It was an awesome environment for the Wild Card playoff game. Eagles fans welcomed the return to the postseason, and the energy level at Lincoln Financial Field was unleashed in a euphoric manner.
We've waited so long to get to this point, and now it's only days away: At a revitalized Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, the Eagles host Jacksonville and more than 69,000 hungry fans will devour every morsel of the afternoon.
"It's going to be a great atmosphere, probably the best of the year," said cornerback
The Eagles reversed the tables last season at FedEx Field, rolling the Redskins 33-27 in a game that wasn't nearly that close. Early dominance silenced the Redskins faithful and the Eagles opened the season the right way.
It was a game that, in the big picture, helped define a season. Under first-year NFL head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles went out and proved that everything he preached to them from the time he took over the job came true.
"Last year we came out and we played really well against the Redskins. It definitely made us think that maybe we've got something special here," said wide receiver
"Maybe it allowed everyone to, I don't know how to say it, but maybe everyone bought in just a little bit more or believed just a little bit more. We won that game and had some ups and downs after that, but pulled it all together in the second half of the season."
Sunday marks the fifth time the Eagles open their season at Lincoln Financial Field. They are 2-2, with the highs of beating the New York Giants in 2004 -- the Terrell Owens debut, and a high-flying performance from a team on the road to the Super Bowl -- and smashing St. Louis in 2008 when three wide receivers eclipsed the 100-yard mark in yards in a 38-3 victory -- and the lows of the loss in 2003 in the stadium-opening defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay and the franchise-changing game in 2010 when Green Bay KO'd quarterback Kevin Kolb, who gave way to Michael Vick at the position.
Both times the Eagles won at Lincoln Financial Field to open the season the team went to the NFC Championship Game, so there's that positive omen to consider.
"It's going to be a lot of fun, a great atmosphere," said linebacker
"It's our first home game and all of the fans are super excited, but I just want to go out there and fire on all cylinders and have everyone on the same page," said Cooper. "We want to play well and build off of that."
Good plan. Play well. Win the opener, and have a city -- and the fans around the world -- explode as the much-anticipated season gets off on the right foot for everyone.