The end

Donovan McNabb walks off the field after the Eagles' loss. (Eric Mencher/Staff Photographer)

A crushing loss. An impossible loss.

Another NFC Championship Game, gone.

The Eagles, torched early, came back. Down 24-6 at the half against the Arizona Cardinals, left seemingly for dead, they rallied and took a 25-24 lead with 10 minutes, 45 seconds left to play. Donovan McNabb threw for a million yards in the second half. They had done the unlikely.

And then the Cardinals drove down the field on them, again. They droves for 72 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, made the two-point conversion, and led by 32-25 with 2:53 left to play. The Eagles had one more shot, but couldn't make it happen. And now they are left with an incredible wound. They showed up late, took back the game, and then lost in the end. Crushing.

It is hard to find any perspective here. Maybe later. Right now, it is just stunning -- a great game but a great fall, the team's fourth loss in five conference title games and  their third as a favorite.

Yes, crushing.