Can’t stand the suspense as you wait for the Eagles’ season to begin? We try to remove some of the suspense by providing you with a humorous (we hope) sneak peek at what their season might be like.
The season could go something like this:
SEPT 9, at CLEVELAND
Michael Vick leaves the game with a rib injury after getting hit on the Eagles’ 10th offensive play. Rookie backup Nick Foles completes 14 of 22 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns as Vick’s replacement, leading the Eagles to a 31-13 victory. LeSean McCoy runs for 115 yards.
SEPT. 16, RAVENS
Michael Vick makes it to the second quarter before leaving this game with a shoulder injury. Nick Foles completes 14 of 22 passes for 147 yards, but he also throws two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown during a 27-16 loss to the Ravens. In his column on the Eagles’ Web site, Eagles insider Dave Spadaro puts a positive spin on the loss, pointing out that Vick only lasted six plays in each of his two preseason games, meaning he is lasting increasingly longer in each successive game before being forced to leave with an injury.
SEPT. 16, at ARIZONA
LeSean McCoy carries 24 times for 157 yards as the Eagles post a 23-17 victory. Most of McCoy’s rushing yards come after halftime. Andy Reid gets snippy with reporters after being asked if McCoy’s second-half workload was a response to the pass-happy play-calling during last season’s fourth-quarter collapse against the Cardinals, saying tersely, “I could have sworn we won today.” Michael Vick leaves the game in the third quarter with a stomach virus.
SEPT. 23, GIANTS
Andy Reid bristles at continued questions about Michael Vick’s health. He walks out of a mid-week news conference after being asked for the third time if the Eagles had any interest in signing former Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb (left), who was released by the Cardinals after their loss to the Eagles. Vick injures his left ankle during the first series against the Giants, but comes off the bench in the fourth quarter to relieve an ineffective Nick Foles and leads the Eagles to a 17-13 comeback victory.
OCT. 7, at STEELERS
Steelers linebacker James Harrison knocks Michael Vick out of the game with a crushing hit as he begins to slide to avoid getting tackled. Harrison is penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Harrison later knocks Nick Foles out of the game with a shot to the head, for which he is assessed a 15-yard penalty and, subsequently, fined $50,000. Foles is diagnosed with a concussion. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense can’t stop the Steelers’ running game or Ben Roethlisberger, resulting in a 30-6 defeat. After the game, Vick says, “Tell Obama I’m not sliding anymore.”
OCT. 14, LIONS
Michael Vick stakes the Eagles to a 17-3 halftime lead, but he pulls a hamstring on the first series of the second half. With Nick Foles unavailable due to the concussion he sustained against the Steelers, Mike Kafka (left), re-signed after Vick and Foles were injured against Steelers, replaces Vick. A rusty Kafka throws two interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown, as the Lions hand the Eagles a demoralizing 23-20 loss. Andy Reid refuses to say why he used Kafka instead of Trent Edwards.
OCT. 28, FALCONS
Having a bye week after the Lions game allows Michael Vick enough time to heal before playing his former team. Vick twice gets former Eagle Asante Samuel to bite on pump fakes, connecting with DeSean Jackson for long touchdowns both times during the Eagles’ 31-20 triumph. Vick leaves the game midway through the fourth quarter after tripping over a wire and falling into the bench while trying to avoid getting tackled. Trent Edwards calmly preserves the victory. After the game, Vick says, “I’m not running out of bounds anymore.”
NOV. 5, at SAINTS
Trying to get an early start while pulling to the left on a running play, right guard Danny Watkins steps on Michael Vick’s right foot. Nick Foles (left), fully recovered from his concussion, replaces Vick, sending reporters scrambling to find out if two quarterbacks from the same high school have ever played against each other in the same game. (Foles and Drew Brees both attended Westlake High School in Texas.) Ray Didinger knows the answer off the top of his head. Foles turns in a solid performance, but Brees shreds the Eagles defense for 414 passing yards, dropping the Birds to .500 with a 34-17 defeat. The NFL investigates whether the Saints had a bounty out on Vick.
NOV. 11, COWBOYS
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan stirs the pot during the week prior to this game by saying there’s no need to put a bounty out on Michael Vick; he’ll get hurt anyway. Vick proves Ryan wrong for three quarters, but he has to leave the game in the fourth quarter after a hellacious tackle by linebacker Sean Lee when Vick opted not to run out of bounds or slide. The Eagles respond by knocking Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo out of the game with a separated shoulder sustained when defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin sack Romo at the same time. Before being injured, Vick throws four touchdown passes, two of them to tight end Brent Celek, as the Eagles coast to a 37-21 triumph.
