December 27th, 1981: The Eagles’ rally from a 20-point first-quarter deficit comes up short.
Philadelphia met up with New York for the first time in the playoffs in the Wild Card Round on December 27th, 1981. They dug themselves an early hole thanks to a torrid Giants start.
New York exploded out of the blocks in this game, crafting a 20-0 advantage in the first quarter. Giants quarterback Scott Brunner had the hot hand, throwing two touchdowns. Cornerback Mark Haynes was the beneficiary of an early Eagles turnover as he recovered a fumble in the endzone.
Philadelphia’s first touchdown of the day came in the second quarter as quarterback Ron Jaworski found wide receiver Harold Carmichael for a 15-yard score. Brunner tossed another TD pass to bring his total to three, giving his team a cushy lead, and Philly went to the locker room on the wrong side of a 27-7 score at the half.
After what was, no doubt, a serious tongue-lashing from future Hall-of-Fame inductee Dick Vermeil, Philly came out in the second half swinging. Their defense stepped up during the second half as they kept New York’s offense scoreless. Wilbert Montgomery did all he could to spearhead a comeback win. He would rush for two second-half touchdowns. Sadly, it wasn’t enough.
Despite a valiant effort, the Birds fell short by six points and were eliminated from postseason contention. A win over their rivals in the playoffs would have to wait.