It was a day the Eagles were hoping wouldn’t come for another month.
Chip Kelly spoke about the disappointment of the Eagles’ 26-24 NFC wildcard loss to the Saints, the progress the team made from last year, and the lessons he learned in his first season as a head coach in the NFL during his postmortem of the 2013 season.
A season of transition brought a new coach with a breath of fresh air and a new identity as a team. There were adjustments along the way as Chip Kelly adjusted to life as an NFL coach after serving an entire career at the college level, but his players bought in to the mentality Kelly introduced to them and fought their way to an NFC East division title few saw coming before the season started.
At times, it seemed like the Eagles were a team of destiny. A lucky bounce here and there, a convenient injury to an opponent, the top rated passer in the NFL, and the leading rusher.
If the Eagles going from worst to first under rookie coach Chip Kelly was the biggest surprise, Foles’ emergence had to be second on that list.
I’ve always said, I’d rather my team lose a big game in a blow out than lose at the buzzer, or in the final seconds. Final second losses sting the most because all you can think about afterwards is, “what if this”, “what if that.” You replay those moments over and over again.
Even though the loss to the Saints was disappointing, the Eagles season was full of surprises.
The Eagles play their first playoff game in three years tonight, hosting the New Orleans Saints. Fans say they’re ready to bring the heat to frigid Lincoln Financial Field.
Timing can be everything in football. Especially when it comes to a precise, rhythmic offense like the New Orleans Saints.
The Eagles finished the season 10-6 as NFC East Champions and hosts of a wild-card playoff game Saturday night against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, accomplishing more than anyone could have dreamed of in Chip Kelly’s first season as head coach.
There will be a game within a game at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night, when the Eagles host the New Orleans Saints in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
Call it playing with house money, call it anything you would like, the Eagles have every right to call 2013 a very successful season no matter what happens 8 p.m. Saturday night.
Crunching the numbers, some glaring differences emerge from the debacle under Andy Reid in 2012 to the transformation the Eagles have taken under Kelly.
Halfway into the season, Eagles were sitting at 3-5 and appeared dead in the water. Kelly saw this team pull together even tighter.
Chip Kelly couldn’t have been more clear, the day after the Eagles beat the Cowboys to win the NFC East.