On This Date in Sports September 6, 1992
In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Emotions are high at Veteran’s Stadium as the Philadelphia Eagles open the season against the New Orleans Saints. Prior to the game, dedicates the season to Jerome Brown who died in the off-season, retiring his #99 in the process. In his return from a torn ACL, Randall Cunningham throws two touchdown passes as the Eagles edged the Saints 15-13 to start the season with a win.
Jerome Brown had been one of the Eagles leaders on defense. Selected with the ninth overall pick in the 1987 draft out of Miami, he became an instant fan favorite as the Eagles built a strong defense under Coach Buddy Ryan. A two-time pro bowler, Jerome Brown was killed on June 25, 1992, along with his 12-year-old nephew when he lost control of his Corvette and crashed into a utility pole near his hometown of Brooksville, Florida. The news of Brown’s death hit the Eagles hard especially Reggie White, who broke the news to fans in Philadelphia when speaking at a sermon hosted by Billy Graham at Veteran’s Stadium.
The Eagles retired Jerome Brown’s #99 and kept his locker intact as they began the 1992 season, with the slogan “Bring it home for Jerome”. Following an emotional pregame ceremony, the Eagles jumped out to an early lead with Herschel Walker reeling in a two-yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham. The game took on extra meaning for Cunningham who was playing for the first time in a year after suffering a torn ACL in the 1991 season opener. The lead was just 6-0 as Roger Ruzek missed the PAT. This allowed the Saints to tie the game in the second quarter with a pair of Field Goals from Morten Andersen. Ruzek would hit an 18-yard field goal, to give Philadelphia 9-6 lead at the half. After a scoreless third quarter, the Eagles extended the lead to 15-6, with Cunningham finding Fred Barnett on a 20-yard touchdown pass play. Once again Roger Ruzek missed the PAT, leaving the door open for the Saints. The Saints would cut the lead to 15-13 as Wesley Carroll caught a ten-yard scoring pass from Bobby Hebert. However, the Eagles defense was able to prevent the Saints from getting any closer as they held on to win 15-13.
The Eagles began the season with four straight wins but suffered through a midseason slump that nearly knocked them out of playoff contention. Fortunately, as the season came to an end the Eagles got back on track to finish with an 11-5 record, earning Wild Card berth. In the playoffs the Eagles would win their first playoff game since the 1980 NFC Championship, beating the Saints in New Orleans 36-20. A week later their season end with a 34-10 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round. It would mark the final season in Philadelphia for Reggie White who signed with the Green Bay Packers in the first full off-season of free agency in the NFL.