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Philadelphia Eagles

2010 Comeback Player of the Year: The season it all came together for Michael Vick

Louie DiBiase

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Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

In honor of Michael Vick who celebrated his 38th birthday this week and getting ready to hit the field this month for the new AFFL Flag Football League, we look back at the 2010 season that resulted in Vick winning Comeback Player of the Year, and finally putting it all together as a quarterback.

The Debut

Lincoln Financial Field September 12th 2010: It’s the season opener for the Philadelphia Eagles as they take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1960 NFL Championship victory, the Eagles are sporting the Kelly green vintage uniforms, on top of sporting a brand new franchise in Kevin Kolb.

Lets fast forward to the second quarter. The game is all tied up at 3. Its 3rd and 14 for the Eagles on their own 18 with a little under 8 minutes to go. Kolb rolls to his left and what happens next changed the course of the season and Michael Vick’s career.

Kolb ends up suffering a concussion and was unable to return, opening the door for Vick to tear up the Packers defense in the second half, and nearly lead the Eagles to a come from behind victory before finally falling 27-20.

Vick was the talk of the week. Not only did he run for 103 rushing yards in his breakout “I’m back” performance, but he suddenly looked like a player that understood how to throw from inside the pocket, going through progressions and keeping his eyes down the field when he needed too. Vick went 16 of 24 (66% completion percentage) for 175 yards and 1 touchdown. His passing efficiency shocked analysts, coaches, and fans alike as the former first overall pick was always known for his incredible speed and athleticism, but never put it together as a passer.

It was always “could you imagine if Vick became as good of a passer as he was a runner?” Suddenly….he was. And he lit the NFL on fire.

Vick becomes the guy

Following the loss to the Packers, Andy Reid officially announced Michael Vick would be his starter moving forward. A surprising turn of events considering Reid traded his franchise quarterback of 12 years in Donovan McNabb because Kevin Kolb showed enough promise in 2009 for the Eagles to believe he could be the next face of the franchise.

Vick looked so dominant in two and a half quarters of play that Reid was willing to end the Kolb-era just a quarter into it. It ended up being the right call.

After being declared the starter, Vick put together two MVP-like performances against the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

@Detroit: 21-34 284 Yds 2 TD 0 INT 8 carries 37 rushing yards 

If anyone needed confirmation that Vick’s Atlanta-like mobility was back, this game not only confirmed it but also showed a evolution to his mobility. Creating with his legs to open up the passing game.

@Jacksonville: 17-31 291 Yds 3 TD 0 INT 4 carries 30 rushing yards 1 TD

Kolb almost takes the job back 

The Eagles were at 2-1 and rolling on offense. Then in a game that featured the return of Donovan McNabb who was starting for the Washington Redskins, Vick suffered broken ribs after getting hit by two Redskins defenders at the same time. This injury sidelined Vick for three straight weeks where Kevin Kolb nearly took the starting job back.

Kolb went 2-1 in place of Vick, looking sharp in back to back wins over the 49ers and Falcons. Perhaps if the Eagles take down the Titans in Week 7 and win three straight, Vick doesn’t come off the bench.

Reid however stuck with Vick after the bye as the Eagles got ready to take on the Peyton Manning-led Colts.

Vick went toe to toe with Peyton Manning as the Eagles upset the Colts 26-24. Vick finished with 218 yards and 1 touchdown through the air, while also posting 74 rushing yards and a score on the ground.

It was a game where Vick’s accuracy was on display. Never before had we seen Vick make such incredible touch passes down the field, throwing with anticipation and the power of that left arm that may be the most underrated in NFL history.

This wasn’t THE game however that we remember when looking back on what was a mind blowing season from Michael Vick. There were a lot of games that featured highlight, spectacular plays from Vick throughout the season. The one that stands out has to be the Monday Night Massacre in Washington against the Redskins which might not only be the best of that season, but one of the most memorable in Eagles history.

The most unstoppable performance we have ever seen? 

That statement has to be accurate when talking about dominating individual performances from a player. The 59-28 blowout against the Redskins was the best display of offensive football Eagles fans have ever seen, and maybe the NFL has ever seen.

This was THE Michael Vick game. 20 of 28 333 passing yards 4 touchdowns 80 rushing yards 2 touchdowns. Not only Eagles fans remember this game. Fantasy owners that year that picked up Michael Vick also remember what probably was one of the more lopsided victories of their fantasy careers. Vick record six….SIX touchdowns against the Redskins in one night.

