And the Award for the 2010 NFL Game of the Year Goes to...

And the Award for the 2010 NFL Game of the Year Goes to...

Quick, without thinking about your answer, what was your favorite Eagles game last season?

As long as you stayed until the end or didn't change the channel, you probably answered The Miracle at the New Meadowlands. Down 21 with little more than eight minutes to play, Michael Vick engineered perhaps the most incredible comeback in Birds history, capped by DeSean Jackson's 65-yard punt return touchdown as time expired. It was exciting, it was unbelievable... and now it's the NFL's game of the year.

With nothing much better to do these days while everybody waits for the the owners and players to get their heads out of their asses--and a bit of good news on that front, as the framework for a new CBA could arrive within two weeks--NFL.com's Elliot Harrison has been ranking the top 20 most memorable games of 2010, and we've arrived at number one.

The "Miracle at New Meadowlands" featured a 21-point comeback, some superhuman Vick runs in a fight for the NFC East title and maybe the most memorable punt return in NFL history.

When deciding which game would ultimately be ranked as the top overall, I couldn't ignore the one glaring fact this Eagles-Giants game carried that the others didn't: Everyone remembers this game, and will for years to come.

It's difficult to argue with his rationale. Nobody is going to forget this finish any time soon, least of all Eagles fans. And looking back on it now, this was undoubtedly the high point of last season, a moment that brought a divided fanbase together, at least for one week.

As the season's best game though, I think it leaves a little something to be desired actually. It wasn't the best four quarters per se, just the best eight minutes, and that's something else entirely.

The Eagles somehow pulling out a W masked just how miserable the rest of the day was. Vick looked terrible most of the afternoon, and the defense couldn't cover anything that moved. By the time the third quarter rolled around, I had set out to work on a scathing recap of some of the worst football we had witnessed all season up to that point. It wasn't until Riley Cooper recovered a surprise onside kick could we really start entertaining the notion of a comeback.

To put it another way, I wouldn't want to sit down and watch the entire thing over again.

It was certainly memorable though, and it's always fun to poke fun at the Giants, who have now dropped six consecutive meetings against the Eagles. Check out Harrison's breakdown of the action below, complete with video.

>> No. 1: Doesn't get better than 'Miracle at New Meadowlands' [NFL.com]

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz’s prep is ‘Peyton Manning-ish’

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz’s prep is ‘Peyton Manning-ish’

At 8 a.m. on Sunday, eight and a half hours before game time, Jordan Matthews was in the team hotel, going to get breakfast when he ran into Carson Wentz.

But the 23-year-old quarterback wasn’t interested in food at that particular time. He was going to watch film.

“Everybody thinks that’s like a crazy thing,” Matthews said on Sunday night. “That’s his standard.”

This is just the latest example of Wentz’s obsession with football and film study. Since the No. 2 overall pick arrived in Philadelphia, and especially since he was named the Week 1 starter, we’ve been regaled with stories of his preparation and drive. The anecdotes of Wentz’s arrival before the sun to watch film have flowed.

“It’s Peyton Manning-ish,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday, as the team heads into its bye week with a 3-0 record.

“And you hate to label, you don’t want to put labels on guys. But that’s how Peyton prepared and that’s how these top quarterbacks prepare each week. And he has that now as a young quarterback and that will just carry him throughout his career.”

When asked if Wentz’s film study habits reach obsessive levels, Pederson said that notion was “accurate.”

“He loves watching tape,” Pederson said. “I know I’ve mentioned he and the quarterbacks, Chase [Daniel], are in here at 5:30 in the morning and they’re exhausting the tape. He’s constantly, I hear him in the building talking about plays and routes and protections.”

Aside from Wentz’s just putting in the time during film study, his unique ability to recall plays quickly has given him a huge advantage during his first three games.

When asked if Wentz’s memory is photographic, Pederson said he thinks it is.

In between series, Wentz and the coaching staff are able to go over plays on their Surface tablets. They go over plays and then when he’s on the field, he recognizes a defensive front or coverage and can get the offense in a different play.

Through three games, Wentz’s preparation and memory have helped the Eagles get off to a quick 3-0 start.

“He’s a different player that way,” Pederson said. “He’s much like our last quarterback, Alex Smith, in Kansas City. It’s the same type of memory. For a young kid to do that, it’s pretty special.”

Flyers returning from World Cup enjoyed playoff-like atmosphere

Flyers returning from World Cup enjoyed playoff-like atmosphere

VOORHEES, N.J. – It’s as if the season began right where it left off for the handful of Flyers players that participated in the World Cup of Hockey. 

Five months removed from their first round series with Washington, the group that played in the international tournament says it was nearly identical to the tempo they saw in the NHL playoffs.

“Our division was really tight so right from the get-go you couldn’t afford to lose a game,” said Sean Couturier, who suited up for North America. “It definitely felt like playoffs, and it definitely didn’t feel like September.”

Couturier was joined by his World Cup teammate Shayne Gostisbehere, along with Team Czech Republic’s Jake Voracek and Michael Neuvirth, in their return to Voorhees for their first practice with the Flyers on Monday. Team Canada’s Claude Giroux and the Team Europe duo of Mark Streit and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will be competing in the finals this week.

While it may have been an early exit for the first wave of Flyers who reported back, the experience of playing in a tournament with that high of intensity has left them more confident than they’ve ever felt at this time of the year, particularly for Gostisbehere. 

The Calder Trophy runner-up underwent offseason hip surgery following his 46-point season. Having missed a season two years ago because of a torn ACL, Gostisbehere is thankful for how much the World Cup prepared him for his second year. He says he feels better now than he ever has in his career after picking up four assists in the tournament.

“You don’t play in those games in September normally so it was pretty cool to do,” Gostisbehere said. “I think the tournament was a good stepping stone for me and to branch off my injury and give yourself the confidence that you’re feeling good for the year.”

Like Couturier and Gostisbehere, Voracek said the World Cup gameplay mirrored that of the NHL postseason. 

“When I look at the season for the Flyers, it was the best thing that could have happened for me,” Voracek said. “The World Cup was high level… I’m six games in before training camp even starts.”

After what he calls a “good offseason” of training, Voracek saw this opportunity as almost a saving grace – a chance to regain form before embarking on his sixth season in Philadelphia. The winger had one goal and one assist in three games that “felt like I was playing in the playoffs.”

Had this tournament occurred in 2015, the mindset coming back may have been different. Dave Hakstol was coaching his first professional season and as evidenced by their record to start the year and the comments made throughout, things took a little longer than expected when it came to picking up the new coach’s system.

That process is behind the Flyers, and it makes missing the first weekend of camp and possibly the first week of preseason games an easier obstacle to overcome.

“It’s always better when you know the system and what Hak wants in you,” Voracek said. “It’s obviously going to get better and better.”

The best-of-three World Cup finals will begin on Tuesday with the third game (if needed) commencing on Saturday. If the teams go the full distance, the remaining three Flyers involved would likely not play their first preseason game until October 6 if not October 8, the final exhibition game.