Philadelphia Eagles: On the rise

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles are frightening heading into the first round of the NFL playoffs. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 10-6 record, winning 7 out of their last 8 games.

After defeating the Dallas Cowboys in a “win or go home game”, the Eagles are preparing to face Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints’ high-powered offense this Saturday.

Prior to the start of the 2013-2014 NFL season, many people questioned whether or not Chip Kelly’s style of offense could translate into a successful NFL offense. Kelly took over for Andy Reid, who had coached the Eagles for 14 years and instilled his philosophy throughout the locker room.  Kelly was not filling in for any average Joe. Reid was a staple in Philadelphia.

The naysayer’s critiques surrounding Kelly rang true early on in the season, as the Eagles found themselves sitting at a 1-3 record with questions surrounding Philly’s quarterback position. Michael Vick had once again gotten hurt, Nick Foles had yet to gain the trust from fans, teammates, and coaches, and struggles on the defensive side of the ball seemed to have carried over from last season.

However, fast-forward to January and the Eagles are the hottest team in football. The offense caught its stride midway through the season. They capped off the season ranked in the top 10 in points per game, passing yards per game, rushing yards per game, and total yards per game.

Nick Foles has solidified himself as the Eagle’s starting quarterback of the future, Chip Kelly’s offense has proven to be effective if run properly, with the right assortment of players, and LeSean McCoy finished the regular season as the league’s leading rusher.

The road to MetLife Stadium won’t be easy. Although Saturday’s game will be played on the Eagle’s home turf, the Saints are an experienced team who are now capable of beating opponents on both sides of the ball.

Additionally, Aaron Rodger’s return to the Green Bay Packers makes them all the more dangerous. The Carolina Panthers’ defensive unit has propelled them to their first playoff appearance since 2008. The San Francisco 49ers are hungry for Super Bowl revenge and Seattle has the most dominating home field advantage in football, which they will be afforded throughout the playoffs after capturing the number one seed in the NFC.

Nonetheless, Philly natives love their Eagles and have been patiently waiting for the Eagles to return to glory after falling short of being Super Bowl champions in 2005, to the Tom Brady led Patriots, during their dynasty run.

Eagles fans have endured the signing of expensive free agents who never panned out during their time wearing Eagles green, such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and even Michael Vick. Now, the Eagles are on the rise and are showing nothing but promise.

While simply clinching a playoff birth is not enough to satisfy the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, it is encouraging to catch a glimpse of what the future holds for this Philadelphia Eagles team. With the same roster in check and Chip Kelly at the helm, the Eagles are gearing up to be championship contenders for years to come.