5 Times The Philadelphia Eagles Thrived As Underdogs

The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles season comes down to Sunday afternoon. It’s rather fitting that the Dallas Cowboys is the team they’re facing.

Control of the NFC East is on the line. The teams have identical 7-7 records.

This game falls under the must-win category. Having it take place at Lincoln Financial Field (4:25 p.m. kickoff) is a plus.

But it’s Dallas, not Philly, that is favored in this one.

William Hill NJ (now Caesars NJ) and FanDuel Sportsbook have the Eagles getting 2.5 points. DraftKings Sportsbook has the line at 3.

Covering the spread will appease the New Jersey sports betting crowd; however, flat out winning the game would be a win-win.

And being the ‘dog in big games, such as this one, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Remember Super Bowl LII?

The Eagles were the 4.5-point underdog in that one.

Here is a look back at five memorable occasions when the Birds won out as an underdog.

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5. Doug Pederson the QB

Before Doug Pederson joined the NFL coaching ranks, he was a backup quarterback. It included time with the Eagles during the 1999 season.

So, it’s only fitting that we include an Eagles-Cowboys game involving Pederson on the list. While this early October game did not carry much weight, the Birds were a 10-point underdog.

The 13-10 victory halted an 0-4 start. The winning score came with 1:07 left in the game. Pederson connected with Charles Johnson on a 28-yard pass.

4. Foles and the 13.5-point ‘dog

When Carson Wentz went down with an injury last season, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was still around to play the hero wearing the underdog cape.

This Week 15 game at the Los Angeles Rams, however, is one that oddsmakers did not see the 6-7 Birds winning. They were getting 13.5 points against a Los Angels Rams team that was 11-1 and fighting for the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

But the Eagles didn’t just cover the spread; bettors who took the moneyline won, too, thanks to a 30-23 victory.

More importantly, the win kept Philly’s Wild Card hopes alive.

3. The double-doink cover

January rolled around, and the Birds were off to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears in an NFC Wild Card game.

The line was +6.5 at kickoff. The 2019 Bears went into the game 9-3 against the spread as favorites. This time, however, was a different story.

Philly trailed 15-10 with 9:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. With Foles still at QB, he led the Eagles down the field and connected with Golden Tate on a two-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed.

With 1:01 left in the game, the Bears got the ball trailing 16-15. Sure enough, they were able to line up for the game-winning field goal attempt. We all remember how this one unfolded …

2. The Eagles played like NFC favorites

Prior to making their most recent Super Bowl appearance, the Eagles needed to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game.

Despite being played at the Linc, oddsmakers set the line at Eagles +3. How they came up with the number no longer matters.

This was one of those times, however,  where they got it really, really wrong.

Sure, Minnesota drove down the field on the opening drive for an early 7-0 lead. Then the Birds scored 38 unanswered points; final score Eagles 38, Vikings 7.

Foles finished with 352 passing yards and three touchdowns.

NJ sports betting fans were jubilant. Bring on the Pats.

1. The Philly Special: Super Bowl LII

Would the third time be the charm? The Birds finally made it back to the Big Game, only the third time in franchise history. For the second time since Super Bowl XXXIX, they were facing the New England Patriots. 

The great thing about being the ‘dog is that flat out winning the game guarantees a cover. Sure enough, the franchise finally brought the Lombardi Trophy home from Minneapolis. 

Final score: Eagles 41, Patriots 33.

So, this was a Philly Special in more ways than one.


About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.