The New York Giants were leading the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-12, and all Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik had to do was down the ball one last time to end the game. He tried to hand the ball off to running back Larry Csonka, but the ball was fumbled. Herman Edwards of the Eagles picked the ball up and ran into the end zone, making the Eagles 19-17 winners. The November 19, 1978 game at the New Jersey Meadowlands is called the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” by Eagles fans and “The Fumble” by Giants fans.
“Miracle in the Meadowlands” was cited in print in June 1979. “The Fumble” was cited in print in July 1979. An epic New York Giants collapse against the same Philadelphia Eagles on December 19, 2010 at New Meadowlands Stadium (now MetLife Stadium) has been called the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands.”
Wikipedia: Miracle at the Meadowlands
The Miracle at the Meadowlands is the term used by sportscasters and Philadelphia Eagles fans for a fumble recovery by cornerback Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978 NFL game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium. It is considered miraculous because the Giants were ahead and could easily have run out the final seconds; they had the ball, and the Eagles had no timeouts left. Everyone watching expected quarterback Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball, thus running out the clock and preserving a 17-12 Giants upset. Instead, he botched an attempt to hand off the football to fullback Larry Csonka. Edwards picked up the dropped ball and ran 26 yards for the winning score.
Giants fans refer to the play simply as “The Fumble”, though that name is generally used outside of New York for a play in the 1987 AFC Championship Game between the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.
8 June 1979, Trenton (NJ) Times, “Eagles finally film stars” by Bud Shaw, pg. C4, col. 4:
There’s the celebration after what Facenda called the “Miracle in the Meadowlands” when Herman Edwards scooped up a Joe Pisarcik fumble for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a last-second 19-17 victory.
(John Facenda, the voice on NFL Films—ed.)
22 July 1979, The Sunday Republican (Springfield, MA), pg. C-8, col. 3:
Ahh, “The Fumble”
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (AP)—“The Fumble” has been a source of embarrassment for Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik, but might become the turning point of his career.
18 January 1981, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Krepfle is ready,” sec. 2, pg. 3, col. 5:
“When we first got to the playoffs people said we were lucky, that we would never have made it without the ‘Miracle in the Meadowlands’ (when the Giants fumbled while running out the clock and the Eagles ran it back for a touchdown).”
(Philadelphia Eagles player Keith Krepfle—ed.)
13 September 1991, Titusville (PA) Herald, “THS Juniors Fall In Waning Seconds,” pg. 8, col. 1:
It wasn’t quite Joe Pisarcik and the Miracle at the Meadowlands at Carter Field Thursday afternoon.
22 August 1993, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Bidwell’s hard-nosed gamble” Sports, pg. C12:
... and, of course, Herman Edwards’ 1978 “Miracle at the Meadowlands” fumble recovery to beat the Giants (No. 10).
Miracle at the Meadowlands
Uploaded on Oct 12, 2006
:November 19th, 1978: The play that changed clock-running forever!
--sorry no sound
New York (NY) Times
After ’78 Fumble, Another Chance, With the Eagles
By HARVEY ARATON
Published: December 20, 2010
The sequel to the Joe Pisarcik story is seldom told in the New York area. He fumbled the ball, set his legacy in stone. What more did the haunted Giants fan ever want to know, or recall?
What did it matter that, two years later, Pisarcik moved on, went to Philadelphia, of all places, and got the ball back?
The Star Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Herm Edwards remembers well the first ‘Miracle at the Meadowlands’
By Dave Hutchinson/The Star Ledger
on December 20, 2010 at 6:15 AM, updated December 20, 2010 at 3:03 PM
Herm Edwards sat in his California home Sunday and the memories came flooding back. He watched in disbelief as DeSean Jackson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown as time expired to give the Eagles a second Miracle at the Meadowlands.
On Nov. 19, 1978, with the Eagles trailing by 17-12 with 31 seconds left and no timeouts remaining, Edwards, a Philadelphia defensive back, scooped up a fumble by Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik — the result of a botched handoff with fullback Larry Csonka — and returned it 26 yards for a winning touchdown that lives in infamy in Giants lore.
100 Things Giants Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die
By Dave Buscema
Chicago, IL: Triumph Books
The defeat provided a chilling flashback to 1978 and the play known to most of football as the Miracle at the Meadowlands. For Giants’ fans it’s referred to in a pair of words spoken through gritted teeth: The Fumble.