NFL – Throwback Thursday: A Wild Card Shootout

08 Sep

The 2022 NFL season is upon us, beginning with the league’s Thursday Night opener in Los Angeles. The start of the new season also marks the return of our weekly Throwback Thursday feature, which highlights a game from the past played between 2 teams that are pitted against each other on the schedule that week. The schedule makers have the Detroit Lions meeting the Philadelphia Eagles in week 1 this season, so we’ll travel back to December 30, 1995 for a Wild Card playoff matchup between this pair of old NFL clubs.

The game saw the Eagles’ quarterback, Rodney Peete, matched up against the team he had spent the first 5 years of his career with in the Lions. The teams traded first quarter touchdowns as Charlie Garner scampered 15 yards to paydirt for Philly and Detroit QB Scott Mitchell tossed a 32 yard touchdown pass to David Sloan. The fortunes for the 2 signal callers, Peete and Mitchell, changed drastically after that. Peete guided the Eagles on a scoring rampage that stretched into the third quarter, as Philly racked up 51 unanswered points. Meanwhile, Mitchell’s day went south, as he was sacked twice and threw 4 interceptions before being replaced by Don Majkowski. The Eagles’ scoring onslaught included 3 TD passes from Peete to Fred Barnett, Ricky Watters and Rob Carpenter, a 1 yard touchdown run by Watters and 3 Gary Anderson field goals. The defense also chipped in, as Barry Wilburn returned one of the picks from Mitchell 24 yards for a touchdown.

Now trailing 51-7 in the third quarter, Detroit coach Wayne Fontes inserted Majkowski into the game hoping to at least regain some pride. The “Magic Man”, as Majkowski had been dubbed in earlier years while with Green Bay, lived up to the moniker. He proceeded to lead touchdown drives in the final 2 quarters that ended with 4 touchdown passes, including a 68 yarder to Herman Moore. Unfortunately for the Magic Man, the Philadelphia defense intervened in the comeback and stemmed the tide of Detroit scoring when William Thomas picked off a Majkowski pass and returned it 30 yards for the Eagles’ second pick six of the game. When the dust finally settled, Philly escaped with a 58-37 victory. Despite surrendering the 37 points, the Eagle defense had a stellar day with 6 total interceptions and the 14 point contribution to the scoring. The win was the highlight of the ’95 playoffs for Philadelphia. They were routed by the eventual Super Bowl champions, coach Barry Switzer’s Dallas Cowboys, 30-11 the following week in the divisional round.



Eagle QB Rodney Peete scans the defense


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