To pick one moment that encapsulates the Eagles' 45-17 loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is akin to reaching down the garbage disposal after your wedding ring has slipped off. No matter what you extract first, it is likely to be repugnant.
You could pick any of rookie Jameis Winston's five touchdown passes _ the most that any quarterback has thrown in one game against the Eagles since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970. Perhaps, of those five, the fourth would be most appropriate. It came late in the first half, 14 yards to running back Charles Sims, and in its unfolding, it was a perfect embodiment of the afternoon's events: Winston heaving the ball half-blind toward the right corner of the end zone, Sims tracking it as if he were Willie Mays chasing Vic Wertz's fly ball in '54, linebacker Mychal Kendricks a step behind him, cornerback Byron Maxwell in position to break up the play ... except Maxwell tried neither to intercept the pass nor hit Sims. He just floated there, like a $63 million flake of snow, as Sims caught the ball.
You could pick the Buccaneers' opening drive of the second half, in which they went 80 yards on 15 plays, held the ball for 9 minutes, 47 seconds, and scored to take a 21-point lead. (Just in case you'd forgotten, an NFL quarter lasts just 15 minutes.)
There were so many moments on this drive. There was the Eagles' 12-men-on-the-field penalty on third and 4 that gave the Buccaneers a first down. There was Winston's 24-yard completion to Vincent Jackson on third and 16 that gave the Buccaneers a first down. There was Winston's 23-yard completion to Cameron Brate on second and 20 that gave the Buccaneers a first down. There was the play when the Eagles' 11 defensive players began doing Iyengar yoga on third and 10 and allowed Winston to run for a first down. (OK, that last sequence didn't really happen, but isn't it pretty to think so?)
You could pick one of the Eagles' possessions after they had zoomed down the field the first time they had the ball. That opening drive was so fast: 86 yards, a 39-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff, Mark Sanchez orchestrating Chip Kelly's up-tempo system like Sanchez was Bernstein at the Vienna Philharmonic. Only, the Eagles' subsequent four drives went like this: punt, punt, punt, punt. They managed one first down. With the way their defense was playing Sunday, they had to sustain something. They couldn't sustain anything all afternoon. Sanchez threw three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown and another in Tampa territory in the closing seconds of the first half, when a field goal would have helped. Does Kelly want his offense to run a lot of plays or put up a lot of points? The debate was pointless Sunday.
"We didn't play well as a football team in any facet of the game," Kelly said, "and there's no excuse for it."
Moments. So many of them ugly. The Eagles are 4-6. Just two weeks ago, everyone in and around the team was riding high after that overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys. They were back to .500, and they were supposed to be hitting the easy part of their schedule: Miami, Tampa Bay, Detroit on Thanksgiving, pushovers all. Sam Bradford had played wonderfully, finally, had been tough and accurate and all the things the Eagles hoped for when they traded for him. Now, that victory feels like it never happened. Now, this heap of disappointment and discontent, in just two weeks' time. Bradford is hurt. Sanchez is still Sanchez. Bill Davis, the Eagles' defensive coordinator, didn't have his defense blitz a rookie quarterback and, by so passive a strategy, threw Winston his coming-out party. No one saw this coming, yet here it is.
"We all want to write a narrative of `How does this game affect that game?' " Kelly said. "I mean, we beat Dallas, and we're going to win the rest of our games. It doesn't work that way. It never works that way."
Where does this leave Kelly? He dared to disassemble a team that had gone 10-6 and remake it by his own unique blueprint. It was a theory with merit. The Eagles were not an elite team in the NFC last season. They were not in the class of the Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks. So Kelly broke them down and tried to rebuild them in a single offseason, and for a franchise that hasn't won a championship since 1960, this new, powerful head coach's unconventional approach was worth a risk.
But now everyone can see the wreckage. Everyone can see that the Eagles are the pushovers. In the game's closing minutes, after Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte Davis had returned Sanchez's third interception for a touchdown, Sanchez and Darren Sproles screamed at each other as they walked to the sideline.
This is the team that Chip Kelly created. This is the chaos he has wrought. You wonder how he might fix it, or whether, once this season ends, he will even bother to try.