SI Vault
Paul Zimmerman
September 05, 1984
The L.A. Raiders did the WASHINGTON REDSKINS a favor last January. They kept them from getting complacent. It would have been easy to put on some fat. I mean, how many teams have played in two straight Super Bowls? But lodged in the mind, like a dark nightmare, is the memory of that 38-9 blowout by the Raiders. It kept things just edgy enough around Redskins Park to prevent a case of the slips.
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September 05, 1984

Nfc East

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No NFC team in the last three years has had as many running plays called against it as the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES did last year. Consequently, they had the second worst offensive time of possession in the NFL, called the fewest plays, scored the fewest points and ended up with a 5-11 record.

Eagle fans, who looked on in shock as Dick Vermeil's final team slumped to 3-6 in the strike-shortened '82 season, had a chance to boo for real last year. The USFL's Philly Stars challenged the Eagles to a game, loser goes to Norristown. The bookies made it pick-'em. The Eagles declined. Owner Leonard Tose said don't worry, there's enough bank financing to let him hang on to the team for another year. The fans booed again.

Is there any hope for the Eagles, who were a Super Bowl team not so long ago? Well, in the off-season they lopped many years (and a lot of contract dough) off their roster—wide receiver Harold Carmichael, linebacker Frank LeMaster, defensive end Carl Hairston. They cut the coaching staff from 11 to eight, and in the process fired offensive coaches Dick Wood and Jerry Wampfler. In the first round they drafted a wide receiver, Kenny Jackson, to team with Pro Bowler Mike Quick, prompting QB Ron Jaworski to remark, "This is my eleventh year in the league, and I've never had two wide receivers with that kind of ability."

As for the rest of the picture in Philly—don't ask.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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