After the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the most active teams in the league in free agency this season, including landing the crown jewel of the class in cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, many pundits labeled the Eagles the class of the NFC East and posited that the "Dream Team" they had assembled was the leading candidate to dethrone the Green Bay Packers.
But things haven't gone according to script at all, and after dropping a home game against the lowly Arizona Cardinals to fall to a nightmarish 3-6 on Sunday, not only does it look highly unlikely that the 2011 Eagles are going to dethrone anyone but their playoff aspirations are also all but toast.
There are any number of factors that have contributed to this downfall, from quarterback Michael Vick's erratic play, to wide receiver DeSean Jackson's dismal season and contract dispute, to a defense run by an offensive line coach that is being gashed more often than not—but as is often the case in this sort of situation, someone will likely be made the scapegoat for Philadelphia's disappointing season.
That someone is likely to be head coach Andy Reid.
Reid has enjoyed a long and mostly successful tenure as head coach for the Eagles, winning more than 60 percent of his games entering this year and taking the Eagles to five NFC Championship Games. But Reid has always had his share of critics who bemoaned his puzzling clock management and inability to get the Eagles to the Super Bowl only once in a handful of tries.
Those same critics will almost certainly lay a large part of the blame for the Eagles' lost season at Reid's feet, and I have little doubt we'll start hearing over the next few weeks quite a bit of grumbling about how the Philadelphia coaching staff needs some "new blood."
It may not be right and it may not be fair, but the simple fact is that when a team implodes like this the head coach is often the man who gets the axe as a result. With each successive loss the chances increase that the NFL's longest-tenured head coach may be nearing the end of the line in the City of Brotherly Love.