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If, And, But: The Philadelphia Eagles Will Be in the Playoffs in 2013

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2013 Philadelphia Eagles: Five Players to Keep an Eye On

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Michael Vick

If you are grading the Philadelphia Eagles 2012 season, you'd have to give it a D.

As in disaster; not dream (season) or dynasty.

And the Birds' showing not only put the team in last place in the NFC East it means the team won't have Andy Reid on the sidelines for the first time since 1998.

Enter Chip Kelly, late of the Oregon Ducks, and a new era in the City of Brotherly Love.

Which means the Philadelphia Eagles will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2010…

If: The team can cut back on the turnover fest of recent seasons. In 2012, the Eagles gave up the football 37 times, tied for the most in the league. But that follows a year in which they committed 38 turnovers, the second-worst mark in the NFL. Hence, the Eagles are a combined minus-38 in turnover differential the last two seasons. When the Birds won the NFC East in 2010, they were plus-9 in the same category.

And: Another new-look Philadelphia defense adjusts to coordinator Billy Davis and his 3-4 schemes. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox moves to right end and free agent nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga (49ers) takes over in the middle. Defensive end Trent Cole shifts to outside linebacker, pairing with newcomer Connor Barwin (Texans). And the Eagles' entire secondary got a facelift via free agency. Cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher (Rams) and Cary Williams (Ravens) are joined by safeties Patrick Chung (Patriots) and Kenny Phillips (Giants).

But: What version of the Kelly offense will we see in the NFL? It somewhat defies logic that his high volume attack would work in the pros but we are seeing all kinds of new things in the league these days. Still, is veteran Michael Vick the quarterback best suited to run this system or is second-year pro Nick Foles? And if Vick is the man, can the man stay healthy? And what role does Dennis Dixon play in the quarterbacking derby? The Eagles have plenty of star skill people with wideouts DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, tight end Brent Celek and running back LeSean McCoy. But will the quarterback spot stay intact?

So what do you think? Who can predict anything in a division which has seen all four teams capture the top spot the last four years? The Eagles aren't without talent, especially on the offensive side of the football. But that hasn't exactly been the problem as of late. Could a fresh face at the head coaching spot be enough to turn this team's fortunes around?

Russell S. Baxter has spent the last 40-plus years watching football. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country, can be heard on Yahoo! Sports Radio and many other networks and was blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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