By Harry Allison
Things can turn on a dime in the NFL.
Or on a nickel.
Or whichever defense Eagles’ defensive coordinator Billy Davis is playing in crunch time.
A couple of weeks ago, Chip Kelly’s team was 4-7 and had lost consecutive games to three less-than-stellar teams in Miami, Tampa Bay and Detroit. An opportunity to grasp control of the weak NFC East was slipping through their fingers.
What a difference two weeks can make.
The Eagles have rebounded — beating the New England Patriots in Foxborough and squeaking out a three-point win over the Buffalo Bills to push their record to 6-7 and put them on top of the division with three games to play.
The NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals visit Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night with a chance to wrap up their division and take a big step toward securing a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
DeMarco Murray, who signed a five-year, $40-million contract in free agency, began the season as the starter. He started eight of the first 10 games he played in and got the most carries in all 10 of those games.
Three years ago, Bruce Arians was the Mr. Irrelevant of that year’s NFL head-coaching hires. Eight teams, including the Eagles, fired and hired new coaches following the 2012 season. The last name off the board that year, the last guy hired, was Arians.
Back at nickel, the Eagles moved Malcolm Jenkins out of his role as the team’s nickel cornerback.
In those two games, the Eagles’ defense gave up 83 points in a five-day span.