The meaningful part of this car crash of a season came to a halt Saturday night with the Eagles sitting on the side of the road with four flat tires, a smoking engine, and a dead battery.

Fingers always get pointed after these grim events, and usually they are directed at the coach first and the quarterback second.

Feel free to aim your wrath in the direction of Chip Kelly. He is the executive producer and the director of this 6-9 mess, and I for one can't wait to hear what owner Jeffrey Lurie has to say about Kelly next week after the Eagles close out their season for the second straight year with a meaningless game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.

Remember the Garden State Bowl? That had more meaning and interest than what is going to happen up in North Jersey next Sunday.

I'd love to hear what Howie Roseman has to say about Chip the GM, too, but pigs, donkeys, and elephants will fly before that happens.

Kelly understands this is on him, even if he wasn't ready to dissect the downfall.

"It's all on my shoulders," he said. "It's the same thing I said a year ago. It's unacceptable. We've got to find a way to do a better job. We've got to put these guys in better situations to make plays, and that is 100 percent on my shoulders."

As for the quarterback, Sam Bradford deserved only a small amount of blame for what happened this season and almost none for the unnatural disaster that unfolded Saturday night during the Eagles' 38-24 loss to a Washington team that clinched the NFC East by becoming the first and only team to eight wins.

Yes, there was that moment in the second quarter when Bradford simultaneously saw Zach Ertz running alone down the left sideline and a blitzing Redskins defender bearing down on him. Bradford badly overthrew Ertz and a chance for six points disappeared.

That one misfire, however, was minor when you compiled the list of reasons the Eagles staged one final embarrassing performance at the Linc, where they finished 3-5 this season.

Bradford, in fact, was the best offensive player in green, completing 37 of 56 passes for 380 yards and a touchdown. He actually played better than that, but once again his receivers came up small, the running game was marked mostly absent, and the offensive line allowed their quarterback to be sacked five times and hit nine other times.

"I thought Sam threw the ball really well tonight in the midst of pressure," Kelly said. "I thought overall Sam was on. I thought we could ride him. He was on, and he put the ball on people. We just didn't do enough around him."

Based on what we've seen from Bradford in the second half of the season, it is easy to draw this conclusion about the potential free-agent quarterback: The Eagles should want him back a lot more than he should want to return and play for the dysfunctional bunch that Kelly has assembled.

Receiver Jordan Matthews, who caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, put a strong vote of confidence in for his quarterback.

"I think you've obviously seen that we've grown a little bit with Sam over time, and Sam has definitely grown, too," Matthews said. "The way you start winning is you have to stay consistent with guys and you have to get to work with guys and grow with people. I wholeheartedly believe he has to be the guy moving forward. You've seen progression and how much better he has gotten and the chemistry he has been able to build."

Bradford was flattered by Matthews' comments and said he wants to return to the Eagles.

"You always appreciate when your teammates say things like that about you," he said. "As far as the future, I'd like to be back here, but it's not my choice."

The greatest argument for bringing back Bradford is his improved play in the second half of the season. In his last seven games, he has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns while throwing only three interceptions. His passer rating during that stretch is a respectable 94.9. If that was his number for the season, he would rank 13th in the NFL, right behind Eli Manning of the New York Giants and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

That's good company.

Another argument in Bradford's favor is that he has thrown to the drop squad all season. The Eagles have let more passes slip through their hands than any other team in the NFL, and that problem persisted in this must-win game.

Rookie Nelson Agholor, the Eagles' first-round pick and one of many negative marks on Chip's GM resumé, dropped what would have been a touchdown in the second quarter.

Riley Cooper, meanwhile, showed us why he is here for his blocking and not his receiving when he squashed an early third-quarter drive by failing to come down with a beautifully thrown deep pass that would have given the Eagles the football in Washington territory.

Instead, the Eagles punted from deep in their own territory.

And that's pretty much the way this final meaningful evening of the Eagles season went. Bradford was baffled and disappointed by it. But what we learned amid all these disappointing defeats is that the Eagles have a decent quarterback. It is the coach, the general manager, and many of the players around him that are not nearly good enough.

@brookob