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 who reacted to one of those injured Redskins by yelling, "Do you guys need any more body bags?"
Background and game 1
Scoring summary 3
External links 5
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 would come 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 would score first, on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive back William Frizzell. In the second quarter, the Redskins would tie 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 running back 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 would finish 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.
During this game, eight 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/kick returner Brian Mitchell at quarterback.
Following the Body Bag Game, the Eagles would go on to win five of their last seven under Cunningham, finish the season 10–6 and earn a wild card playoff berth, the fourth seed in the tough NFC. The Redskins meanwhile also would win 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 would go on to lose 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 would address 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 would be 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.
^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles – November 12th, 1990
^ Eminem – Legacy Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Pro-Football-Reference.com: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles, Monday, November 12, 1990 – Box score of the game