Although the Eagles season isn’t over (hopefully far from over), the year 2010 is just about done. We all knew 2010 would be an interesting year for the Eagles, but no one expected it to be anything like this. The ‘Kolb Era’ was short-lived and it doesn’t look like it may ever exist in Philadelphia. We’ve seen the reemergence of a former number one overall draft pick and a bunch of heroics from him and some other Eagles along the way.
Although no one could have predicted what would take place for the Eagles in 2010, it has been pretty enjoyable. The Eagles are the NFC East Champions again and will be back to the playoffs. With someone not named Donovan McNabb, will the Eagles find the promised land? Who knows. If they do, that will be for 2011 to hold.
Today we’ll focus on 2010 and the top 10 Eagles moments of the calendar year.
10. The Eagles 2010 Draft Class
The Eagles entered the 2010 draft with a ton of draft picks. Personally, I didn’t think they’d use the 13 picks they entered the draft with. There were some obvious positional needs, and I thought they would use their picks to try to trade up and draft their main needs early.
The Eagles did trade up in the first round when they moved all the way from the 24th overall selection to the 13th overall selection. With the pick, they took defensive end Brandon Graham. It was a bit surprising to see them draft a defensive end as everyone knew they were in desperate need of a safety. However, with the 37th overall pick, the Donovan McNabb pick, the Eagles drafted safety Nate Allen.
Although Graham and Allen are done for the year, they were both opening day starters and made great contributions throughout the season.
The Eagles would go on to draft 11 more players. The amazing thing is that 10 of those players still remain with the team. Two out of our three seventh-round picks are now starting, and many other picks have seen a good amount of time on the field.
Andy Reid and his staff really did a good job during the draft to find talent in every round.
9. Opening Day Doesn’t Go As Expected for Birds
In 2010, Eagles fans knew that the season was going to be interesting before it even began. We may have thought so for different reasons then those that have taken place, but we still knew it was going to be interesting.
In the opening game against the Packers, we watched the much-anticipated “Kolb Era” last for less than one half of a football game. It may have been a blessing in disguise, but at that time it was pretty gut wrenching. No one wants to see their starting quarterback get injured in the first game of the year.
Along with Kolb’s head injury, Stewart Bradley also suffered an injury to his head and didn’t even know where he was on the field. We these injuries, our training staff got put into question and the team started to get some early, unwanted media attention.
The injury bug continued to run rampant in the opener as we saw two key offensive players go down for the year. Jamaal Jackson rehabbed incredibly hard to get himself ready for the season opener, but he suffered a torn tricep during the year which put him back on the injured reserve.
After a solid Training camp, it looked like All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver was ready for another big year. However, in a very gruesome injury, Weaver took a horrific blow to his knee. A lot of damage was done and Weaver was placed on the injured reserve as well.
This wasn’t the way the Eagles were hoping to open the 2010 season.
8. Eagles Finally Get Revenge at Jerry’s World
The year 2010 started off on a bad note for the Eagles. Actually, it started out on two bad notes. The Eagles ended their 2009 regular season by traveling to the new Cowboys stadium for the first time (note: this was early January 2010).
With a chance to win the NFC East, the Eagles came out flat and embarrassed themselves as they lost to the Cowboys 24-0. The only good thing that came out of the game was the fact that the Eagles would get to come back the following weekend and take the Cowboys on in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
The Eagles failed to get their revenge as they put forth another embarrassing performance and lost 34-14. Not only did they lose to the Cowboys, their season was over.
In Week 14 of the 2010 season, the Eagles headed to Dallas for another shot at redemption inside Jerry’s World.
With Michael Vick at the helm, the Eagles took an early lead, but only led 14-10 at halftime. The Eagles came out flat in the third quarter allowing the Cowboys to score 10 unanswered points and take a 20-14 lead.
David Akers would hit two straight field goals to tie the game, but then the real magic came. With the ball on their own 9-yard line, Vick dropped back and hit DeSean Jackson on a quick out route. Jackson turned the ball into the middle of the field and left defenders in his dust as he ran for a 91-yard touchdown.
The Eagles would end up holding on for the win and get some much needed revenge on the Cowboys.
7. Eagles Win NFC East Despite Having Game Postponed by Blizzard
The Minnesota Vikings headed to town for a Week 16 matchup originally scheduled as a 1:00 game. However, the NFL decided to flex the game to the 8:00 position on Sunday night. Little did they know the impact it would have on the game.
As Christmas passed, we heard a lot of talk about a blizzard that was heading straight for Philadelphia and ready to drop 6-12 inches of snow. Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency in Philadelphia and it was decided that the Eagles game would be postponed. Not only would it be postponed, it would be moved all the way to Tuesday night.
If the NFL didn’t decide to flex this game and it was still scheduled for 1:00, the game would have been played.
So the players and fans were left to watch the other games that were going on in the NFL. At 1:00, the Bears and Jets played. This was a good one for fans to watch as the Eagles need the Bears to lose a game before the season ends to help with seeding. The Bears won in a close game and the fans grew more disappointed.
However, the fans received a treat in the late afternoon game. Coming off their gut-wrenching loss to the Eagles, the Giants traveled to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. The Giants turned the ball over repeatedly, and the Packers really turned on the scoring. In the end, the Giants were dismantled, and this dismantling meant that the Eagles were the 2010 NFC East Champions.
The Eagles didn’t even have to play and became NFC East Champions for the first time since 2006.
6. Andy Reid Keeps Perfect Post Bye Week Record in tact by Beating Colts
Coming into the 2010 season, Andy Reid had a perfect 11-0 record coming off of the bye week. Apparently, Reid makes the most out of the extra week off and can design a pretty good game plan.
