Even with the playoffs out of reach, the Eagles must take the field with pride.
NFL Network's anchors will not spend time going over the seemingly impossible chain of events that would lift the Dream Team into the playoffs. No channel will spend time examining the highlights of the NFL's leading rusher, LeSean McCoy. The coverage will not revolve around the incredible job that both the offensive and defensive lines have done for the Eagles this season under new assistant coaches.
Instead, Brad Nessler and his crew will—just as the rest of the national media has—run a constant loop of the Eagles' dropped passes and damaged personae, incompletions and interceptions, mistakes and miscues, bloopers and blunders.
One solution remains for the Eagles to stop the circus-like coverage they now bring into each contest.
To stop the constant negativity and to restore moxie to the once-proud franchise, the Eagles must play.
They can't just go through the motions. They can't run a route over the middle and alligator-arm the pass. They can't give up on a wideout after he makes a catch, nor can they hang their heads every time a lead is surrendered.
That is something much more than what the Eagles have shown in this season of disdain.
The Birds still manage to acquire constant media attention, but for all of the wrong reasons now.
McCoy is on pace for maybe the greatest season an Eagles running back has ever had.
But instead of running a highlight of McCoy stopping defenders in their tracks before shifting direction to find open turf, ESPN would rather show wide receiver DeSean Jackson let a touchdown pass slide through his mitts.
Defensive end and free-agent acquisition Jason Babin is among the league leaders in sacks, and his resume—from first-round pick to journey man to Pro Bowler—is one of the more inspirational stories of the year.
Rather, NFL Network instead runs highlights of Babin's defensive line coach Jim Washburn in a near-physical altercation with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sidelines during Week 12's home loss to New England.
The Eagles do deserve much of the negative attention. After all, this mess was supposed to be the self-proclaimed Dream Team.
But with the playoffs now out of reach, it is time for Philadelphia to represent and carry themselves with pride.
With the media turned against them and the fans chanting for their coach's head, the Eagles do not need an "Us-Against-the-World" mentality because, flatly, the world really is against the Birds.
To stop the madness, the Eagles must play.
Philadelphia awaits postseason elimination, but now they can restore the pride of the organization, stop the constant media criticism and show that this team is more than a sideshow event fit for tabloid headlines.
That has to be something worth playing for.