As we close out this calender year, Section 247 Sports is going to take a look back a the top 5 moments in Philadelphia sports for 2010. We begin at #5, the Miracle in the New Meadowlands took place only 8 short days ago and it has quickly taken one of the top spots in Eagles lore.
Most will remember the game for the unthinkable game winning punt return by DeSean Jackson with 14 seconds to go in the game but it was the unselfish play of Michael Vick that made the win possible. After trailing for most of the game the Eagles went on a remarkable run in the last 8 minutes of the contest. Vick essentially took the team and threw them on his shoulders and shocked the Giants by scoring 28 unanswered points. What will come of the 2010 Eagles season has yet to be written but if they make it to Dallas in February this game was the springboard.
Miracle…Part III. Jackson’s Punt Return Clinches Win But Give Vick Credit For Leading Team to Victory
Herman Edwards. Brian Westbrook. DeSean Jackson. After today all three names will forever be linked in Philadelphia Eagles lore. Herm Edwards became the original miracle man in 1978 when he picked up a Joe Pisarcik fumble and rumbled 26 yards for an Eagles game winning touchdown. The original “Miracle at the Meadowlands” propelled the 1978 Eagles to the a spot in the NFC Playoffs. And then some 25 years later it was Brian Westbrook who proved to that miracles can happen again. With 1:16 to go in the fourth quarter the 2003 Eagles were just a minute away from a deflating loss that would’ve essentially ended their season. Then Brian Westbrook broke loose scampering 80+ yards for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 14-10 victory. That Eagles team went on to win 9 games in a row and made it to the NFC Championship game. Today it was a 65 yard punt return touchdown by DeSean Jackson on the last play of regulation that gave the Eagles a shocking 38-31 win over the rival New York Giants and exclusive possession of first place in the NFC East. It was Jackson’s punt return that propelled the Eagles to victory today but it was the gutsy play of Michael Vick that made the play possible.
Say what you will about Michael Vick, and trust me I’ve said it enough, he has changed from an athlete that played the quarterback position to a quarterback that is one hell of an athlete. The Eagles offense struggled for most of the game, mostly because of the relentless attack of the Giants defense. The Giants were able to contain Vick and company through a series of well timed blitzes that were reminiscent of Jim Johnson’s Eagles defenses of past. Vick was a miserable 6-for-10 for 33 yards and an interception. The Eagles trailed 24-3 at the half and it looked as though there was no hope for the local eleven. Then the second half arrived and Michael Vick took matters into his own hands and propelled the Eagles to a tie late in the 4th quarter.
Trailing by 21 with 7:28 in the game, Vick hit tight-end Brent Celek on 65 yard touchdown to make it a 31-17 Giants lead. After a David Akers on-side kick, Vick led the Eagles to yet another touchdown when he scampered in from the 4 yard line with 5:28 remaining. Giants 31, Eagles 24. The Eagles defense held firm and forced the Giants to punt with a little over 3 minutes to go in the game. Vick had multiple runs, one of 33 yards and another of 22 yards, that would’ve made Randall Cunningham jealous and unloaded his offensive arsenal on the now reeling Giants defense. With 1:16 left in the game, Vick hit Jeremy Maclin on a 13 yard pass for and Eagles touchdown. New York 31, Philadelphia 31. It was a solid victory for an Eagles team that was down 21 with 7 ½ minutes in the game. The Giants would get the ball back and run out the clock to force overtime.
That is what the Giants, Tom Coughlin, and the 90,000 fans at New Giants Stadium thought would happen. Instead of running the ball and killing the clock, Eli Manning and the Giants threw two incomplete passes during the drive. With 14 ticks on the clock, the Giants punt team came out onto the field. Instead of punting the ball out of bounds, Giants punter Matt Dodge hit a low line drive that was muffed by Jackson at the 35…the rest is history. Jackson might be the hero on this day, the Superman if you will, but his Robin, Michael Vick, made it all possible. Vick’s numbers in the second half are insane, 15-for-25 for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns and four rushes for 94 yards. For the day he was 21-for-35 for 242 yards for 3 touchdowns and one pick and 10 rushes for 130 yards and a touchdown. That, my friends, is total domination. Like Ike Reese said on the 610 WIP post-game show, maybe this team is sprinkled with that special dust.