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Women's World: Plenty To Be Thankful For

Posted Nov 28, 2013

Welcome to Women's World. Brandyn Campbell is the founder, editor and writer of the Philly Sports Muse. Every Thursday, Campbell will offer a unique perspective as she shares her passion for the Eagles ...

The 2013 holiday season has officially begun. For most of us, today will be filled with family, friends, football and delicious food. It is a day to reflect on all in our lives for which we are thankful. Each person’s “thankful for” list may range from the serious — health, shelter and sustenance, perhaps — to a few not-so-serious items that are still important to our overall happiness. They make us smile.

While there is no Eagles football on this Thanksgiving Day, it's a great time to stop and reflect upon what we are thankful for with the team this year. Even without knowing how 2013 will go down in the annals of Eagles history, there is plenty for which we can stop and give thanks.

This season has shown us the excitement that comes with a new era. The start of every season is an adventure into the unknown for any organization, whether you won the Super Bowl or had the worst record in the league the previous year. But there is a huge element of surprise when several major features of a team, like its coaching staff, schemes and personnel are new and untested. It turns the season largely into a guessing game, to see if you can begin to understand the new regime’s thinking and actions on the field.

Most Eagles fans entered this season with few expectations due to the multitude of unknowns. But it’s been rather exhilarating watching the season unfold and gaining more of an understanding of what Chip Kelly and his coaching staff aim to accomplish on the field every Sunday. It’s been a while since we’ve had to get used to this sort of adjustment. Regardless of how the team finishes, this new era of Eagles football has added a level of intrigue that has already made this one of the more fun seasons in recent memory.

In addition to the excitement that Chip Kelly has brought to Philadelphia, there is also the matter of quarterbacks for which we should be thankful. Take a look around the NFL. When a team’s starting quarterback gets injured, you can expect a dramatic drop off in the team’s performance.

Not so with the Eagles.

We have had the great fortune of having Nick Foles, now officially the starter, step front and center and seize the day in the wake of Michael Vick’s hamstring injury. The situation has allowed Foles to stun us all with his performance thus far. Who among us would have had the gall to imagine that Foles would be tying records with the likes of Peyton Manning and setting his own with his quarterback rating in the month of November? Foles’ incredible string of performances have added to this season’s intrigue in that we realize that we may be watching yet another new era of Eagles football unfold.

Another aspect of Eagles football to appreciate this season is the defense.

The numbers may not show it — the Eagles are currently 31st in the NFL in total defense, ahead of only the Dallas Cowboys. However, we have slowly, but surely, witnessed the strengthening of this team’s 'D.' They’re doing their part with a combination of youth, talent, energy and passion. When Bill Davis asked us for patience at the beginning of the season, we were skeptical. But lo and behold, we have seen something surprising unfold.

Suddenly, it was the defense keeping Philadelphia in games rather than the offense. Since Week 4, the Eagles defense has held opponents to just 17.4 points per game. We have had the pleasure of witnessing a young squad filled with draft picks who are hungry to make plays like Mychal Kendricks, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Boykin and the sensational play of former rookie free agent Cedric Thornton. Their enthusiasm, along with the veteran talent of players like DeMeco Ryans and Connor Barwin, has been impressive to watch. What’s more, not only do we get to see how the progress continues through the end of the season, we get to watch this young group grow together over the next few seasons. That’s something to get excited about.

What are you thankful for this holiday season, Eagles fans? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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