-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-
MCNABB GETS TRADED TO THE REDSKINS,EAGLES GO 10-6 & WIN THE NFC EAST, LOSE IN THE WILDCARD ROUND TO THE PACKERS:
On January 11, 2010, General Manager Tom Heckert was hired by theCleveland Browns in the same role. He was replaced by Howie Roseman, who was promoted from Vice President of Player Personnel. On February 23, 2010 the Eagles released starting running back Brian Westbrook, Eagles’ all-time leader in yards from scrimmage with 9,785 yards.
A bigger surprise came on Easter Sunday, when the team traded quarterback Donovan McNabb to their division rival Washington Redskins for a second-round (37th overall) pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and a third- or fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Kevin Kolb was named team’s starting quarterback.
The Kolb era did not begin on a positive note as the Eagles donned their throwback kelly green jerseys and hosted the Green Bay Packers in their opening game as both teams performed poorly in the first half, although that was partially because of weather conditions and damaged turf in Lincoln Financial Field. Kolb was thrown to the ground by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and was forced to sit out the game after it was determined that he suffered a concussion. Five other Packers and Eagles players were also injured in the game. Michael Vick replaced Kolb, but the Packers ended up winning the game, 27-20, the Packers’ first win in Philadelphia since 1962 and their first-ever win on Lincoln Financial Field.
With Vick taking over as starter, the Eagles traveled and defeated the Detroit Lions 35-32 in week 2 with Vick’s impressive performance in the team’s offense. Although Kolb was presumed to be the starter after he recovered from injury, Andy Reid named Vick as the starting quarterback instead. The team then traveled to Jacksonville. Vick scored four touchdowns (three passing and one rushing) and no interceptions in a 28-3 rout of the Jaguars.
Week 4 saw the return of McNabb to Philadelphia. He was generally given a warm reception, and the Redskins got a touchdown early in the first quarter. After that, both offenses sputtered and the Eagles had to settle for two field goals. But things rapidly fell apart when Vick was injured late in the first quarter with chest and rib injuries he suffered when two Redskins defensive backs crushed him from both sides while running near to the endzone. Kolb was once again brought out as starter, but delivered an uninspired performance. He did manage a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. A two-point conversion attempt after the touchdown failed, and Washington won 16-12. Afterward, Vick was diagnosed with cracked cartilage and forced to sit out at least one game.
With Kolb starting, the Eagles headed to San Francisco for a Sunday Night Football match against the 0-4 49ers. Kolb passed for 253 yards and one touchdown to lead his team to a 27-24 victory. Philadelphia won its first home game in week 6 by overpowering the Falcons 31-17. Kolb continued to improve, passing for 326 yards, three touchdown passes, and one interception. However, he was not able to sustain this momentum in the week 8 game against Tennessee, throwing two interceptions and only one touchdown. The Eagles lost 37-19 to enter their bye week at 3-3 and once again Vick was brought out as starter prior to hosting Indianapolis in week 10. This game proved an intense, highly physical contest as Vick scored two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing) and Philadelphia overcame stubborn resistance by the Colts to win 27-24. Afterwards, the Eagles headed to Washington, where, for the second year in a row, they faced the Redskins on Monday Night Football. Philadelphia quickly marched out to two touchdowns in the first quarter, putting them up at 14-0 within five minutes. By the second quarter, they had scored another two, leading by 28 points. Four more touchdowns followed in a 59-28 blowout of Washington. All in all, there were eight (four passing, three rushing, and one interception return), six of which were from Michael Vick, who had 333 passing and 80 rushing yards for one of the finest performances of his career.
For the third season in a row, the Eagles traveled to Chicago, a team that Michael Vick had a career 0-4 record against. This time would be no different as the Bears’ defense slowed him down to win 31-26. Vick also threw his first interception of the season. The Eagles rebounded with a Thursday game against Houston. Despite winning 34-24, Philadelphia’s defense turned in a relatively mediocre performance, which may have had to do with the fact that the team had played four games in a 17-day stretch.
On Sunday Night in Week 15, the Eagles headed to Dallas for a game with their arch-rivals. However, the Cowboys were a considerably weaker team than when they defeated Philadelphia three times in 2009. Their QB Tony Romo was out of commission from an injury, they had had their head coach Wade Phillips fired halfway through the season, and they were barely clinging to life at 4-9. Michael Vick delivered an average performance, although one of the game’s highlights was a 90-yard TD pass to Desean Jackson. Although Andy Reid had gained a reputation as a pass-happy coach, the Eagles’ scoring was mainly based on run plays and long field goals. Despite a close game, they prevailed 30-27 and eliminated Dallas from playoff contention.
In Week 15, the Eagles beat New York in a shocking upset by overcoming a 21-point deficit in the second half. In the closing seconds of the game, Desean Jackson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown to win 38-31. This became known as theMiracle at the New Meadowlands. After locking up their first division title in four years, the Eagles played a surprisingly bad game against Minnesota and lost. The team lost a meaningless season ender against Dallas before preparing to hostGreen Bay again in the wild card round of the playoffs. Despite playing the Packers hard, Philadelphia’s first home playoff game since 2006 ended in defeat 21-16 as Vick threw a hail mary interception in the closing minute of the 4th quarter. Pro bowler David Akers, who had one of the best seasons ever by a kicker, also contributed to the loss having a rare poor game going 1 for 3, missing from 34 & 41 yards.