NOV. 18, at REDSKINS
The Eagles win two games in a row for the first time since September. Michael Vick throws for 219 yards and two touchdowns and LeSean McCoy gains 133 yards on just 15 carries as the Eagles roll to a 31-10 victory. The Eagles sack Robert Griffin III seven times, knocking him out of the game in the third quarter. Jason Babin says the Eagles are going to stick up for Vick by knocking the opposing quarterback out of the game every week, just as they did to Tony Romo and Griffin. The NFL fines Babin $50,000 and suspends him for one game. Vick limps off the field in the fourth quarter, but Andy Reid insists after the game that Vick left the game because of the lopsided score and not because of injury. When the team returns to Philadelphia, Vick uses crutches to get to his car. The video of Vick using crutches goes viral on YouTube.
Andy Reid cuts his midweek news conference short when he’s asked for the fourth time about whether Michael Vick left the Redskins game due to injury. LeSean McCoy rushes for 127 yards and Vick throws three touchdown passes before leaving the game with a dislocated finger, the result of a sideline collision with former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott (left), as the Eagles cruise to a 27-10 victory.
DEC. 2, at COWBOYS
Jason Babin knocks Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo out of the game – and the rest of the regular season – with a late hit on the first series. Red-faced Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells FOX sideline reporter Pam Oliver that the NFL should issue Babin a lifetime ban. Meanwhile, the Cowboys and backup quarterback Kyle Orton take advantage of the penalty on Babin and drive down the field for an early score. In a freak accident, Vick injures his knee on his way back to the field after halftime when he is hit by a golf cart driven by a Cowboys employee. The Eagles call for an investigation of whether Jones ordered the employee to run over Vick. Orton completes 16 of 24 passes for 242 yards as the Cowboys hand the Eagles a 24-20 loss.
DEC. 9, at TAMPA BAY
Nick Foles starts in place of the injured Vick, but Foles tweaks his hamstring in the third quarter, with the feisty Bucs leading by seven points. Vick hobbles onto the field and leads the Eagles to a 24-18 victory, connecting with Jeremy Maclin for the winning touchdown with 46 seconds remaining. Eight columnists make a Willis Reed reference while describing Vick’s effort.
DEC. 13, BENGALS
Donovan McNabb (left) gives an interview saying he’s available to join the Eagles for the playoffs if they are concerned about Michael Vick’s health. McNabb gets miffed when two reporters throw up, which McNabb interprets as an insult directed toward him. Vick throws two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 27-14 victory before throwing up himself early in the fourth quarter. The next day, McNabb, who interpreted Vick’s nausea as a signal that he felt threatened if McNabb were his backup, says he’s changed his mind and decided to reject any offer to sign with the Eagles.
DEC. 23, REDSKINS
LeSean McCoy rushes for 202 yards to lead the Eagles to a 38-7 victory over the Redskins. Michael Vick is replaced by Nick Foles in the second half after a man dressed as Santa Claus for a halftime promotion accidentally hits Vick’s left shoulder with his sack of toys. The national media rips Philadelphia fans for booing Santa Claus for a second time.
DEC. 30, at GIANTS
With the NFC East championship on the line, the Eagles jump out to a 14-3 halftime lead. The game shifts in the third quarter when Michael Vick dislocates his right elbow trying to restrain DeSean Jackson from going into the stands after the receiver was hit by a snowball. The Giants rally to take the lead, but Nick Foles drives the Eagles 98 yards during the final two minutes, scoring the winning touchdown on a naked bootleg as time expires. Alex Henery drills the extra point, giving the Eagles a 21-20 triumph, the NFC East title and a first-round bye.
JAN. 13 (Divisional Playoff game), GIANTS
Even with a first-round bye, Michael Vick’s participation is a game-time decision. Vick plays valiantly, but he leaves the game in the second quarter due to elbow, foot, finger, knee and rib injuries. Nick Foles turns in a solid performance, but the Giants gain revenge for their two losses to the Eagles this season by handing them a 23-10 defeat. Putting a positive spin on the season, Eagles insider Dave Spadaro writes a column on the Eagles’ Web site noting that this is only the second time Vick has played in every game for a full season.