This article is part of our NFL Reactions series.
The collapse of the Eagles is one of the more puzzling anecdotes in the history of defending Super Bowl champions, even when factoring for the substantial handicap posed by Carson Wentz's absence in the first two weeks. The particular way their season's ambitions ended – an emphatic beatdown in a highly-anticipated matchup that was known in advance as a do-or-die scenario – could hardly seem less likely based on what was assumed a few months ago.
For a presumed elimination game to end in a 48-7 loss is normally the look of a quitting team, especially when the team carries the expectations of a Super Bowl winner. That didn't happen, but that fact all the more highlights how bizarre it is that Doug Pederson – the first coach to figure out how to successfully ambush the Patriots, and with Nick Foles of all people – couldn't get his Wentz-led offense to score more than a single touchdown. Even the run defense that was so historically good until as recently as a couple weeks ago imploded summarily, allowing Mark Ingram to stomp his way to 103 yards and two touchdowns in what could go down as his top rushing performance of the season.
Pederson is almost certainly still a very good coach, and Wentz is doubtlessly a great quarterback despite completing just 19-of-33 passes for 156 yards and three interceptions against a New Orleans pass defense that probably isn't good, but an outcome like this implies that Philadelphia has some