PHILADELPHIA -- Before we ramp up coverage of the Eagles' first-round playoff matchup with the New Orleans Saints, let's tie up some loose ends from the regular season that ended with Sunday's 24-22 victory over Dallas.
The offensive numbers were crazy. Chip Kelly's offense may look a little different from the one he ran at Oregon, and it certainly evolved as Nick Foles replaced Michael Vick and Kelly found new ways to maximize his players' talents, but the debate about if it works in the NFL is over.
It works really well. As in:
LeSean McCoy broke Eagles franchise records for rushing yards (1,607) and total yards from scrimmage (2,146). He led the NFL in both categories.
DeSean Jackson had career highs in receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,332). He fell short of Mike Quick's franchise record 1,409 yards, set in 1983. Jackson and McCoy were just the fifth running back/wide receiver teammates in NFL history to amass 1,600 rushing and 1,300 receiving yards in the same season.
Nick Foles led the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating, the third highest rating for a season in NFL history. His ratio of 27 touchdown passes to two interceptions was the best in NFL history.
The Eagles had 98 plays of 20 yards or more, the most since Elias started keeping track of the stat in 1995. They set franchise records for total yards, touchdowns and points scored.
Next year will be harder. The Eagles played a fourth-place schedule in 2013. They will play a first-place schedule next year.
Their home opponents: Dallas, Washington, the New York Giants, Seattle, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Carolina.
On the road: Dallas, Washington, the Giants, Arizona, San Francisco, Houston, Indianapolis and Green Bay.
They will play five teams in this year's playoffs. The first-place opponents -- Green Bay and Carolina -- are offset somewhat by the fact the Eagles are matched with the AFC South. They will play three or four games against teams with new head coaches next year, depending what happens in Tennessee.
Holding the line was important. Last year, the Eagles starting five linemen lost 48 of a possible 80 man-games to injury (depending how you count right guard Danny Watkins, who might simply have been demoted).
This year, the Eagles lost exactly zero of 80 starts along the offensive line. The same five players started every game. Left tackle Jason Peters missed a few plays in a couple of games, but otherwise, the line was completely healthy.
That was an underrated factor in the numbers amassed by Foles, McCoy, Jackson and the rest of the offense.