They probably wouldn't have qualified for the playoffs anyhow, but Sunday the New England Patriots made it perfectly clear they neither deserve nor especially care to go.
In what had to rank as their most pathetic performance of the Pete Carroll era, the Pats combined four interceptions with three lost fumbles, eight dropped passes and some crucial defensive breakdowns to produce a 24-9 loss to the lowly Philadelphia Eagles that virtually ended their chances of claiming an AFC wild card berth -- the Bills officially eliminated the Patriots by beating Arizona on Sunday night.
Where once the Pats were sailing along with a 6-2 record that seemed to assure them of a postseason berth, now they are 7-7 and in danger of being broken up.
"You saw what I saw and it wasn't pretty," said Carroll, the Pats' seemingly mystified coach. "I don't know what to make of it. I don't know what to say. I can't fathom it. That was a disgrace."
Indeed it was. The fact the Pats played so listlessly that it appeared they didn't care whether they won or lost made the whole show more difficult to watch.
"I could just throw up," said defensive tackle Chad Eaton. "We did nothing to help ourselves and everything to beat ourselves. How do things like this happen?"
Wide receiver Troy Brown described the loss as the most disappointing he has experienced in his seven seasons with the team.
"Those (Philadelphia) guys were playing for nothing and they kicked our (butts)," Brown said of an Eagles' performance that included three sacks from Lackawanna's Mike Mamula. "This is as bad as it gets."
The Patriots be playing their final home games against Buffalo and Baltimore for next year's contracts and pride.