Following a one-season absence, the Eagles are headed back to the NFL playoffs.

The Eagles clinched a playoff berth Sunday after they defeated Washington, 20-16, at FedEx Field and then saw the 49ers win and the Vikings lose.

First-year coach Nick Sirianni has directed a significant turnaround, becoming just the fourth rookie head coach in league history to produce a winning season after starting 2-5 or worse though the first seven games.

“When you’re 2-5 and you look at how you might get to 9-7, that looks really tall,” Sirianni said Sunday before the Eagles learned they would clinch. “That mountain looks really tall to climb. But when you focus on one day, one meeting, one walk-through, one practice at a time — it becomes way more manageable. That’s what we’ve tried to do. I’m pleased of the situation we’re in right now. I’m pleased with the way we responded in today’s game.

“I’m just thankful for the guys on this team who fought through hard times.”

After battling early struggles with play calling and lacking identity, the Eagles established themselves as the league’s best rushing team. They’ve relied on grit and leadership from the offensive line, and Jalen Hurts has provided a unique dynamic as a dual-threat quarterback.

Defensively, coordinator Jonathan Gannon has made strides and adjusted to playing to the strengths of his personnel.

The Eagles benefited from a favorable back-end schedule. Ahead of the regular season finale versus the Cowboys on Saturday, the Eagles have won six of their last seven games.

“We’ve kept consistent with preaching the same things,” Hurts said. “We’ve connected, we’ve grown 1 percent better every day. That’s been our true identity. With all the youth and inexperience from coaches to players, we’ve bought in to who we are and what we could be. We’ve trusted the grind. To be able to persevere and show straight grit in tough moments — I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

In the franchise’s 89-year history, the Eagles have made the playoffs in 28 seasons with 46 total playoff contests. Their all-time playoff record is 23-23. When it comes specifically to the wild-card round, the Eagles are 8-9. During their last trip to the playoffs in 2019, the Eagles lost to the Seahawks, 17-9, in the wild card.

Nearly a year ago, the Eagles fired coach Doug Pederson, igniting what many fans and pundits believed would be a rebuild. However, throughout the offseason, general manager Howie Roseman preferred to term the franchise’s current state as a “transition” phase.

While both parties have had their share of woes, the front office and coaching staff deserve credit for still competing with this year’s roster. The team overcame a horrid start, remained competitive and clinched the playoffs in Sirianni’s first season (and Hurts’ first season as the starter). The Eagles are also slated to have three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft — a rarity for a playoff team in today’s NFL.

Entering Week 18, here’s a look at the NFC’s playoff seeding:

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)

  2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)

  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)

  4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

  5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)

  6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)

  7. Eagles (9-7)

Under the NFL’s current playoff format, only the conference’s top seed receives a bye, which means the Eagles would travel to Los Angeles if these standings were to hold. It’s possible the Eagles move into the No. 6 seed with a win over the Cowboys and a 49ers loss to the Rams in the regular season finale.

The Eagles’ wild-card game is scheduled to be held on either Saturday Jan. 15, Sunday Jan. 16., or Monday Jan. 17.

“This game is so emotional,” Sirianni said. “You have to fight back tears of joy. It’s just such an emotional game. That’s why we love this game so much. There’s so many ups and downs throughout the game.

“It’s pretty special to be part of.”