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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
10 plays that shaped Eagles' season: No. 3

By Phil Sheridan

PHILADELPHIA -- We’re doing this 10-plays thing in chronological order, mostly because I thought it would create a kind of narrative of the Eagles’ 2013 season.

But if we were ranking the plays based on impact, then No. 3 might very well be No. 1:

Vick
Vick
Oct. 6 at New York Giants: Michael Vick runs for 13 yards -- a totally ordinary play except Vick grabs his left hamstring as he steps out of bounds.

Maybe the Eagles would have gone on to beat the Giants that day anyway. Maybe Vick would have gotten the offense running at a high enough level to win seven of eight games and seize the NFC East title. Maybe he would have made it impossible for the Eagles not to re-sign him and bring him back as their starting quarterback for 2014 and beyond.

We’ll never know. What we do know is that the Eagles had lost three in a row with Vick at quarterback, including a terrible turnover-fest against Kansas City. And we know that Nick Foles came off the bench and led the Eagles to a 36-21 victory. And we know what happened next.

Vick’s innocuous little run set monumental events in motion, at least in the corner of the universe populated by the Eagles and their fans. For the next month, there was constant discussion about whether Vick or Foles was technically Chip Kelly's No. 1 quarterback. The Eagles won a couple games, lost a couple games and then went on their second-half run.

Mostly, the injury gave Foles the opportunity to perform some of the most extraordinary quarterbacking in NFL history. No one knows if he can sustain it, or what his true ceiling is, but Vick’s hamstring injury changed the dynamic of the Eagles’ 2013 season.

And their 2014 season. And probably their 2015 season, too.

Swing by Thursday for the fourth play that defined the Eagles’ season.