Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 10 Philadelphia Eagles Memories

As I said below, I was going to keep up with 'Remembrances of the Decade' meme. Here begins my top ten memories of the Eagles from 2000-09. Mind you that this is subjective - and I am sure that I am leaving something out here. Enjoy...

10) The Eagles begin the 2000 Season with...an onside kick? (9/3/2000) - looking back on this game, in which the Eagles beat Dallas 41-14, it truly was the announcement that the Eagles would be a force with which to be reckoned. I had just started college and it was the first game I had watched apart from my family. Duce Staley had 201 yards rushing and also what made it famous was the searing heat in Dallas that day that caused the Eagles to drink pickle juice prior to the game.

9) An Offensive Killing of the Packers (12/5/20o4) - I remember driving home quickly from my cousin's Eagle Scout Court of Honor to be able to watch this game. The Eagles were 10-1 at the time en-route to the Super Bowl and the performance they put up that day has been unmatched in the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb era. By the late 2nd Quarter, it was already 35-0, with McNabb having 5 TD passes. By the time he was taken out of the game, it was 47-3 and McNabb had a career high 464 yards with the 5 TD's. Literally a game in which the Eagles did as they pleased.

8) A Defensive Killing of the Steelers (9/21/2008) - 9 sacks, an interception, 2 fumbles, and just utter mayhem as the Eagles beat the Steelers 15-6 in a game that was not as close as the score indicated. Ben Roethlisberger just got battered time and time again in a game that was reminiscent of the Buddy Ryan-Gang Green era (Body Bag Game, House of Pain). Unfortunately, the Eagles didn't get the rematch chance that they should have gotten as a result of losing the NFC championship game while the Steelers went on to win their second title of the decade.

7) Donovan's 14 Second Scramble (11/15/2004) - this is one of the many highlights of Donovan McNabb's brilliant career. It came during a 49-21 victory over Dallas on Monday Night Football the week after the Eagles undefeated string was ended by Pittsburgh. McNabb threw for 349 yards and 4 TD's, but this highlight will always be remembered about this game as he threw to his left and across his body a SIXTY yard pass.

6) The 2006 Run to the Playoffs (December, 2006) - After Donovan went down with a torn ACL, the Eagles looked like their season would be over. Thankfully, the team had signed a good backup in Jeff Garcia after the debacle of 2005 when McNabb had his sports-hernia and *cough* Mike McMahon was the backup. The memorable stretch especially was winning three consecutive division games on the road (Thanks NFL!) to take control of the division, including a domination of Dallas on Christmas Day in their own building - a game my dad still talks about to this day like it just happened.

5) The Fire Drill at Pittsburgh (11/12/2000) - this was memorable personally because I was there to watch this. The Eagles were down by 10 with four minutes to go and Donovan led a wild comeback that included a touchdown pass, a recovered onside kick and the fire drill kick by Akers (41 or 42 yards, I think) to tie the game at 23 as regulation expired. The Eagles won the toss and drove to kick the game winner by David Akers. I was lucky to get out of Three Rivers Stadium alive and I received numerous threats of ass kickings if I bragged about the game to my dorm hallmates back in Wheeling.

4) Brian Westbrook Announces Himself (10/19/2003) - the Eagles were in danger of dropping to 2-4 for the season when they visited Giants Stadium. Instead, fellow DeMatha alumnus Westbrook (had to drop that in) took a Jeff Feagles punt on a hop and ran it 84 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 14-10 lead with just over a minute to go. It shell-shocked the Giants and started a nice run for the Eagles that took them deep into the playoffs that year.

3) Donovan McNabb and a Broken Leg (11/17/2002) - The Eagles were 6-3 when the Cardinals came to town, and looking to rebound after getting thumped by Indy the previous week. Early in the game, McNabb went down awkwardly and originally thought he had an ankle sprain. He stayed and played in obvious pain and went 20-25 for 255 and 4 TD's. For me, this game was the end of ever questioning Donovan's will or desire again, despite the short memories of my fellow fans.

2) 4th and 26 (1/11/2004) - an all time play, to be sure. The Eagles were backed up at their own 22 with over a minute to go and staring at an early playoff exit against Green Bay. McNabb threw a strike to Freddie Mitchell to get to the 50 yard line and eventually got the Eagles into field goal position to tie the game up. Brett Favre threw one of his many bad interceptions in the overtime and the Eagles went on to win 20-17. Also of note is that the Eagles had to overcome an early 14-0 hole.

1) Getting Over the Hump (1/23/2005) - After three straight NFC Title Game losses, the Eagles finally made it to the Super Bowl by defeating Atlanta 27-10. Chad Lewis, Donovan's favorite target for a long time, caught two TD passes (and then got injured) and the Eagles stifled Michael Vick. I think it was the first time I had ever cried in happiness watching a sporting event. When Lewis caught the 2nd TD and the Linc erupted, so did my home - my parents and brother were over and I think we were going to put a hole in the floor from all the jumping up and down. Too bad it ended badly a couple of weeks later, but man, what a ride that was.

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