Body Bag Game

The Body Bag Game was a Monday Night Football game that was played on November 12, 1990, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins at Veterans Stadium. The Eagles defeated the Redskins, 28–14. Its nickname comes from the fact that nine Washington Redskins players left the game with injuries, and an Eagles player reacted to one of those injured Redskins by yelling, "Do you guys need any more body bags?"[1]

The Body Bag Game
Veterans Stadium satellite view
Veterans Stadium, the site of the game.
Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles
14 28
Head coach:
Joe Gibbs
Head coach:
Buddy Ryan
1234 Total
WAS 0707 14
PHI 70210 28
DateNovember 12, 1990
StadiumVeterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
RefereeJerry Markbreit
TV in the United States
AnnouncersAl Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf

Background and game

This was the second game of the year between the two NFC East rivals. The Redskins were two years removed from winning Super Bowl XXII, but were an aging team, behind a new quarterback, Jeff Rutledge. The Eagles were in their fifth season under defensive mastermind Buddy Ryan, but coming off two straight early playoff exits. In the previous game, on October 21, the 3–2 Redskins beat the 2–3 Eagles 13–7, behind a rushing touchdown by Gerald Riggs and two Chip Lohmiller field goals. The rematch came three weeks later, on Monday Night Football, with the second-place Redskins being 5–3 and the third-place Eagles being 4–4.

The Eagles scored first, on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback William Frizzell. In the second quarter, the Redskins tied the game 7–7 behind a Rutledge pass to tight end Don Warren. However, by the third quarter, the Eagles took control with three touchdowns. The first came on a trick play, with fullback Keith Byars throwing a 9-yard pass to Heath Sherman. The second came via the defense, with defensive end Clyde Simmons returning a fumble 18 yards. The final touchdown was another pass to Sherman, this time by quarterback Randall Cunningham. The Redskins finished the scoring in the fourth quarter, with Brian Mitchell scoring on a one-yard run, but it would not lead to a comeback, with the Eagles winning 28–14.[2]

During this game, at least nine Redskin players were injured, including starting quarterback Jeff Rutledge and backup Stan Humphries. Washington, already playing without quarterbacks Mark Rypien (who was injured earlier in the season) and Gary Hogeboom (inactive), had to end the game with rookie running back Brian Mitchell at quarterback.


Following the Body Bag Game, the Eagles won five of their last seven under Cunningham, finished the season 10–6 and earned a wild card playoff berth, the fourth seed in the tough NFC. The Redskins meanwhile also won five of their last seven to finish the season 10–6, losing the number four seed spot to the Eagles. Despite this, the Redskins would return to Veterans Stadium and defeat the Eagles in the Wild Card playoff game, 20–6. The Redskins lost to defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco in the divisional round. However, as told in the NFL Network presentation America's Game: The Story of the 1991 Washington Redskins, coach Joe Gibbs and others pointed to this game as the foundation for the successes of the 1991 Redskins, who would go on to win Super Bowl XXVI.

After the season, the NFL addressed the problem of two quarterbacks being injured in the same game by instituting the third quarterback rule, which would allow an NFL team to dress a third quarterback outside of the 45-man game-day roster. Under that rule, the third quarterback could be played, but if he entered the game before the fourth quarter, neither of the other quarterbacks could return to the game. That rule was changed again for the 2011 season when the game-day roster size was increased to 46.

Eminem references this game in his song "Legacy" on The Marshall Mathers LP 2.[3]

Scoring summary


  • Referee: Jerry Markbreit (#9)
  • Umpire: Bob Boylston (#101)
  • Head Linesman: Leo Miles (#35)
  • Line Judge: Dale Orem (#51)
  • Back Judge: Doug Toole (#4)
  • Side Judge: Bill Quinby (#58)
  • Field Judge: Bill Schmitz (#122)


  1. ^ " The Redskins Book: Page 173". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles - November 12th, 1990 -". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Eminem - Legacy Lyrics - MetroLyrics". Retrieved 20 April 2017.

External links

1990 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1990 Philadelphia Eagles season was the team's 58th in the National Football League.

The team made the postseason yet again with a 10–6 overall record, despite beginning the season with disappointing early-season records of 1–3 and 2–4.

