- HERE'S A FIRST NOVEL, WHICH, DESPITE SOME...Jeremiah Tax | February 21, 1983
- 2011 REGULAR SEASON scheduleWEEK 1August 04, 2011
- THEY SAID ITSeptember 08, 1969
"The good thing about a game like this," Jaworski said, "is that you can pick out a play here and a play there and say, 'This was a big play.' They become meaningful. In one of those shootout types of games, they lose their value. There are too many big plays."
The Eagles saved their big play for the end—6:52 to go—and it was a freakie. Jaworski was supposed to run a bootleg to his left and look for the tight end and flanker, running crossing routes, but he never got that far. Randy McClanahan, Oakland's inside linebacker, shot in clean on a blitz and flushed Jaworski to his right.
"I heard [Running Back] Wilbert Montgomery yelling, 'Ron! Ron!' " Jaworski said, "and then the linebacker was on me." Jaworski scrambled out of McClanahan's grasp, and spotted an unlikely candidate 40 yards downfield, Leroy Harris, his 5'9" fullback. The pass was on the money and the Eagles had a 43-yard gain.
"I looked away for a moment," Vermeil said, "and when I looked back I was shocked to see Ron over there on the right side. Actually, it shocked me even more to see Leroy catch the pass."
"I haven't thrown that ball to Leroy in four months," Jaworski said. "If he hadn't caught it, he'd better have kept running right out the tunnel, because Dick wouldn't have let him back."
Seven plays later the Eagles punched it in on a three-yard Montgomery sweep and they had their 10-7 lead. One final sack by Humphrey shut the door on Plunkett and the Raiders.
So there it was, a defensive masterpiece with one big play on each side and the difference decided by a field goal one team could make and the other one couldn't. In conquering the Raiders, the Eagles defeated an AFC team that has won 22 of its last 23 games against NFC teams, counting the 1977 Super Bowl. To those skeptics who mentioned that the Eagles' 10-1 record going into the Oakland game was largely built on the NFL's softest schedule, Sunday's victory was a reminder of Vermeil's constant refrain: "We don't draw up the schedule, we just play it, and maybe those records aren't so good because we helped make them that way."
Two of Philly's next three games come against teams that seem playoff" bound—San Diego and Atlanta. Then there's Dallas on the season's last Sunday.
"Once and for all this should establish our credibility," said Humphrey, "but if it doesn't, then San Diego should next week."
In the meantime, Raider Halfback Kenny King paid a sincere tribute to the Eagles. "They're by far the best defensive team I've played against this year," he said, "but even more, they're a very clean team. There's none of this hoo-rah and hoo-ray stuff. You get knocked down, you see a couple of hands reaching down to help you up. They don't feel like they have to practice all that phony intimidation. They're a good defensive team and they've got good people."