NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Players Who Mean the Most to a Philadelphia Eagles Playoff Run

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5 Players Who Mean the Most to a Philadelphia Eagles Playoff Run

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have experienced a major turnaround in Chip Kelly's first season as head coach. They have doubled their win total in his first season and are playing a much more sound and disciplined brand of football.

Kelly is a major factor in this turnaround, but the improvement in some key players is also a major factor. Is this team capable of a playoff run? It is certainly possible. Besides last week's disaster, the defense has been sound the last two months playing inspired and hungry football. Before Sunday, they had held their last nine opponents to under 21 points, a league best mark.

Kelly's offense has also proven to translate to the next level. As we have seen over the years just get in the dance and anything is possible. Teams like the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens have run the table as lower seeds.

It just proves that as long as you get hot in December, and ultimately January, anything is possible. The Eagles are certainly hot. Before Sunday's loss, they were riding a league best five-game winning streak and looked impressive in the process.

It may have been good that the Eagles got a loss out of the way now. It seemed as if they were getting far too complacent. Veteran cornerback Cary Williams even admitted they thought they could waltz into Minnesota and the Vikings would just lay down. The Eagles were taught an important lesson that no pro team is going to give games away.

Regardless, the Eagles control their own destiny the rest of the way. Let's take a look at five players who mean the most to a Philadelphia Eagles playoff run.

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Nick Foles

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Nick Foles' ascension has been a major factor in the Philadelphia Eagles' success this season. He has been lights out since he took over for Michael Vick as the starter. If they want a lengthy playoff run, he will have to keep up his high level of play.

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LeSean McCoy

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy is turning into one of the league's elite backs. His change of direction and rare speed are a devastating combination for opposing defenses. If the Eagles running game continues to be as devastating as it has been, the Eagles can go far in January.

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DeSean Jackson

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DeSean Jackson has had a banner year. He is 135 yards away from setting the franchise record for receiving yards. Jackson is the main downfield weapon for the Eagles' offense. He needs to continue to threaten defenses deep both to open up the running game and keep defenses honest, and help the Eagles' passing offense flourish. Jackson will need to continue to come up big for the Eagles to flourish in December and January.

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Jason Peters

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Jason Peters is responsible for Nick Foles' blindside. Needless to say, he will need to play like an elite left tackle for this offense to continue to put up yards and points. Peters' value cannot be measured. Foles will need protection for Kelly's attack to function properly as the games get more crucial.

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Trent Cole

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Trent Cole has really started to come on. He has five sacks in his last six games and is starting to become an explosive weapon off the edge. Cole will need to continue to thrive in this 3-4 attack if this defense, with a relatively weak secondary, wants to succeed. Cole is the X-factor in the Eagles succeeding both for the duration of the regular season and the looming postseason.