The Eagles ran for 2,556 rushing yards in 1990, which is the most of any team in a single season in the 1990s.Other season highlights were a 28–14 win at Veterans Stadium over the Washington Redskins on November 12, known as the Body Bag Game, since the defense managed to knock both Redskins quarterbacks from the contest plus several other key players. At Buffalo in a 30–23 loss on December 2, Randall Cunningham made one of the signature plays of his career, eluding Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith in the end zone before launching the ball into the middle of the field to wide receiver Fred Barnett, who completed the 95-yard touchdown play.

One week prior, the Eagles avenged an opening-night loss at the Meadowlands, whipping the 10–0 Giants by a 31–13 score.

1990–91 NFL playoffs

The National Football League playoffs for the 1990 season began on January 5, 1991. The postseason tournament concluded with the New York Giants defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, 20–19, on January 27, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The league expanded its playoff system from a 10-team to a 12-team tournament, which is still in use. With these changes, three wild card teams (those non-division champions with the conference's best won-lost-tied percentages) qualified, up from two the year before.

The format consisted of the following:

The three division champions from each conference are seeded 1 through 3 based on their regular season won-lost-tied record.

Three wild card qualifiers are seeded 4, 5 and 6 within the conference.The 3 and 6 seeds played each other in one game and the 4 and 5 in a second game, both making up what was dubbed the "Wild Card Round". The 1 and the 2 seeds from each conference do not participate in this round, earning an automatic berth in the following week's "Divisional Playoff" games, where they face the Wild Card survivors. The 1 seeded team plays against the lowest remaining seed while the 2 seed plays the other remaining team. In a given game, whoever has the higher seed gets the home field advantage. In addition, a rule stating that teams from the same division could not play against each other in the divisional round was abolished.

These changes forced the division winner with the worst record in each conference to play during the first round. However, it guaranteed that division winner a home game, unlike in the previous format where the highest seeded wild-card team earned a home playoff game while the lowest-seeded division winner, despite earning a bye, was forced to play the second-seeded or top-seeded division winner (based on the no-divisional matchup rule) and thus could not host any playoff game before their respective conference championship (provided that they were the highest remaining seed).

This system was later modified before the 2002–03 NFL playoffs after the league realigned the teams into eight divisions (four per conference).

Brian Mitchell (American football)

Brian Keith Mitchell (born August 18, 1968) is a former American football running back and return specialist in the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fifth round (130th overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Southwestern Louisiana where he was a quarterback. Mitchell is considered one of the greatest return specialists in NFL history.Mitchell also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. He is currently second on the NFL's all-time list in all-purpose yardage with 23,330 yards, behind Jerry Rice. He is also first all-time for combined yardage for a non-wide receiver. His 13 special teams touchdowns are second in NFL history, behind Devin Hester, and his nine punt return touchdowns are third behind Eric Metcalf with 10, and Hester with 14. Mitchell was ranked the second greatest specialist in NFL history by NFL Network's NFL Top 10 Return Aces.

Eagles–Redskins rivalry

The Eagles–Redskins rivalry is a rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The rivalry began in 1934, during the time the Redskins played in Boston. The Redskins lead in all-time series 86–78–6. The Redskins have won five NFL championships including three Super Bowls, while the Eagles have won four NFL championships including one Super Bowl. Both teams were members of the NFL's Eastern Conference prior to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and the NFC East division since 1970. The teams have met twice annually since 1936.

The rivalry is one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL, and has featured some memorable moments in NFL history. The rivalry is most notable for the "Body Bag Game", where the Eagles knocked out eight Redskins players in a game in 1990.

The Redskins lead in all-time series 86–78–6. The Redskins have won five NFL championships including three Super Bowls, while the Eagles have won four NFL championships including one Super Bowl. The teams have met once in the Playoffs, in which the Redskins defeated the Eagles 20–6 in the 1990 NFC Wild Card round.

The rivalry can be attributed to the close proximity of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.. It is mirrored by the National Hockey League rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers.

History of the Philadelphia Eagles

The history of the Philadelphia Eagles begins in 1933. In their history, the Eagles have appeared in the Super Bowl three times, losing in their first two appearances but winning the third, in 2018. They won three NFL Championships, the precursor to the Super Bowl, in four appearances.