It got going from the get-go. A scrum before the game between both rosters built the hype up.

Property of ESPN

And on the first play, Vick and DeSean Jackson blew the hype out of the building.

Vick put it all together in this game. He simply broke the will of Washington. From the deep touchdowns to Jackson and Maclin, picking the Skins apart in the red-zone, and using his legs to convert third downs, Vick in this game looked like the “Ultimate Weapon” more than even Randall Cunningham ever did in his Eagles career.

This game showed what the Eagles could be when clicking on all cylinders. They had one of the most talented offensive groups ever (maybe until 2017?) with Vick, Jackson, McCoy, and Maclin all on one unit and at least for one night it all came together.

It didn’t even seem fair how Vick toyed with the Redskins. It was the closest thing Vick got to his 2004 Madden self in real life.

The Miracle

Vick had his tests throughout the season. He failed to close out the comeback against Green Bay Week 1, he held on against the Lions Week 2 by one score, he narrowly defeated Peyton Manning by 2 points.

With each one of these games having a close score, it never seemed like the offense was the problem or had any chance of being shut down. There is a reason the Eagles a year later attempted to jack up their defense with big name free agents (you know….the Dream Team), the 2010 defense had many holes that often let teams back in games.

The toughest challenge Vick faced in his Comeback Player of the Year campaign was the Miracle in the New Meadowlands against the New York Giants.

In a big Week 15 battle for first place in the NFC East, both the Eagles and the Giants were at 9-4 in what was a must-win situation. On the road, the Eagles offense finally looked beatable.

The offense only got 3 points on the board heading into half-time, while the Eagles defense did Vick no favors as New York led at halftime 24-3.

It seemed all but official with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter that the Eagles were going to suffer a crucial loss to the Giants and fall to second place in the division after Eli Manning hit Kevin Boss in the back of the end zone going up 31-10.

And then Michael Vick happened.

(Starts at final drive 1:38:56)

His final drive was something out of a painting. Escaping the pocket, running the football, sticking in the pocket in front of the blitz to get that pass to Maclin. It might have been Vick’s most impressive moment as a quarterback.

Looking back, what could have been Vick’s last big moment in the NFL, he stepped up to the challenge. He maxed out his abilities and showed why at any moment he was capable of taking over a game.

If the Eagles did not defeat the Giants in this game, there would have been no playoff appearance for the Birds.

The Eagles end up falling to the Packers in a close Wild Card match up, and despite Philadelphia’s efforts to quickly build a Super Bowl contender around Vick over the next two seasons, they wouldn’t return to the postseason with Vick under center. Injury issues plagued Vick for the rest of his Eagles career, and it was the main reason the 2011 Eagles missed the playoffs by a game at 8-8.

Even if it was for just one season, Eagles fans and the NFL got to see what it would be like if Vick had put it all together. At one point not long before, nobody thought they would even see Vick in an NFL uniform again let alone taking his elite speed and athleticism, and combining it with a refined, developed, lethal arm and passing abilities.

The 2010 Michael Vick story will go down as one of the most electric, exciting seasons we have had in the NFL.

With Vick turning 38 this week and growing his football career outside the NFL in the AFFL and becoming an offensive coordinator for the AAF (a new upstart football league), this is a great time to reminisce on one hell of a season.

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Is Jordan Matthews back?

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After 3 seasons as the Eagles primary wide receiver, Jordan Matthews was traded to the Buffalo Bills for Ronald Darby.

One year later the Eagles are razor thin at wide receiver and may just be bringing the former second round pick back.

It may not be the reunion story people were expecting but after Matthews had a workout with the Eagles Tuesday, it looks like he may be in midnight green this Sunday.

Louie and Gino break down EVERY aspect of this potential move. Why are fans so upset? How will it impact Nelson Agholor? What will they do when Alshon Jeffery comes back? Will Wentz and Matthews start up right where they left off in 2016?

Check it out:

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Philadelphia Eagles

Double debut on Sunday?

Louie DiBiase

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KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) scrambles in the fourth quarter of a week 2 NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on September 17th, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The Chiefs won 27-20. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

Wentz is back! Wentz is back! Tell the people! Wentz is back! According to Doug Pederson Carson Wentz has been cleared for contact and will start against the Colts this Sunday.

With Alshon Jeffery still week to week and Mike Wallace now out indefinitely, do the Eagles need to get more help for Wentz?

Perhaps an old friend like Jeremy Maclin or Jordan Matthews? What about trading for Josh Gordon by the 4 pm deadline?

