By Ed Benkin

By Ed Benkin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Last year, the Eagles were playing for pride.  This season, their December schedule has much greater implications.

After a 4-12 campaign in 2012, the 7-5 Eagles are in the thick of the playoff hunt in 2013.  They remain tied atop the NFC East with Dallas with four games remaining.  Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson is happy the Eagles are back in contention after watching other teams compete for playoff spots a year ago.

“We play this game to make it to Decembers and Januarys,” said Jackson.  “The past couple of years, it’s hard to not be in the playoffs and watch other guys continue to go out there and have the opportunity to make the playoffs.  I’m Just hoping we can get on a run and make it to the playoffs.”

The Eagles picked up a huge victory over Arizona last week and have another critical contest this Sunday against Detroit.  Offensive Lineman Todd Herremans says he and his teammates don’t get carried away after each win.

“That’s one of the good things about this team,” Herremans said.  “We come out of a game we won and we all should be happy, but we’re all sitting there wondering what we could have done better.   We’re all getting geared up for next week as soon as the game is over.”

It didn’t appear as if the Eagles would contend early in the season when they lost three of their first five games. However, a four-game winning streak has put the Eagles back into contention, and Quarterback Nick Foles says the work ethic of the team never changed even after a slow start.

“We didn’t start out great,” said Foles said.  “But every day, we came in here and worked for each other and worked for the city and worked for the people in this building.  That’s a special thing.”

The Eagles could still find themselves on the outside looking in when the season comes to an end, but for players like Jackson, the memories of a bitter December last year are being wiped away.

“I definitely know what it takes to get there,” Jackson said.  Hopefully, we can just make a push and do what we used to do, and that’s winning in the playoffs.”

The Lions will come to town with an identical 7-5 record.

(credit: Ed Benkin)

(credit: Ed Benkin)

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