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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Reasons They Are Playoff Contenders In 2013

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5 Reasons Why The Philadelphia Eagles Are Playoff Contenders In 2013

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles now sit at 6-5 and alone in first place in the NFC East. They are going into their bye week in a good spot and will play some meaningful games down the stretch in December.

That's certainly a refreshing change considering the product Eagles fans have witnessed the past few years. Head coach Chip Kelly is to thank for that. He has each and every player in that locker room buying into his concepts. Both veteran and young players alike are willing to run through a brick wall for their head coach, and that goes a long way in the sport of football.

This wasn't a group that was supposed to contend in year one of Kelly's regime. Kelly didn't have all of his players yet to fit his system. It was supposed to take a year or two of drafting "Kelly" type of guys to really build this into a contender.

Kelly doesn't think that way. He is obsessed with winning in the present moment. Especially in a division, the NFC East, in which no squad has come to the surface as a legitimate team.

The Eagles have some big games coming up against teams with winning records. They also play three of their next four at home. The playoffs look like a real possibility if the Eagles take care of business at Lincoln Financial Field.

Kelly and the players will get some much needed rest before gearing up for the final quarter of their schedule. Let's take a look at 5 reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles are playoff contenders in 2013.

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5. Chip Kelly

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

What can you say about Chip Kelly? He has done a phenomenal job in his first year as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He is getting his players to buy in, and his offensive concepts are simply working wonders as the Eagles are ranked in the top 10 in yards and points. Kelly is a major contender for Coach of the Year.

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4. Nick Foles' Improved Play

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Foles' development in his second year may be the biggest reason for the Eagles' turnaround. He is playing lights out football right now. He isn't making mistakes, and his decision making and accuracy have the Eagles offense moving the football down the field and scoring points. Foles' ascension goes hand in hand with the Eagles' improvement.

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3. Play Makers Are Shining

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Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles' top play makers are simply shining in Chip Kelly's wide open, up-tempo attack. LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are both having career years in this offense which is a major reason for the offense's success as a whole.

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2. Improved Defensive Unit

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John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles' defense is balling right now. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis has his players flying to the football and playing with high effort and intensity. They may not be the most talented group, but they are simply getting the job done.

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1. Revamped Offensive Line

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line has been excellent. A major reason for the turn around? Rookie Lane Johnson. Besides the return of Jason Peters from injury Johnson has been the biggest difference among this group. Last year the Eagles went through right tackles seemingly every week. They now have stability at right tackle, and that has made all the difference in the world. This front five is turning into a dominating unit.