Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Jurgensen Knows What McNabb Is Going Through


Sonny Jurgensen relaxed on a couch at Redskins Park on Friday, feeling a sense of déjà vu.

He sees Donovan McNabb preparing to play his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Been there, done that.

Jurgensen knows what McNabb is going through this week.

Forty-six years ago, on Oct. 11, 1964, Jurgensen faced the Eagles six months after he was traded from Philadelphia to Washington.

The future Hall of Famer had a banner day, completing 22-of-33 passes for 385 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions as the Redskins defeated the Eagles 35-20 at RFK Stadium.

Jurgensen reflected on his emotions heading into that game.

"Anytime you go back and play against a team you were with that has seen fit to let you go, you're motivated," he said. "And I was motivated. I wanted to prove that they were wrong. So I did.

"And we beat them the second game, too. [The score was 21-10.] It was fun. Any time you play the Eagles, it's fun. You know you're in for a battle, you know it's going to be physical. And I'm sure with Donovan going there, he can shut some people up."

McNabb has downplayed his return to Philadelphia this week. He led the Eagles franchise for 11 seasons, guiding them to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl berth.

"That's his nature, his personality," Jurgensen said. "I was just the opposite. I'm sure that inside, he'll be pumped and ready to play. As he has to be – they're a good football team."

Jurgensen said when he played Philadelphia the first time, he could sense his teammates rally around him, knowing how much the game meant to him.

McNabb's teammates will do the same thing on Sunday, Jurgensen said.

Jurgensen ended up playing 18 games against the Eagles. He amassed a 13-3-2 record and completed 292-of-505 passes for 3,691 yards, 32 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Last year, another veteran NFL quarterback faced his former team in a high-profile matchup.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre faced off against the Green Bay Packers for the first time on Oct. 5, 2009 at the Metrodome.

Favre, who starred for the Packers for 17 seasons and led them to a Super Bowl XXXI championship, completed 24-of-31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings won 30-23.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.