The Philadelphia Eagles should be one of the leading contenders for the Super Bowl this season. There are five games in particular that will be fascinating to watch. Things probably won't get interesting until Week 11. So here are my picks for the 5 Most Fascinating Games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.
Week 2 (Sunday, 9/18) - Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
This game is less about the capabilities of the Falcons than it is about the return of Michael Vick to his former team. Atlanta is where it all started (and temporarily ended) for Vick. Atlanta is where we learned who Vick was as a running quarterback. It will be interesting to see how Atlanta receives Michael and how he performs mentally in this NFC South city. Philadelphia should dominate over a team that lost in Week 1 to the Chicago Bears 30-12.
Week 11 (Sunday, Nov 20) - Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
The Eagles return to the scene where the Giant's Coach Tom Coughlin blew a gasket on December 19, 2010. The collapse of the New York team can only be described as epic. It was all capped off by Desean Jackson's unbelievable punt return with no time on the clock in the fourth quarter. You can see the video here. The intriguing thing about this game can only be stated in one word: Revenge. Will the Giant's come with their "A" game and turn the lemons from last season into lemonade for their hometown fans? After the embarrassing 28-14 loss to the Washington Redskins...I doubt it. Chances are better for a repeat performance by a Jackson return - unless Coach Coughlin can convince his punter to avoid a line drive directly to him.
Week 12 (Sunday, Nov 27) - New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
Tom Brady sets the stage for what could be a preview of a post-season showdown. This will be the ultimate test of the Eagle defense against the Patriot passing game featuring Wes Welker. The other questions surround the effectiveness of Philadelphia's running game and Michael Vick's prowess against a huge New England defensive line. This one is up in the air but the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field should be able to help carry their team to a win.
Week 15 (Sunday, Dec 18) - New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
Rex Ryan comes to the "city of brotherly love" but there probably won't be much for the son of one of a legendary defensive genius. Oh yeah, Mark Sanchez will be there too. New York proved itself somewhat against a weak Tony Romo offense in defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. The Jets are a fairly good team and it should be a tough challenge for the Philadelphia defense against the likes of wide receiver Plaxico Burress and Dustin Keller. But the real challenge will be with the Vick/McCoy/Jackson offense against Ryan's supposed dominant defense. Anytime a New York team comes to the Eagle's home turf it is bound to be an interesting day. In the end, Mark Sanchez will not be able to carry his offense to victory.
Week 16 (Sunday, Dec 24) - Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
What better way to celebrate Christmas Eve than a trip to Texas against America's Team? Dallas doesn't appear to have a particularly good team this year but there is one interesting factor. Even though the Cowboys probably won't be in contention, this will be a game watched by a large audience and they will have something to prove on this holiday event. Jerry Jones will make his team see it that way, guaranteed. The Eagles may actually need this win if they are in contention with their NFC rivalry - The Washington Redskins. Regardless, anytime Philly has a chance to beat up on Dallas, it's entertainment worth watching.
Honorable Mention - In Week 10 former backup QB Kevin Kolb returns to the town that formerly didn't think he was good enough to start over Vick. The Washington Redskins come to Philadelphia for Week 17, New Year's Day. The division race should be over by then but there may be a wildcard spot in contention.