Sep 5, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT
Chip Kelly shocks the world with his offense – by coming out and running the triple option out of the Flexbone on Monday Night Football. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, and Bryce Brown combine to rush for over 300 yards against the Redskins, who are caught completely off-guard by Chip’s college gimmicks. The Eagles never use the Flexbone again, and this goes down in lore next to the Pickle Juice game.
Week 2 vs. San Diego – Win, 41-23
Philip Rivers goes ballistic on King Dunlap on the sidelines during the fourth quarter after the Chargers’ left tackle allows Connor Barwin to beat him for four sacks on the afternoon. Later that week on The Howie Roseman Show, the diabolical Eagles’ GM reveals that was the plan all along when the team let Dunlap reach free agency.
Week 3 vs. Kansas City – Win, 38-30
Donovan McNabb dresses in full uniform for his halftime retirement ceremony a la John Riggins – pads, helmet, everything. Toward the end of the ceremony, Andy Reid emerges from the locker room to congratulate Donovan on stage, only when they go to shake hands, McNabb turns on his head coach of 11 seasons and delivers a Stone Cold Stunner. Nobody in Philadelphia ever boos or talks bad about Five again, both because that was awesome and for fear of retribution.
The fun times are over for Chip as Peyton Manning absolutely wrecks the Eagles’ defense. Cary Williams gets burned deep for two long touchdowns, and both times Kurt Coleman gives the cornerback a quizzical look as if they had their assignments mixed up. Coleman isn’t even playing, it’s just force of habit.
Week 5 at New York Giants – Loss, 38-34
Eli Manning picks up where Peyton left off, torching the Birds’ secondary for over 450 yards for a second consecutive week. Vick has a chance to be a hero on the final drive, but fumbles the football away when he dives head first for extra yards at the end of a scramble. No one for the Giants even touches Vick, he just coughs it up because that’s a thing he would do.
Week 6 at Tampa Bay – Loss, 27-19
Darrelle Revis intercepts a pair of Vick passes, one of which the All-Pro corner takes to the house. After posting passer ratings of 95.0 and above the first three weeks of the season, the Eagles’ quarterback hasn’t cracked 70.0 in the past three. WIP is inundated by calls for Matt Barkley to start, while Nick Foles secretly wonders who he needs to stab to get some respect around here.
Week 7 vs. Dallas – Win, 30-23
Cary Williams misses the Cowboys game to be at the grand opening of his new restaurant. Unfortunately for Williams, the cream rises to the top in his absence. Brandon Boykin shuts down Dez Bryant, holding the NFL’s leading receiver to just two catches the entire afternoon. The next day Boykin is named starter. Cary hears of the news while he’s picking out drapes.
Week 8 vs. New York Giants – Win, 27-24
Jason Pierre-Paul folds up Vick like a pretzel, and in comes Foles. The backup quarterback has trouble finding his rhythm, but LeSean McCoy refuses to lose. Shady weaves all over the place on one 33-yard run in particular, seeking out Giants defenders and audibly shouting “McCoy” with each juke. He totals 200 yards of total offense by himself while carrying his team to victory, and the Eagles are surprisingly in first place in the NFC East.
Week 9 at Oakland – Win, 34-16
Foles isn’t particularly sharp in Vick’s stead, the Raiders are just that bad. Matt McGloin gets into the game at some point for Oakland and actually performs well, leading to a groundswell of WIP callers who believe the Eagles should trade their 2014 second-round pick for the Penn State grad and install him as franchise quarterback during the offseason.
Week 10 at Green Bay – Loss, 42-26
Vick returns, but looks as though he’s still dealing with the lingering effects of whatever injury he came down with this time. Aaron Rodgers on the other hand is in MVP form, completing over 80% of his passes against a defense that doesn’t have the horses to keep up with the Packers’ speed on offense. After the game, Cary Williams throws his teammates and coaching staff under the bus.
Week 11 vs. Washington – Loss, 31-28
Having been thoroughly embarrassed by Chip Kelly in Week 1, Mike Shanahan goes deep into his bag of tricks to jump on the Eagles early, and the Redskins hang on to gain their revenge. Robert Griffin catches a touchdown pass from Santana Moss, and Sav Rocca scampers in for six on a fake field goal in what are the beginnings of a rivalry where two head coaches try to out-troll the other every time they meet.
DeSean Jackson releases his second hip-hop single Shiny Objects Distract Me featuring Kanye West. WIP and internet message boards are filled with irate fans who say the wide receiver should focus on football. DJacc is enjoying a career year and is en route to his third Pro Bowl.
Week 13 vs. Arizona – Win, 24-6
The Eagles’ front seven swarms Ryan Lindley all afternoon long – the Cardinals are already on to their third quarterback – with Fletcher Cox landing the hit of the year on the helpless signal caller. It’s the type of devastating collision the marketing department uses in their highlight reels for years to come.
Week 14 vs. Detroit – Win, 45-41
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis makes a halftime adjustment, having Cary Williams shadow Calvin Johnson wherever he goes. The plan works, as Cary hauls in a pair of interceptions including one in the final two minutes to help seal a huge comeback victory. After the game, Williams tells reporters in the locker room that the Eagles’ defense is once again feared around the National Football League. Note the final score.
Week 15 at Minnesota – Loss, 27-13
Vick suffers from flashbacks of his dreadful performance against the Vikings in 2010. He keeps hallucinating Antoine Winfield is blitzing off the edge, repeatedly attempting to flee the pocket even when the protection is fine. In the meantime, Adrian Peterson rushes for over 200 yards and scores three touchdowns – Vick is eventually sent to the trainer’s room where he rocks himself to sleep.
Week 16 vs. Chicago – Loss, 24-19
Amid baseless rumors that Chip Kelly will return to college football at season’s end, the Eagles come out flat. DeSean has just been named to the Pro Bowl as well, and wants to be healthy for an imaginary impending contract renegotiation, so he’s back to gator-arming passes. Chris Tillman terrorizes Vick, forcing three turnovers. Afterwards, Chip berates Les Bowen for asking about the reports at the post-game press conference.
Week 17 at Dallas – Win, 31-23
Jason La Canfora’s report about Chip is (not surprisingly) unfounded, and the Birds have new life. Of course, it helps that this game somehow winds up being for the NFC East Championship. Vick puts in his best outing of the year, rewarding coach for sticking by him through the ups and downs of a 16-game season. With their sweep of Dallas, Philadelphia owns the tiebreaker over the Cowboys, which means the Eagles earn a home game in the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
Wild-Card Round vs. San Francisco – Loss, 38-14
The Eagles have already exceeded expectations at this point, so it’s not surprising when a powerhouse like the 49ers steamrolls right through Philly to advance. Vick is so ineffective that Foles gets a shot, but it’s clear the Birds will be in the market for the quarterback at the draft in May. Still, the season was more fun than a lot of people expected, and there’s real enthusiasm heading into the offseason.
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