This time last year, the Philadelphia Eagles were wrapping up a pathetic 4-12 campaign that it was widely believed would usher in a lengthy rebuilding process. One season later, the Birds are knocking off the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 in Arlington, Texas to be crowned NFC East champions.
The new era of Eagles football is well underway with head coach Chip Kelly, who took the club from worst to first in his first season on the sideline. With a 10-6 record and winners of seven of its last eight, Philadelphia is back in the playoffs for the first time in three years—no rebuilding necessary.
Under Kelly, the Eagles finished 2013 with the NFL’s second-ranked offense, while the defense held 13 of 16 opponents to 22 points or less, giving the team a chance to win every week. You couldn’t have asked for much more than that.
Beating Dallas for the division title was the cherry on top. After the hard-fought road victory, Kelly took to the podium and talked to reporters about what an amazing journey this has season has been for the franchise. Via Dan Klausner for PhiladelphiaEagles.com:
I told those guys the first time I met them that I thought this is a special group,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “I can’t tell you how much they’ve made this transition for me coming from college to the pros. It’s those guys. Everything we asked them to do as a staff, from the first day we got there on April 1 until tonight, they bought in. It’s an awesome feeling when you can work as hard as they’ve worked and see it pay off.
The Eagles will quickly turn their attention to their upcoming playoff opponent, the New Orleans Saints. This was a game that’s truly worth reliving though, so let’s experience the highs and lows and the highs again in this week’s edition of Takeaways.