It's a brand spanking new season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
With four games to go (and two of them against division foes the Redskins and Giants), the Eagles are mired in a four-way tie for the futility that is the NFC East lead.
If the Eagles win out, they win the division. If they win against the Redskins and Giants in Week's 16 and 17, they probably win the division too. Sunday's game against the Bills, (the Eagles are 7-1 against their last 8 AFC opponents) has no tie-breaker value, but is 25 percent of their remaining schedule.
At home again at the Linc, Philly welcomes Rex Ryan's ferociouslyblitzing defense, a potent offense led by former Bird LeSean McCoy, and yet another mobile quarterback to fend off in Tyrod Taylor.
Here's what we'll be watching for in Sunday's Week 14 battle.
The return of the king
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Shady McCoy is the Eagles all-time leading rusher and was shipped to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso this spring in a move that surprised everyone.
"I was shocked, surprised," running back Kenjon Barner said recalling his learning of the trade."A guy like that doesn't come around that often."
McCoy will certainly be at his best Sunday, and looking to tear through a run-defense that he not only knows very well, but one that has allowed 124.7 yards per game, 27thof 32 defensive units in the NFL.
McCoy, after an injury-riddled slow start has 792 yards on the year.
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The Eagles scored three non-offensive touchdowns last week, continuing a trend that exploded last season.
In the history of the franchise, the Eagles have scored 11 touchdowns via blocked punt returns. Four of those have come in the last two seasons (with one of course coming against the Patriots last week).
The Eagles also havethree pick sixes this year. These contributions helpto alleviate the pressure on the offense to stay on the field, and on the defense to keep opponents from scoring. It's a tall order, but if the Eagles can expand their turnover differential (23 takeaways and 22 giveaways) it will certainly play a role in leading them to victory.
Playoffs start now
The Eagles need to essentially play as if the playoffs start this week.
Though the team is tied for first, they are tied with two teams for the division lead, and boast a sub-par 5-7 record.
"If somebody told me we would be in first place I'd believe them," Malcolm Jenkins said, going on to note that no one expected two games below .500 would be enough to top a division. "We've had about five second chances. I think at this point, with four games left in the season, being in December at the end of the day, however we got here we are right where we want to be. ...This is that month where good teams separate themselves."