NFL Philadelphia Eagles

Looking Ahead at the Final 5 Matchups for the Philadelphia Eagles

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Looking Ahead at the Final 5 Matchups for the Philadelphia Eagles

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have been a huge surprise in 2013. Most critics believed they would finish somewhere at the bottom of the NFC East. That was before any games were played. Now, the Eagles lead the division with five games to play and they have a real shot at advancing to the playoffs in Chip Kelly’s first year at the helm.

They boast one of the more explosive offenses in the league, highlighted by the NFL’s leading rusher, LeSean McCoy. The quarterback roller coaster seemed to be the big story after just a few weeks, but Nick Foles has really taken the reins and led the Eagles. He’s reached two milestones in his short time behind center, passing for seven touchdowns in a game and throwing 16 touchdown passes without an interception. Philadelphia has really looked to be the explosive team which many expected on offense entering the season, mostly because Foles has found a groove, since missing out on the Eagles first opportunity to capture the division lead, and spread the ball around making Philadelphia dangerous all over the field.

The defense has been the real surprise. They have been every bit the part of a supportive and timely group. Giving up no more than 21 points in their last seven games, the defense has made possible the run the Eagles are on, taking over the division lead and making themselves a viable option to be the NFC East representative in the playoffs.

In order to complete making themselves relevant again in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles must finish off the season and win a majority of their remaining games to insure their participation in the post season.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


Final Game Of Philadelphia Eagles' Season Will Be Huge

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#5 Week 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Returning from the bye week, the Philadelphia Eagles will square off against another surprising team of 2013, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals sit in second place behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. Arizona poses some problems for the defense in their number one receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. It is another winnable game for Philadelphia but getting pressure to the quarterback will be key to helping the secondary. The Cardinals stack up defensively as the second best run stop in the league which means LeSean McCoy will need to use every aspect of his game to help the Eagles gain a second straight victory at home. The success of Nick Foles will need to continue as well, protecting the football and taking advantage of a less than average Cardinal pass defense.

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#4 Week 14 vs. Detroit Lions

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Two home games in a row, the Eagles will face a premier pass catcher. However, the difference is that in facing the Detroit Lions, the Philadelphia secondary will be charged with handling the most explosive, dangerous and consistent receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson. Johnson will surely get his, no matter what the Eagles' plan is. But offensively, Philadelphia will need to turn out a stellar performance. Shady McCoy will again be challenged as the Detroit run defense ranks in the top five. As will be the story with much of the last five weeks, Nick Foles and his production and consistency at the quarterback position will be key to finding success and winning the game against the NFC North division leader.

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#3 Week 15 @ Minnesota Vikings

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The game to be most concerned with in the final five. Traveling to the Minnesota Vikings, the Eagles will be favorites. Handling the pressures of expectations and stepping up to meet the challenge will be the key to success. The game is concerning not because Minnesota poses great danger, but rather due to the fact that their record indicates they may be taken lightly. Philadelphia should be careful with this one to make sure they bring their best and take care of a more than winnable game on the road. The Eagles have been extraordinary this year on the road and making way toward a division title would mean picking up another needed victory on the road. The largest challenge ahead will be continuing to be solid against the run game and one of the NFL’s premier ball carriers in Adrian Peterson.

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#2 Week 16 vs. Chicago Bears

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting just alongside the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, the Chicago Bears pose another great challenge for the young and upcoming Philadelphia Eagles. The bigger challenge in this game will be the offense matching up with a perennial powerhouse on defense. Although the Bears are only a shadow of what they once were defensively, the Eagles have had their struggles at home and will need to overcome them to post another much needed win to set up the finale. Offensively, Chicago will be a question mark until it is determined who will play behind center. Overall, the game will be a huge confidence builder heading into the final week of the season if the Eagles can keep consistent and stay in the division race to the end.

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#1 Week 17 @ Dallas Cowboys

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What could be the perfect end to a pleasantly surprising regular season. No one expected the Eagles to be at this point, so being able to match up with the division rival, Dallas Cowboys, for the NFC East title would be huge. Although it would be an away game, it wouldn’t mean as much based on Philadelphia’s success on the road and the Cowboy’s history of implosion. The stakes will be high and there is no better game to look forward to if both teams are still in it until the end. The Eagles dropped a heart-breaker earlier in the season when they had their first chance at the division lead, but Nick Foles has been a different quarterback since and if his consistent play continues into the final weeks of the season, Dallas may be dealing with a highly confident all-league performer as opposed to the scattered player they met back in Week 7.