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NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Most Important Players For Philadelphia Eagles To Win NFC East

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5 Most Important Players For Eagles to Win NFC East

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In a season that was meant to be a rebuilding year, the Philadelphia Eagles have put themselves on a clear path to win the NFC East and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The introduction of Chip Kelly to the NFL has had everything to do with the resurgence which Philadelphia has put together, after a dreadful end to the Andy Reid era.

Although never taking a snap, blocking a rusher or catching a pass himself, Kelly has become as important to the Eagles’ success as any player between the lines. His mentality, ability to innovate and uncanny style has turned Philadelphia games into must-watch drama each week. His implementation of a science-based training regiment and uptempo offense have really changed the face of football in the City of Brotherly Love. The Kelly method breeds excitement.

Now, in his first season at the helm, Kelly has the Eagles in a perfect position to achieve something few would have believed when he took over the team: a division title. His clear message of taking the season one game at a time and playing each game like a one-week playoff has created a sense of urgency among a young group of players looking for success. They have met each challenge thrown their way and looked forward to the next.

The Eagles and Kelly must now look to a select few to stand out and lead the way to bringing the NFC East division title back to Philadelphia. If the experienced stars of his football team can step up and produce in the spotlight, they’ll be well on their way to a playoff appearance. Once they’ve achieved that, there’s no telling just what they can do.

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

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5. DeSean Jackson

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Having the best year of his career, the new offense in Philadelphia really suits the speed and play of DeSean Jackson. He has reached career-bests in both receptions and receiving yards, and should surpass his highest touchdown total in the coming weeks. His high-energy and big play ability makes him a dangerous option on any play, but Chip Kelly has made him work from the beginning to learn the new system, while also finding new ways to get Jackson the ball. With two fairly weak defenses left on the schedule, look for Jackson to add to his already stout totals and help the Eagles along to a playoff berth.

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4. Connor Barwin

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The most consistent performer on an underrated Eagles’ defense, Connor Barwin has all the intangibles that help make a defense great. Compiling five sacks while still managing to be a run-stopper, Barwin has really produced what Philadelphia expected when they signed him. He has helped solidify the linebacker position and provide the experience which the Eagles lacked. His ability to disrupt the offensive rhythm through both his rush and pass-deflecting defense make him an integral part of bringing a division title to Philadelphia. Look for him to find ways to disturb any consistency the opposition's offense may be developing and assist the defensive unit in keeping the damage to a minimum.

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3. Cary Williams

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The most experienced player in the secondary, Cary Williams has drawn the toughest coverage assignment of the opposition on most weeks. He has had his ups and downs throughout the season, but will need to produce his best in the final weeks for the Eagles to reach their division crown hopes. Williams has compiled three interceptions during the 2013 campaign, but adding to that total in the final weeks will surely help the Philadelphia defense to regain some of the confidence and production that they had shown for much of the season. Shutting down top receivers in Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant in each of the final weeks will be necessary for the Eagles to have success.

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2. Nick Foles

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Stepping into the starting quarterback role, Nick Foles has taken the NFL by storm. He has quickly placed himself among the elite names in the league with his touchdown-to-interception ratio, his completion percentage and his ability to protect the football through sound decision-making. Foles has quickly led the Philadelphia Eagles back to prominence. His ability to handle the pressure, stay grounded and expect the best from himself has seemed to have a large effect on the rest of the team. If the Eagles are to make the playoffs, Foles will be the man leading the charge. His ability to keep the tempo high and defenses honest by spreading the ball around will be a key to the Eagles’ success, but it will be more of the usual for Foles.

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1. LeSean McCoy

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The brightest of stars in Philadelphia, LeSean McCoy has quickly become one of the most exciting and dangerous players in football. He always had the ability to make plays, but being the spearhead in Chip Kelly’s offense has really brought out the best in him. McCoy has led the league in rushing for the better part of the year, breaking the single-game franchise mark along the way and is heading toward the highest season total on the ground in Eagles history. In order for the Eagles to complete their return to relevance, gaining the NFC East crown, Shady will have to lead the way both running the ball and helping second-year quarterback Nick Foles as an aerial option as well. He possesses the ability to take over a game at any time, which would go a long way to shoring up the Eagles' chances.