WIth all the Foles talk, who remembers all of these gems?
5. McNabb Vs. A.J. Feeley in 2007
OK it was 2007 and McNabb was having a very mediocre season, probably due to the fact he was coming off a bad ACL injury the year prior. He ended up injuring his thumb which left us A.J. Feeley who had filled in and won for us multiple times. Except this time he was facing the undefeated Pats making the Eagles a HISTORICAL under dog to the tune of -24 points.
First pass of the game for Feeley was picked off by our boy Asante Samuel who took it to the house. Ugly. However, we ended up driving into the end zone and keeping pace with the Pats the entire time. The very last drive we had our chance to score but again, an overthrown ball to Kevin Curtis was picked by our boy -- Asante Samuel.
Either way, Feeley played SO good despite the two picks polls were showing that 90%+ of the Philly fan base wanted to see Feeley over McNabb. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure this prompted McNabb to say something typical like "Oh the favorite Eagles player is always the backup QB." Here's the Kleenex Donovan.
Either way the very next game Feeley got the start and we played the lowly Seahawks. He threw 3 picks to Lofa Tatupu, we lost the game, and the very next week we were all relieved to see McNabb starting again (including Joe_D). :) Since it was just a one game thing, we'll make this "controversy" #5.
4. Koy Detmer vs A.J. Feeley
When McNabb went down with a broken ankle (I think it was 2002), he was out for about 6 weeks. At the time, the backup QB was Koy Detmer who was pretty unproven at this point. But it was a Monday Night game against San Fransico and he was slated to get the start over Feeley. I remember the 1st play being pretty ugly, maybe a sack or an INT? I can't recall, but I remember saying "Oh boy, here we go." But the football Gods were much kinder to us back then and he ended up lighting up the 49er secondary and then BOOM.. Injured.
Just our luck, our 2nd string QB gets popped after playing really well and we're onto our 3rd stringer... I do clearly remember all the players coming up and shaking Koy's hand after he was helped off the field, they really appreciated his gusto and determination. Plus, he had one of the most awkward TD celebrations I've ever seen. Imagine if Dhani Jones were a QB, but worse.
Short story long, A.J. Feeley stepped in and he too played pretty well. He went onto play the very next week and then when Koy was ready to go there was a small controversy whether Koy or Feeley would get the nod. The Eagles went with the younger more athletic A.J. Feeley who went 5-1 as the starter before McNabb could come back. It's compelling because how often do teams go 5-1 with their 3rd stringer and how often does the local media have a serious debate on their 2nd and 3rd string QBs? It was a hot topic for a moment there.
Back in 2006 the Eagles started off really hot. Offensively we were booming but after a few games the boom or bust offense wasn't winning us games anymore. Statisitcally McNabb had amazing stats, and L.J. Smith was on pace for well over 1,000 yards. But like I said, we were 5-5 and when the offense couldn't get the big play, it was lots of 3 and outs.
I can remember the day like it was yesterday, McNabb scmrabled to the right and you could see his knee gave out. Without any tests done anyone could see it was a non contact (most tears are) ACL tear.
In came Jeff Garcia! The fans were not a big Jeff fan at first seeing as he was much older, small armed, and much less athletic than what we were used to seeing out there. In fact, I remember the Eagles fans cheering when Garcia had to be taken out of the game for a few plays due to injury.
The very next week, we went on to get steam rolled by the Colts, who always seem to smoke us. We were 5-6 and the media just about pronounced us dead.... Until.... Jeff Garcia went on to win 7 games in a row including a playoff game against the Giants. When we beat the Cowboys on X-mas day it was one of my favorite Eagles games to watch. I remember the week prior Michael Irvin giving the Eagles little "run" accolades but said NO WAY, absolutely NO WAY would they beat his Boys. We did and it was really really sweet.
Again, at the end of the day there was a QB controversy at the end of the season. Jeff was a true WC QB with good instincts, quick release, and threw with great accuracy. He also could scramble and roll out for an older guy. But again, he was in his mid-30s and the team opted to let Jeff go, and Give McNabb a few more years here. At the time, I thought it was a good idea too given Jeff's age compared to Donovans. And really, te only controversy was between fans, the FO was sticking with their man. This is when Wilma McNabb stuck up for her little boy and called our playoff run "bittersweet."
2. Kevin Kolb VS Donovan McNabb
2009 wasn't a great year for the Eagles despite getting into the playoffs. We didn't beat any winning teams that year on our schedule and to top it off we got creamed by the Cowgirls -- twice. McNabb used to make up for his foibles with his ability to make huge plays, but at the time they were becoming less frequent. The fans (some) and the FO knew that McNabb was getting any younger, and we had been grooming Kolb to become the eventual heir.
According to some rumors, it was Joe Banner and the rest of the FO that wanted to shuttle off McNabb and Andy wanted to keep him. But the eventual decision was McNabb still had value (thanks Redskins) and Kolb was ready to go (thanks Vick/Cardinals).
It was really significant though, because we ended an era where a lot of Eagles fans were brought up on -- the McNabb era.
1. Bobby Hoying VS Rodney Pete?
Ok rewind back to 1997, the Eagles were playing the Phoenix Cardinals. A team who used to be in our division and a team that was a doormat for the rest of the NFL... However, Jake the Snake Plummer, always seemed to come back and beat the Eagles in the 4th quarter. He must've done it 3-4 times. Well sure enough, in the 4th quarter, Jake the Snake throws the ball over Troy Vincent's head and into the hands of Frank Sanders who ran in the game winning TD... So I took my T.V. which I bought with my allowance money and kicked it.
My T.V. was OK, plus it was a little 20 inch box T.V., though I did work hard to save up the 120 bucks that it cost lol. However, my parents grounded me from watching the Eagles after that.
OK fast forward a few more games and we are playing the Bengals who at the time had Boomer Esiason at the helm. Was Carl Pickens still on the team? Either way, out of nowhere this kid who no one has ever really heard of Bobby Hoying goes toe to toe with Boomer Esiason. Since the game was so compelling, I was aloud to watch the 2nd half (and the Eagles for the rest of the season). It was magical, because this kid, Bobby Hoying looked like the next Joe Montanna.
It was huge news for Birds fans and I remember the media going as far to interview his local HS football coach the next day. We thought we had our next star, except within a few games,he was already back riding the bench.
However, the Hoying era (3 games?) was so epic that to this day you can sometimes find a poor sap still sporting a Hoying jersey. Back then the Eagles were so bad anyway, that a glimmer of hope was really exciting.
And that's my 2 cents to the Foles-Mania