We speculate!

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Philadelphia Eagles

DeSean Jackson and the Eagles: A redemption story that never was

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When DeSean Jackson runs out of the tunnel Sunday taking on his former team, you can’t help but wonder if Jackson will think about what could have been.

Just a year ago Jackson was a free agent after spending three seasons in Washington. Even before the 2016 season ended, speculation arose that the former Eagle might be coming back to the city where he spent six seasons becoming one of the most dangerous deep threats in NFL history.

During the Eagles-Redskins week 16 match-up, an employee at Lincoln Financial Field asked Jackson “You coming home?” Jackson’s reply got Eagles fans everywhere excited about a possible reunion.

Not only did Jackson comment on a potential comeback with the security guards, but he also told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he wanted to play for a great quarterback (praising Carson Wentz) and that coming back to the Eagles would be a “great story or ending I guess you could say.”

The pairing made perfect sense. In the three years that Jackson wasn’t with the Eagles, the team was unable to replace him at wide receiver, rolling through the likes of Dorial Green-Beckham, Josh Huff, Jordan Matthews, and Miles Austin.

They also couldn’t find anybody to cover Jackson who suddenly was playing the Eagles twice a year.

He went from being the most dangerous deep threat in Eagles history, to the most dangerous threat to go deep against the Eagles.

Jackson gave the Eagles fits as he exposed the mediocre groups of Carry Williams and Bradley Fletcher, Byron Maxwell and Nolan Carroll, followed by Carroll and Leodis McKelvin.

He was the kryptonite of the Eagles. They  could not stop the once Giant, Cowboy, and Redskin killer that was now the biggest Eagle killer in the NFL.

The Eagles finally had the opportunity to do right by Jackson who was cut unexpectedly by Chip Kelly after (or before) a story came out that Jackson had gang ties back in California. It was speculated that the Eagles leaked the story as a way to justify cutting a receiver who had a career year in 2013. Jackson who has never got in trouble off the field spoke on the matter often, saying he grew up with friends that did get involved with gangs but he had never been a part of it.

Now that Chip Kelly was out of the picture and the Eagles desperately needed weapons to surround Carson Wentz with, it seemed like DeSean Jackson could be coming home.

Jackson seemed to like the idea, the Eagles reportedly had interest, and even former teammates like Brandon Graham and LeSean McCoy were talking about the potential reunion.

Brandon Graham:

“It’s an exciting feeling to get an Eagle back. I’m excited because he should have never left. Everybody knows that DeSean, yes, things were happening while he was here, but he’s a good guy. I used to be with him all the time.”

“I’m just happy because I kinda knew already. I’ve talked to him. I talked to him when Doug (Pederson) got hired. We have fun during the season. He’s like, ‘B.G. you know I’ll be back, man.’ But now that it’s official, as far as the season about to be over, I think you’ll be hearing a lot of noise about DeSean … I’m saying official as far as the end of season, now we’re gonna really see.”

LeSean McCoy:

The comeback of a fan favorite never came to fruition. Jackson, in a free agent market where a lot of teams were willing to pay big money for weapons like him, cashed in with Tampa Bay.

The Eagles took the route of bringing in Alshon Jeffery on a one-year prove it deal, while bringing in Torrey Smith to be their new DeSean Jackson.

Smith struggled to make the deep plays down the field but signing Jeffery over Jackson seemed to pay off as the Eagles finally had a complete WR1 who scored 12 touchdowns on the year including three in the playoffs. Jeffery was one of the biggest reasons the offense opened up and the team never looked back winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Jackson has to think that potentially could have been him had he and the Eagles worked something out in free agency.

With DeSean instead of Jeffery, Wentz would still have plenty of weapons on offense to take the MVP-caliber step he took in year two.

He commented on the Eagles winning the Super Bowl in an appearance on “Undisputed”, and how he and players like McCoy or Jeremy Maclin could have been with that Super Bowl team had Chip Kelly kept them around.

But DeSean’s situation is different from that of McCoy and Maclin. The Eagles were interested in bringing Jackson back. Had he asked for less money, perhaps the Eagles bring him home and he is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy with the Eagles.

What a story it could have been.

Instead, Jackson will be looking to once again be a problem for the Eagles secondary this Sunday. This time with a journeyman quarterback and a team that despite being 1-0, has a lot of question marks for this season and the future.

Gotta wonder if Jackson would do it differently if he could go back to 2017 free agency.

 

 

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