Prior to their hard-fought 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, the Philadelphia Eagles had yet to beat an opponent with a winning record in 2013. Now that they've crossed that accomplishment off the list, is it finally safe to say the Birds are for real?
On Sunday, the Eagles hung in for four quarters with the Cardinals—a team that was ahead of them in the wild-card standings, featured a white-hot starting quarterback in Carson Palmer, and a defense that entered the contest ranked among the league's stingiest. It wasn't necessarily the prettiest win, but they all count the same at season's end.
The stakes had not been this high for the Eagles since 2010. That was the last time the franchise played a game in December or later with legitimate postseason implications. Less than a year after posting an abysmal 4-12 record, the team is suddenly vying for a division championship, and they are doing it in Chip Kelly's first season on the sidelines no less.
Who said anything about a rebuilding year?
With their solid play of late, the Eagles are saying nuts to that. They'd rather go ahead and establish themselves as contenders. With strong efforts like these, they're putting the rest of the league on notice.
How's that for a takeaway?