In 2010, it seemed like his record might be broken. The Eagles would take on a Colts team who is always a force to be reckon with when Peyton Manning is taking the snaps. It was also the return of Michael Vick so it was unknown whether or not he’d bounce right back after missing three straight games.
The fans at Lincoln Financial Field would be treated early as the Eagles would score on their first possession off of a big play. Right after that, Asante Samuel intercepted Manning and the Eagles took a 10-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game.
Unfortunately, the Eagles went a bit flat after that and the Colts ended up taking a 17-16 lead to halftime. However, Vick would not have that.
The Eagles would do the only scoring in the third quarter, a David Akers field goal, and take the lead back. Behind multiple plays from Vick, the Eagles were able to get another touchdown in the fourth quarter. This gave them a 9 point lead.
The defense would allow the Colts to score again, but it was too little too late as the Eagles held on for the win and Andy Reid moved to 12-0 after the bye week.
5. LeSean McCoy’s Late Heroics Against the Giants
In the first matchup with the Giants this season, both teams entered with a 6-3 record. Both teams were tied atop the NFC East and knew the winner would have the outright lead.
Every game between NFC East opponents tends to be a battle and this was no disappointment. After leading 13-3 at halftime, the Eagles let the Giants come back and take a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter.
With under five minutes remaining in the game, the Eagles were faced with a fourth and one situation at midfield. The ball was snapped, and Vick could barely handle it. After finally securing the ball, he pitched it to LeSean McCoy as he tried to break around the left end. Eagles guard Todd Herremans put down a huge block and McCoy used his speed to break it for a 50 yard touchdown.
The Giants were deflated and the Eagles would hang on to win the game and take the outright lead in the NFC East.
4. Reid Does Flip-Flop, Decides to Start Vick over Kolb
After Kevin Kolb was knocked out of the opening game against the Packers, Michael Vick was forced to come in and finish the game. Although Vick couldn’t rally the team to a win, he got close and played very well in the process.
Kolb was unable to get back into the lineup the following week, so Vick was forced to make his first start as an Eagle in Week 2 against the Lions. In the game, Vick was 21-34 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. This gave him a quarterback rating on the day of 108.
With Kolb healthy again, Andy Reid announced that Kolb would be back in the starting lineup the day after the Lions game.
The following day, Reid did a complete 180 and shocked the city as he said Vick would remain the starter. Vick had a nice game in his second start of the year but was knocked out of the game the following week as Kolb had to take back the reins.
Vick would go back to starting for the Eagles after missing three full games and has made a strong case for the NFL’s MVP award.
3. Michael Vick Decimates the Redskins on Monday Night Football
In the first matchup with the Redskins this season, the Eagles lost quarterback Michael Vick to an injury as well as ended up losing the game. When the second matchup came around, it was time for revenge.
The Eagles did not hesitate. On the first play of the game, Vick ran a play action where he rolled to his left and threw a strike down the field to DeSean Jackson that resulted in an 88-yard touchdown. Despite the huge opening play, Vick was just getting started.
On the Eagles next possession, Vick found the end zone on a seven-yard rush to put the Eagles up 14-0. Roughly five minutes later, the Eagles would go up 21-0 when Vick hit LeSean McCoy for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
After Jerome Harrison made it 28-0 in the first quarter on a 50-yard rush, the Redskins were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief as the quarter came to an end.
Unfortunately, Vick wasn’t finished. On the first play of the second quarter, Vick threw a 48-yard strike to Jeremy Maclin as the Eagles went up 35-0.
Vick went on to add another rushing and passing touchdown in a game that ended 59-28 in favor of the Eagles. With Vick accounting for over 400 yards of offense and six touchdowns, it’s one of the most dominating performances I’ve ever seen.
2. Donovan McNabb Traded to the Washington Redskins
After back to back disappointments in Dallas, many believed that it might be time to party ways with Donovan McNabb. He spent a lot of time in Philadelphia, and did plenty of great things while he was here. However, everyone knows that all good things must come to an end.
Sure enough, in early April, the Eagles finally traded the quarterback after the fans had listened to many rumors over the past month or so. There weren’t too many people surprised that the Eagles traded McNabb, but everyone was surprised the Eagles traded him within the division. That obviously meant that the Eagles would see him twice a year while he was a Redskin.
The timing also came at an odd time as it was the eve of the Phillies season opener.
1. The Miracle at the New Meadowlands
After being down 21 points halfway through the fourth quarter, Michael Vick rallied the offense to one of the most intense comebacks I’ve ever witnessed. With 1:16 left in the game, Vick found Jeremy Maclin for a 13-yard touchdown to tie the game.
It was an amazing comeback, but it seemed like the offense might have struck too soon. There was a decent amount of time left and the defense would have to hold the Giants offense and send the game into overtime. The defense stepped up, but there would be no need for overtime in this game.
With 14 seconds remaining on the clock, DeSean Jackson lined up in punt return position for the Eagles. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin instructed his punter, Matt Dodge, to punt the ball out of bounds.
Dodge failed to do so. Instead, he sent a line drive punt straight at Jackson. The startled Jackson fumbled the punt and it looked like he might have blown his opportunity. However, Jackson regained possession of the ball, backpedaled, and didn’t see much of an opening. Again, it looked like there wasn’t much of an opportunity.
Somehow Jackson broke through Giants defenders in the middle of the field and began streaking down the sideline. Keyed by a huge block from Jason Avant, Jackson sprang the return for a touchdown as the Eagles won the game with no time remaining on the clock.