As it began, the 2012 season, you couldn't help but root for Andy Reid.
In August, his son, Garrett, died of a drug overdose. And Reid performed that most terrible task -- burying a child -- with a stoic bravery.
So you wanted to think of the season as a saga, to endow it with some greater meaning. To think that the coach, his quarterback and the team would overcome and provide, not just a happy ending, but a deeper one.
Through seven games, however, the Eagles are among the league's greatest disappointments.
Pricey talent. Super Bowl expectations. Three straight losses.
The Falcons won in Philadelphia on Sunday. That hadn't happened since the Reagan administration.
But the same squad that allowed 21 points a game under Juan Castillo -- the coordinator Reid fired during the bye week -- gave up 30 yesterday with Todd Bowles, Castillo's successor, a former defensive back. This isn't about Bowles, of course. Or Vick.
It's about Reid.
He was 13-0 coming off bye weeks. Until yesterday.
Yesterday was supposed to prove something. And it did.
Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 137.4, and Shady McCoy ran the ball just 16 times. No, I don't get it either.
An embarrassing performance. Not my words. Reid's.
It's the truth. It's just football. Sometimes, there's no deeper meaning.
Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.