Bengals vs. Eagles: Performance Only Inspires Sadness as Clock Ticks on Philly

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 13:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field at halftime against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 13, 2012 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

I'd like to make a bold statement about the Philadelphia Eagles and how they're an embarrassment, but that ship sailed about eight weeks ago. 

I'd like to draw punchy conclusions, but there's nothing new to conclude about a team that has been on autopilot since early November. Nobody thinks Andy Reid is returning, and I've made it known time and again that he, the rest of his coaching staff and a slew of his veteran "contributors" should lose their jobs as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the 2012 season.

We can all agree on that at this point, right?

So while the Eagles continue to stumble all over themselves while playing out the string in half-hearted, uninspired fashion, all I can add to what has become a repetitive and nauseating conversation is that things have gone from disappointing and quasi-comical to downright sad.

It's sad now in Philly because the Eagles have been outplaying their opponents in this final month of the season, and that was arguably the case again in Thursday night's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The difference, of course, was that the Eagles turned the ball over five times, with 27 of Cincinnati's 34 points coming directly off of those miscues. 

Promising young back Bryce Brown lost a fumble for the fourth time in as many career starts, Nick Foles coughed it up twice, the Eagles muffed a punt and had another punt blocked (by a member of their own team). 

They had their moments, especially on defense. The pass rush finally broke out with a six-sack effort (Jason who?), and the coverage wasn't too shabby. And Foles made some throws despite what's surrounding him.

And that's why it's sad. Because while the fat lady has sung for this version of the Eagles, we had small glimpses Thursday night of what could have been. Few things in sports are worse than wasted talent. 

That'll fall, primarily, on Reid and the rest of the coaches handed pink slips on or around Dec. 30. And while I respect Reid for the success he's had with this franchise over the last 14 years, that's the way it should be.