30 years ago, Buddy Ryan coached his last Philadelphia Eagles team

Buddy Ryan, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)
Buddy Ryan, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images) /

1990 would be the last year Buddy Ryan coached in Eagles green

Can you believe it has already been 30 years since Buddy Ryan coached his final game in Philadelphia Eagles green? His final was a Wild Card Game loss against NFC East-rival Washington Redskins on January 5th of 1991. For those of you that weren’t there, Ryan was one of the most interesting personalities the Eagles ever had as a head coach.

His brash and aggressive style fit in the “blue-collar” city of Philadelphia, where you had to earn the respect of the fans. Under Ryan, the Eagles fielded some of the best defensive units this organization has ever seen, featuring team legends like Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, and Eric Allen.

In the 1990 season, Philly’s offense looked like the high-powered versions we see in today’s NFL. Think of the Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs. 1990’s Eagles produced 5,700 total yards. Believe it or not, according to Pro Football Reference, Philadelphia produced the most rushing yards in a single season by any team during the 1990s. They scored also 44 touchdowns that season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Philadelphia was ranked first in the league, and they gave up the fewest rushing yards in the league. The late, great Reggie White had one interception, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery,14 sacks, and 83 tackles in the 1990 season. Clyde Simmons and Seth Joyner both racked up 100 tackles and 7.5 sacks that year.

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Here’s to a great Eagles season.

The Eagles started the 1990 season, with a 2-4 record, including an opening- day loss to the New York Giants and a Week 2 loss to what was then the Phoenix Cardinals.

The team’s fortune would turn in Week 8, thanks to a five-game winning streak that brought their record to 7-4. That included the infamous “Body Bag Game”, where Ryan told the media prior to kickoff that the Redskins would have to be “carted off in body bags.” His defense responded by leading the team to a 28-14 victory in a bruising affair where nine Redskins would be carted off.

Former Eagles Brian Mitchell, a rookie running back for the Redskins at the time, had to come in and finish the game at quarterback.

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Week 13 would begin a stretch where the team would win three of five games to bring their record to 10-6, good enough for a playoff berth.

Philly would lose in the playoffs by a score of 20-6 versus those same Redskins. Ryan was 0-3 in the playoffs and produced a record of  43–35–1 in five seasons, but his place in Eagles lore is secure. He’ll never be forgotten.