Following a devastating 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Philadelphia Eagles stood at 4-3. Their season was in jeopardy and it didn’t help that the Eagles faced the Indianapolis Colts, a team that Andy Reid had never beaten, after their bye week.
Against the Colts, the Eagles showed fire. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead within the game’s first four minutes but fell behind 17-16 after two quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles clung to a 26-24 lead with just 34 seconds remaining. The Colts had the ball on their own 26-yard line and needed about 40 yards to reach field goal range for kicker Adam Vinatieri.
In two plays, Peyton Manning moved the Colts 15 yards on completions to wide receiver Pierre Garcon and tight end Jacob Tamme. But he threw two straight completions, setting up a 3rd and 10 with just seconds remaining in the game.
Then came arguably the biggest defensive play of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles, as cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted Manning’s deep pass, effectively clinching the fifth victory of the season for the Eagles.
The image of Asante Samuel celebrating, ball clutched in his outstretched right hand, surrounded by teammates Dimitri Patterson (23) and Jorrick Calvin (38), is one of the most memorable of the season. Samuel’s game-winning interception was a rare high moment for a defense that allowed 31 passing touchdowns throughout the season.