The stage was set for an emotional Philadelphia Eagles' victory in what everyone knew was Andy Reid’s final game as coach after 14 seasons in Philadelphia.
But anyone who has paid attention to the Eagles’ season wasn’t surprised that they fell off that stage.
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In a season filled with embarrassing lopsided losses, this one might have been the most embarrassing and it was definitely the most lop-sided, as the Eagles lost to the New York Giants 42-7.
The offense, with Mike Vick back at quarterback, was inept, but the real villains in this game were the defensive players who showed an alarming lack of desire.
It looked like these guys had already started their vacations -- at the very least they had their bags packed and were waiting for the limo to take them to the airport.
At least this game erased any doubt as to whether Reid should be fired.
Somewhere along the line he lost control of this team and the final game was a perfect example of that.
Vick looked like a QB coming off a seven-week layoff because of a concussion. Actually, Vick looked pretty much like he did before the concussion -- inconsistent. An overthrown pass was intercepted to set up the Giants first touchdown and Vick threw high again and overthrew a wide-open receiver in the end zone. They sure didn’t get much help from their defense in terms of field position, but the offense scored only measly touchdown in the first quarter and had maybe three decent possessions the entire game. RB LeSean McCoy played pretty well (45 rushing yards on 10 carries, 61 yards on five receptions, but the Eagles’ leading receiver, Jeremy Maclin, had just four receptions for 22 yards. It’s hard to judge the skill players when the quarterback isn’t playing well, but nobody made plays and they made it easy for the Giants defense. Previous game’s grade: D
Is there a lower grade? If there is, slap it on these guys after they put on what was possibly the worst defensive effort in Eagles' history -- and the key word there is "effort." The Eagles allowed the Giants to score touchdowns on their first four possessions and on five of their first six. The line didn’t get much pressure on QB Eli Manning (one sack), who completed 62 percent of his passes and finished with a QB rating of 134.5. And nobody did a good job of tackling, as Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw finished with 107 yards on 16 carries, an average of 6.7 yard per attempt. It got so bad that CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles’ big free agent signing of a year ago, got benched in the fourth quarter. Actually, the Eagles could have benched their entire defense, but somebody had to go out there and pretend they were playing football. The Eagles defense didn’t tackle and it didn’t cover and it looked like they didn’t care. It’s been a bad season for these guys and they truly saved their worst for last. Previous game’s grade: B
Special teams: D
Once again, this unit failed to be special in any way. The return and coverage teams didn’t do a bad job, but they also failed to do anything to help their team, which has been the case almost the entire season. Damaris Johnson gained a total of four yards on two punt returns, but the Giants obviously didn’t have to punt very often. The Eagles pulled off a successful onside kick to start the game, but they countered that when usually reliable kicker Alex Henery shanked a 28-yard chip shot in the second quarter. If there was ever a team that needed a spark from its special teams it was this one -- and it almost never got it. Previous game’s grade: C
What do you expect when their team lost 42-7 and their players didn’t seem to care one way or another, even though they knew coming in that it was probably Andy Reid’s last game as coach?. This failing grade has nothing to do with the Xs and Os, because whatever offensive game plan the Eagles had in place got thrown out the window after the Giants jumped out to a 21-0 lead. The real problem with this game, and this season, is that for some reason, Reid and his staff were never able to reach this group and motivate them to play as a team instead of a bunch of individuals who were just breezing through Philadelphia on their way to the bank. All of the bad decisions Reid made in the past few years on coaches and players caught up with him this year, and those problems were magnified in the final game of the season. Previous game’s grade: B
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSEagles.