Much like every other season, the 2009 offseason had Eagles fans in an uproar. The team looked great on paper and the “this could be our year” talks started. There was plenty of excitement from the draft as the Eagles used their first two picks to draft Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, two young playmakers who the Eagles would look to get contributions from all season.
The Eagles opened up the season on the road in Carolina on a beautiful, sunny day. Carolina was a playoff team from the year before but ended their season with a Jake Delhomme meltdown. They carried two scary runningbacks and the Eagles knew it would be a priority to shut them down first. I traveled down to this game with the Green Legion, and we were all extremely pumped as we entered the stadium. However, it didn’t take long for the Panthers to shut us all up as they took their first offensive drive down the field and scored on an 11 yard touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams.
At this point, it looked like it could be a long day. There were many questions about how the defense would be coming into the season and that wasn’t the drive we wanted to see. The offense was able to connect on a field goal and the quarter ended with the Birds trailing 7-3. However, on the next possession the Eagles forced a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown by Victor Abiamiri. The defense redeemed itself and held Carolina to another short possession that resulted in a punt. This was the first of many sparks we saw from DeSean Jackson this season as he returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles took a 17-7 lead and hadn’t even scored on offense. Shortly after, the offense finally started to click and scored twice before halftime and the Eagles went to the locker room with a 31-10 lead.
Everything looked great at this point but the third quarter would change that. About halfway through the quarter, the Eagles drove the ball down inside the 10 where Donovan McNabb finished the drive with a thee yard touchdown run. McNabb was injured on the play and had to leave with a rib injury. Sitting in the stands, text messages began to fly in with reports of what was being said on TV about McNabb’s status. Things didn’t sound good and we all knew how they would turn out.
The unproven Kevin Kolb entered the game and failed to impress anyone. He completed 7 out of his 11 attempts but only amassed for 23 yards. He fumbled twice and one of them was lost. There was no more scoring in the game and the Eagles took a 38-10 victory back to Philadelphia.
Every one was happy with the win but also concerned with McNabb’s injury and his status for the following week against the Saints.