The Eagles opened the 2010 season with a tribute to their 1960 championship team. They had a new quarterback, a new era, and classic kelly green throwback uniforms. With old Eagles heroes watching, they endured one of the most disastrous halves of football imaginable. The Kevin Kolb era ended in less than two quarters, when the new face of the franchise was driven into the turf. Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley each suffered concussions, but they were allowed to temporarily return to the game. Stalwart center Jamaal Jackson tore his triceps, ending his season in what might end up being his last start at the Linc, and popular fullback Leonard Weaver suffered a gruesome knee injury, ending his career. It doesn't get much worse than that.
McNabb's revenge. The Eagles won their next two games on the road, so maybe the curse didn't fall until they welcomed back Donovan McNabb. His new Redskins team knocked out one of his heirs (Michael Vick) and shut down the other (Kolb), and McNabb ran for a critical late first down. He hasn't had many great moments since leaving the Eagles, but McNabb won in what might have been his last start in Philly.
The spell of Joe Webb. Webb might be remembered longer here than in Minnesota. The third-string quarterback, then a rookie from Alabama-Birmingham, started against the Eagles after a snowstorm pushed a Sunday game to a Tuesday, one of the few nights in America considered unfit for football. Leading a Vikings team playing out the string and stuck on the road for two extra days, Webb for one night was better than Vick. The loss cost the Eagles a shot at the NFC's second seed and began a drastic decline that carried into 2011.
Akers karma. Much of the blame for last season's wild-card loss fell on longtime kicker David Akers, who missed two field goals in a five-point home defeat. Coach Andy Reid uncharacteristically singled out those misses, even though Akers was dealing with a medical crisis involving his young daughter. Maybe that bad karma remained. When Akers and his new team, the 49ers, came to town in October, the Eagles' new kicker missed two field goals and San Francisco rallied from a 20-point deficit. Akers booted the winning extra point.
The curse of Kolb. Another ex-Eagle got revenge a few weeks later. Kolb wasn't on the field to face his old team, but perhaps he packed a voodoo doll ready for just the right moment. How else to explain how Cardinals backup quarterback John Skelton twice drove more than 80 yards to overcome two fourth-quarter deficits?
Add it all up and you get a team that has played so badly that in its last home game - an ugly blowout to the Patriots - fans struck up a "Fire Andy!" chant.
The Eagles have two more tries at home to break the hex. Maybe before trying his first pass Sunday, Vick should first toss some salt over his shoulder.