Here's to Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid
Published: Sunday, December 09, 2012, 3:00 AM Updated: Sunday, December 09, 2012, 3:01 AM
By Mark Eckel/The Times
If, as expected, the Eagles lose their ninth straight game today it will be head coach Andy Reid’s 100th career loss.
How fitting that it would come today at Tampa Bay against a Buccaneers team that handed Reid two of the worst losses in his 14-year career.
And while Reid tries to figure out how to avoid his century mark in defeats and stop an eight-game losing streak, the Bucs will celebrate their Super Bowl XXXVII win today. You remember that one — the one the Eagles were supposed to win — by honoring that 2002 team at halftime.
They will all be there — Joe Jurevicius, Ronde Barber, Warren Sapp, Jon Gruden. I’m not sure the Bucs invited Barry Gardner, Blaine Bishop or Donovan McNabb, but they should have.
Talk about rubbing salt in a wound, Reid hasn’t seen that much salt since he left Utah.
In honor of this soon-to-be memorable event and since Reid has just four more losses to go in his Eagles career, here’s a chronological look at the 10 worst losses in that career.
Arizona 25, Eagles 24, Sept. 12, 1999 — This was Reid’s first game as Eagles head coach and kind of showed a glimpse of what he was going to be like.
The Eagles led 21-0 after the first quarter, 24-6 at the half and 24-15 with six minutes to go. It was 24-22 with less than two minutes to go, as the Eagles faced 3rd-and-4 from midfield and the Cards were out of time outs.
Reid called a pass, what else, and Doug Pederson’s throw went off rookie receiver Brian Finneran’s hands and right to Arizona safety Kwamie Lassiter.
Lassiter returned the interception into field goal range, while Finneran never returned, getting released the next week.
As it turned out, that game might have been a microcosm of Reid’s career — great start, bad finish, poor personnel decisions.
Tampa Bay 27, Eagles 10, Jan. 19, 2003 — This is the one that will hurt Eagles fans forever, or until they win a Super Bowl, whichever comes first.
Everything was set up perfectly for this NFC Championship Game. The right opponent: Tampa Bay, which lost to the Eagles the past two years in the playoffs. The right weather: cold, the Bucs never win in the cold.
When Brian Mitchell returned the opening kickoff to the Tampa 20-yard line and Duece Staley scored two plays later to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead, the rout was on, or so it was thought.
You know what happened next. Jurevicius beat Gardner over the middle and ran away from a gimpy Bishop for a touchdown. Barber picked off McNabb and ran it back for a touchdown. And the Bucs beat Oakland in the Super Bowl a few weeks later.
Tampa Bay 17, Eagles 0, Sept. 8, 2003 — Less than eight months later the Eagles got a chance for revenge in the season opener played, not in Tampa, even though the Bucs were Super Bowl champs, but in brand new, beautiful Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles brought out all the goods for this one, including the king of rematches, Sly Stallone.
It didn’t help. The Bucs, who closed down The Vet with a win, opened the Linc with one, too.
Seattle 42, Eagles 0, Dec. 5, 2005 — On a night when the Eagles honored the late, great Reggie White during a Monday Night Football game, the team embarrassed itself on the field like it seldom did under Reid before this season.
Green Bay 16, Eagles 13, Sept. 9, 2007 — This was the one where Reid forgot to bring a punt returner to the game.
Greg Lewis muffed a punt that bounced into the end zone for the Packers’ first touchdown, and J.R. Reed muffed one with the score tied, 13-13, late in the fourth quarter that led to the Packers’ game-winning field goal.
The next week Reno Mahe was back on the roster.
Arizona 32, Eagles 25, Jan. 18, 2009 — The Eagles were back in the NFC Championship Game for the fifth time under Reid after some of the most mind-boggling of circumstances.
This was the year they tied Cincinnati, got blown out by Baltimore, benched McNabb and needed every star aligned the proper way on the final day of the season.
Then they won two playoff games and, voila, were playing the Cardinals, (the Cardinals?) for the chance to go back to the Super Bowl.
Turns out Mystique and Destiny were just a couple of dancers at the local strip club, as Arizona handed Reid his fourth championship game loss.
Dallas 24, Eagles 0, Jan. 3, 2010 — In the final game of the regular season, the Eagles lost a chance to be the No. 2 seed had they won, and instead dropped to the No. 6 seed where they faced a rematch with Dallas the following week back in Big D.
Dallas 34, Eagles 14, Jan. 9, 2010 — Six days later it wasn’t much different as the Cowboys blew out the Eagles in what turned out to be McNabb’s last game. In hindsight it probably should have been Reid’s too.
Minnesota 24, Eagles 14, Dec. 28, 2010 — In a game played on a Tuesday night, because of a weekend snowstorm, the Vikings put out the blueprint on how to defend the Eagles offense and the previously indefensible Mike Vick.
That was the beginning of the end. The Eagles, counting that loss, are 11-20 in their last 31 games.
Atlanta 30, Eagles 17, Oct. 28, 2012 — In a season gone bad, this ended the final Reid myth, that he never loses after the bye week.
ECK’S TOP 5
1. HOUSTON (11-1)
2. ATLANTA (11-1)
3. DENVER (10-3)
4. NEW ENGLAND (9-3)
5. SAN FRANCISCO (8-3-1)
ECK’S BOTTOM 5
28. KANSAS CITY (2-10)
29. CAROLINA (3-9)
30. EAGLES (3-9)
31. OAKLAND (3-10)
32. JACKSONVILLE (2-10)
BEST BET (7-6)
Buffalo -3 over St. Louis
UPSET SPECIAL (7-6)
Baltimore +2½ over Washington
THE REST (76-58-3)
Tampa Bay -7 over Eagles
Kansas City +6½ over Cleveland
Pittsburgh -7½ over San Diego
Indianapolis -5½ over Tennessee
Jacksonville +3 over Jets
Chicago -3 over Minnesota
Carolina +3½ over Atlanta
Dallas +3 over Cincinnati
San Francisco -10 over Miami
Giants -5 over New Orleans
Seattle -10 over Arizona
Green Bay -7 over Detroit
MONDAY NIGHT MONEY (5-7-1)
Houston +3½ over New England
Contact Mark Eckel at email@example.com
1 reply to this topic
Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:04 AM
Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:52 AM
eckel obviously had way too much fun w/ this...but how do you keep SB 39 w/ the 3-minute drive to nowhere off the list, or the carolina NFCCG, which turned on reid throwing downfield to duce staley on a 3rd-and-1? the dallas game in '05 where reid called a pass w/ 2 minutes left and mcchunky threw a pick-6 to roy williams has to be there too...come to think of it, this could be a top 20...the '06 playoff loss in NO was a direct result of reid's botched decision making, and on and on...i'd include the 13-13 tie in cincy somewhere in this mess too.