The Philadelphia Eagles give up. They haven't said so, but their body language indicated weeks ago that they lack the physical and mental fortitude, the coaching and maybe even the talent necessary to battle back.
There was an opportunity on Monday night for the Eagles to at least gain some dignity in front of hometown fans and against the only NFC team with a worse record than theirs, but it became apparent early that even that wasn't appealing enough to inspire a group of players who have given up on their doomed head coach.
Now, we must ask, how long will it take for the ax to fall on Andy Reid? Owner Jeffrey Lurie might be waiting for his team to be officially eliminated from playoff contention before officially waving a white flag and conceding that a $100-plus-million operation has failed. But now that the Eagles are officially the lowest seed in the conference, it's probably safe to end this sad, depressing saga.
It would be easy to blame injuries, but everyone's hurting right now and this disaster was underway well before Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy were forced to the sideline. Yes, those two and DeSean Jackson weren't available to save the day Monday night, and the offensive line is in shambles, but this is a relatively healthy defense, and it surrendered 30 points to a Carolina team that hadn't hit that mark in nearly three months.
It's baffling. I don't believe I've seen a group of veteran defensive players suffer this many lapses in coverage. That's partially on the staff, which is an indication the front office has to clean house, but it's also on the personnel, which is an indication the roster requires a severe revamp as soon as this season ends officially, instead of just for all intents and purposes.
Reid's time in Philadelphia has expired. He's not a bad coach, but it's finally time for a change. The same goes for his coordinators, Marty Mornhinweg and Todd Bowles, both of whom should be embarrassed based on the borderline-comedic lack of preparation their units have displayed week in and week out.
Even those lingering in glass-half-full territory have to admit it now. This is an organization that has to start fresh in 2013. No Vick, no Nnamdi Asomugha, no Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, no Kurt Coleman, no Jason Babin (via ESPN). Time to reload.
The good news, if there is any at all, is that the way things are going, they'll at least enter next season with a top-five draft pick on the roster.