Heading into a week 13 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles were coming off of their (so far) rock bottom moment of the season. They had just been manhandled by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 38-20, at home, after taking an early 10-0 lead in the game.
A short week pitted the Eagles against the Seattle Seahawks, who were basically out of playoff contention, on Thursday Night Football. At this point, the Eagles needed to win five games, and likely get a little bit of outside help, to reach the postseason.
Let’s just say that things didn’t really go as planned.
After backup quarterback Vince Young was intercepted on his first pass of the game, the Seahawks quickly drove down the field, putting themselves in a 1st and 10 situation from the Eagles’ 15-yard line.
What happened next is a play that has been largely forgotten by NFL fans, and I don’t know why, because it was legitimately one of the greatest plays I have ever seen.
The Eagles stacked the box, knowing that Seattle was about to run the football with Marshawn Lynch going up the middle. It didn’t matter.
Lynch took a handoff and was immediately met by a group of Eagles tacklers at the 16-yard line, a yard behind the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Jamar Chaney beat Seattle fullback Michael Robinson and led the pack of would-be tacklers for the Eagles.
For two to three seconds, Lynch was lost in the pile of bodies, although the entire pack slowly moved forward. Lynch moved from the right to the left, looking for any sort of a hole to run through.
He was helped by a big block from Seattle tight end Zach Miller on Eagles’ defensive end Jason Babin. Seattle’s center Max Unger and right guard Paul McQuistan double teamed defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who was flattened to the ground before he had any real shot at getting Lynch. Seattle tackle Robert Gallery (340 pounds) knocked linebacker Brian Rolle (225 pounds) to the ground, tripping safety Nate Allen in the process. Seattle’s right tackle Breno Giacomini swallowed up linebacker Akeem Jordan, who had originally been blitzing on the play. And a final block was put on defensive end Trent Cole by left tackle Russell Okung.
Each Eagles player thought that someone else had a clear shot at Lynch, and they all relaxed. The Seattle offensive linemen, however, did not. After all, they had seen Lynch do some pretty incredible things before.
Not until the 10-yard line, after he and his linemen had pushed the pile a full five yards toward the goal line, did Lynch emerge, unscathed, to the astonishment of the entire Eagles’ defense.
Lynch broke a diving tackle attempt by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha at the one-yard line and entered the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.
And yes, then after the play, the beast sat on the sidelines and ate his mommy’s skittles, which led to a two-year supply of free skittles.
The play might stand as the worst play of the entire season by the Philadelphia Eagles, and that’s saying a lot because I saw 10 to 15 plays this season that I will have difficulty ever forgetting about.
So why is it just the 29th most memorable moment of the season?
Because it came in the first quarter of an eventual blowout victory. Some of the others, unfortunately, flat out cost the Eagles potential victories in the final minutes.