The Philadelphia Eagles are a very storied franchise, but have yet to achieve its goal of finally winning a Super Bowl title. There were years when the Eagles had put together impressive teams, some of the best in the NFL, only to fall short of their goal time and time again.
Now, two years removed from the Donovan McNabb era, the Eagles are regrouping after a dismal 2011, and with a great deal of talent on the roster, perhaps more than ever, the team looks to make another run for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Whether the team is successful or not remains to be seen, but let's take a look at the five prior greatest moments in the franchise's history.
With the Eagle standing at 6-5 and the Giants at 5-6, both teams were in desperate need of a win to preserve their playoff hopes. But with the Giants leading 17-12 after the two minute warning, it appeared that the game was all but over.
But then, the Giants decided to run out the clock by calling a running play. Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched the hand off attempt to fullback Larry Csonka. The ball was fumbled and recovered by Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards, who returned it for the touchdown to give the Eagles the victory at 19-17.
This game gave the Eagles the momentum to propel them into the playoffs, while destroying the momentum of the Giants, who finished last in the division.
The Giants looked like they were cruising to an easy win over the Eagles, leading 31-10 in the fourth quarter with only 8:17 remaining. But then the Eagles rallied, and Michael Vick hit tight end Brent Celek for a 65 yard touchdown, making the score 31-17 with 7:28 left.
A beautifully placed onside kick was recovered by the Eagles, which was followed by a rushing touchdown from Vick to make the score 31-24 with 5:28 left. The Eagles' defense then held, and on the Eagles' next drive Vick threw a touchdown to Jeremy Maclin to make the score 31-31 with 1:16 remaining.
The Eagles' defense held once again, and Giants punter Matt Dodge, after being ordered to punt the ball out of bounds, punted it instead straight to DeSean Jackson, and the rest is history.
After years and years of mediocrity, the Eagles finally achieved their goal of making it to the Super Bowl, led by Dick Vermeil. It was the first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
However, the game was a one-sided contest. The Raiders cruised to an easy win over the Eagles, with the final score being 27-10.
Still, the appearance marked the Eagles' return to relevance since the Super Bowl merger and showed that the Eagles were finally becoming more of a contending franchise, having been taught how to win by Vermeil.
In the Eagles' last championship victory in 1960, the Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers 17-13. This was Vince Lombardi's only playoff loss as a head coach, and it came at the hands of the Eagles.
While this accomplishment was over 50 years ago, it still ranks among the greatest in franchise history. The team has yet to win a championship since this moment, and that alone makes quarterback Norm Van Brocklin one of the greatest quarterbacks in franchise history.
After three consecutive years of heartbreak, the Eagles finally achieved their goal of reaching the Super Bowl, defeating the Michael Vick-led Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship. The Eagles were one of the most dominant teams of the early 2000s, and the ability to finally get over the hump showed the team's tenacity and determination to win a title.
Unfortunately, it would not be enough. In a close contest, the Eagles fell 24-21 to the New England Patriots, ensuring a dynasty for one franchise and another title-less year for another.
The Eagles, however, have since asserted themselves under head coach Andy Reid as a serious contender. Rather than just being a team that amasses regular season wins, the team is capable of making deep playoff runs and playing in the very last game of the season.