Eagles won 16-13. Cunningham’s 59.7 career passer rating vs. the Eagles ranks 60th of 68 QBs over the last 25 years.

Jim McMahon

McMahon only started one game against the Eagles for the Bears – that was a 17-14 win at Soldier Field in 1983. In 1989, he threw for 264 yards and two TDs for the Chargers in a 20-17 win over the Eagles at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. After spending 1990 through 1992 with the Eagles and going 9-3 as a starter, McMahon only appeared once against his former team, taking a knee at the end of a 39-13 Packers win at Lambeau Field in 1996 after Brett Favre had thrown three touchdown passes.

Bubby Brister

After spending his first seven seasons with the Steelers and starting 57 games, Brister joined the Eagles in 1993 and went 4-4 in eight starts in place of injured Randall Cunningham. He lost two starts in 1994 and then after a bad year with the Jets sat out in 1997. But the Broncos signed him in 1997 to back up John Elway and in 1998 he went 4-0 when Elway was hurt. One of those games was a 41-16 win over the Eagles at Mile High Stadium. Brister threw a career-high four touchdowns against the Eagles, including two when the Broncos raced out to a 28-0 first-quarter lead. Brister won a Super Bowl ring that year with Denver.

Doug Pederson

Pederson famously was the winning quarterback in the Dolphins’ 19-14 win over the Eagles at the Vet in 1993 when, with Dan Marino injured, Don Shula passed George Halas to become the winningest coach in NFL history. But in 2000, after quarterbacking the Eagles in 1999 and long before he led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl championship, Pederson started for the Browns in a late-season game against the Eagles in Cleveland. In what turned out to be the second-to-last start of his career, Pederson threw for a career-high 309 yards but was picked off by Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent and outplayed by former teammate Donovan McNabb, who threw for 390 yards and four TDs – two each to Charles Johnson and Torrance Small – in the Eagles’ 35-24 win.

Donovan McNabb

After spending his first 11 seasons with the Eagles and winning nine playoff games, McNabb spent a year in Washington in 2010 and faced the Eagles twice. He was terrible in both games, going a combined 25-for-50 for 420 yards with three TDs and four INTs in a 17-12 Washington win at the Linc and a historic 59-28 loss at FedEx. Only four quarterbacks in the last 25 years have faced the Eagles twice in a season and had a passer rating below 70 in both games: Rex Grossman, Quincy Carter, Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb. 

A.J. Feeley

After two stints with the Eagles – including a 4-1 record in five starts in place of injured McNabb in 2002 – Feeley finished his 11-year career with the Rams in 2011. In the opener against the Eagles at the Edward Jones Dome, Feeley replaced injured starter Sam Bradford at the end of the game and went 1-for-5 for 21 yards in his first regular-season action since he was with the Eagles in 2007. The Eagles won 31-13 and this was the only game ever where a quarterback who had been with the Eagles replaced one who would later join the Eagles.

Kevin Kolb

After four years with the Eagles, Kolb was traded to the Cards, where he finished a career tragically cut short by concussions. Early in 2012, Kolb started for the Cards against the Eagles at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and he had one of the best performances of his life. In a 27-6 win, Kolb went 17-for-24 for 222 yards, two TDs, no INTs and a 127.4 passer rating – highest ever by a former Eagles QB against the Eagles (Jurgensen had a 124.6 in 1970). Kolb only played three more games the rest of his career. Kolb remains the last former Eagle QB to beat the Eagles.

Sam Bradford

Bradford, who quarterbacked the Eagles in 2015, faced the Eagles twice – that 31-13 loss for the Rams in 2011 that Feeley finished up and a 2016 start for the Vikings against Carson Wentz, who replaced him here. In 2016 with the Vikings, he threw for 224 yards, completed 59 percent of his passes, threw one TD and got picked off by Rodney McLeod – his former teammate with both the Rams and Eagles. Wentz didn’t play well – he was picked off twice – but the Eagles won 21-10 at the Linc.

Mark Sanchez

The last former Eagle quarterback to face the Eagles, Sanchez – who spent 2014 and 2015 with the Eagles – had cameos against the Eagles in 2016 with the Cowboys and 2018 with Washington. He didn’t start either game and the Eagles won both games. In 2016, he got picked off by Jordan Hicks, and in 2018 – in the second-to-last appearance of his career – he was picked off by Nate Gerry.


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I really wish soneone would write the definitive story about the Eagles moving Jurgensen and McDonald that year. There have been whispers for decades about the Franklin Motor Inn, young girls, and police. I've no idea if there's a shred of truth there but having heard those whispers for 30 years I'd really like to know. 

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