The beginning era of the Eagles history, 1933 to 1939, was influenced by its owner, and then also coach, Bert Bell. After Bell ostensibly sold the team, to Alexis Thompson in 1940, the second era of the Eagles history was largely directed by their coach and future Hall of Famer, Greasy Neale.

Jeff Rutledge

Jeffrey Ronald Rutledge (born January 22, 1957) is an American football coach and former professional quarterback.

Legacy (Eminem song)

"Legacy" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Eminem. It is the sixth track on his eighth studio album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013). The song discusses Eminem's dysfunctional childhood. The song was produced by American record producer Emile Haynie and written by Eminem, Polina Goudieva, David Brook, and Emile Haynie. The song features additional vocals from Russian singer-songwriter Polina. "Legacy" was met with generally positive reviews from music critics upon the album's release. The song has since peaked at number 44 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. "Legacy" became one of the official theme songs of WrestleMania XXX.

List of Monday Night Football results (1990–2009)

Beginning in the 1970 NFL season, the National Football League began scheduling a weekly regular season game on Monday night before a national television audience. From 1970–2005, the ABC television network carried these games, with the ESPN cable television network taking over beginning in September 2006. Listed below are games played from 1990 to 2009.

Operation Flagship

Operation Flagship was a joint effort by law enforcement to lure wanted fugitives by means of advertising and inviting them to Washington D.C's convention center for a party and a Washington Redskins ticket giveaway. The event purported to promote a new channel, Flagship International Sports Television. The first letters of this new channel were the same as the acronym for the Fugitive Investigative Strike Team of the United States Marshals Service.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, and 1960.

The franchise was established in 1933 as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, when a group led by Bert Bell secured the rights to an NFL franchise in Philadelphia. Bell, Chuck Bednarik, Bob Brown, Brian Dawkins, Reggie White, Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald, Greasy Neale, Pete Pihos, Sonny Jurgensen, and Norm Van Brocklin have been inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The team has had an intense rivalry with the New York Giants. This rivalry is the oldest in the NFC East and is among the oldest in the NFL. It was ranked by NFL Network as the number one rivalry of all-time, Sports Illustrated ranks it as the fourth best rivalry in the NFL, and according to ESPN, it is one of the fiercest and most well-known rivalries in the American football community. They also have a bitter rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, which has become more high-profile since the 1960s, as well as a historic rivalry with the Washington Redskins. Their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers is another bitter rivalry known as the battle of Pennsylvania, roughly dating back to 1933. It mostly arises from the two teams' statuses as being from opposite ends of the same state.The team consistently ranks among the best in the league in attendance and has sold out every game since the 1999 season. In a Sports Illustrated poll of 321 NFL players, Eagles fans were selected as the most intimidating fans in the NFL.

Third quarterback rule

The third quarterback rule was a rule in the National Football League that governed the use of a third quarterback in addition to the starter and the backup. The rule was abolished for the 2011 season, when the NFL increased the roster size to allow 46 players to dress for a game.The third quarterback did not count towards the team's 45-man active roster. If the third quarterback entered the game at any position during any of the first three quarters, the starter and backup became ineligible to play for the rest of the game; the third quarterback could have entered the game in the fourth quarter while preserving the eligibility of the starter and backup.

The full text of the rule was:

Teams will be permitted an Active List of 45 players and an Inactive List of eight players for each regular-season and postseason game. Provided, that if a club has two quarterbacks on its 45-player Active List, a third quarterback from its Inactive List is permitted to dress for the game, but if he enters the game during the first three quarters, the other two quarterbacks are thereafter prohibited from playing.

Although it is not specifically indicated, the NFL had interpreted its rule to mean that in order to designate a third quarterback, the two on the active roster must both be "bona fide" quarterbacks, not other position players merely designated as quarterbacks.

Veterans Stadium

Veterans Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was located at the northeast corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, as part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The listed seating capacities in 1971 were 65,358 seats for football, and 56,371 for baseball.

It hosted the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1971 to 2003 and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1971 to January 2003. The 1976 and 1996 Major League Baseball All-Star Games were held at the venue. The Vet also hosted the annual Army-Navy football game seventeen times between 1980 and 2001.

In addition to professional baseball and football, the stadium hosted other amateur and professional sports, large entertainment events, and other civic affairs. It was demolished by implosion in March 2004 after being replaced by the adjacent Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. A parking lot now sits on its former site.

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