Dec 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid walks the sidelines during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Best and Worst Games of the Andy Reid Era

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Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia was a very successful one overall.  But that didn’t mean that the team was immune to having some bad losses along the way.  In my opinion, here were the five worst:

5. Giants 16, Eagles 3 – September 30, 2007

The infamous “Winston Justice game” where the Giants sacked Donovan McNabb 12 times, including six by Osi Umenyiora.  Justice was filling in at offensive tackle for injured starter Tra Thomas, and Umenyiora utterly dominated him.  Oddly, the team didn’t offer Justice any help until late in the game.

Jan 01, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Winston Justice (74) during the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Redskins 34-10. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

4. Packers 16, Eagles 13 – September 9, 2007

During the preseason, the Eagles had used rookie Jeremy Bloom as their punt returner, only to cut him immediately before the season.  This left the team with zero experienced punt returners.  Reid apparently thought that he could just stick anyone back there to do the job.  Greg Lewis and J.R. Reed showed how flawed that thinking was as they both muffed punts leading to Packers touchdowns.

3. Cowboys 21, Eagles 20 – November 14, 2005

Coming off their Super Bowl season, the Eagles were struggling along with a 4-4 record.  McNabb was fighting through a sports hernia, and Terrell Owens had been dismissed from the team.  Yet, there was still hope that the team would be able to turn things around and make it back to the playoffs.

The Eagles played a tough game and were leading in the fourth quarter when McNabb inexplicably threw a dangerous sideline route that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.  Making matters worse, McNabb was further injured on the play.  As a result, Eagles fans were forced to endure watching Mike McMahon play quarterback.

This game pretty much ended the team’s excellent run that had lasted since 2000.  Sure there would be future playoff wins, but the team never reached the dominating level that it was at from 2000-2004.

2. Panthers 14, Eagles 3 – January 18, 2004

This was the third of the Eagles’ three consecutive NFC Championship game losses.  This game pretty much sums up the offensive shortcomings of the Reid era.  The passing game wasn’t working, and in fact, it was hurting the team due to the receivers – most notably Todd Pinkston – either short arming the ball or deflecting it to defenders.  The team would occasionally get some momentum going by running the ball, but Reid refused to fully commit to it.

1. Buccaneers 27, Eagles 10 – January 19, 2003

This is perhaps the worst defeat in Eagles history.  This was a game that they absolutely could not lose.  When Duce Staley scored a touchdown less than a minute into the game, Eagles fans began to make Super Bowl plans.  And then Simeon Rice, Joe Jurevicius, and Ronde Barber happened.

 

December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20) prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

Of course, there were also more than a few good throughout Reid’s years.  Here are the five best:

5. Eagles 31, Giants 17 – September 12, 2004

We had long wondered how McNabb would fare with a star receiver, and we finally got our answer.  Terrell Owens had a memorable Eagles’ debut catching three touchdowns.  The Eagles started the season on a roll and didn’t slow down until the last five minutes of the Super Bowl.

Feb 25, 2011; Allen, TX USA; Allen Wranglers wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) catches his first touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Wichita Wild at the Allen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4. Eagles 44, Cowboys 6 – December 28, 2008

Things looked hopeless.  Thanks to a disappointing loss to the Redskins the week before, the Eagles’ playoff hopes were all but extinguished.  They needed two underdogs to win their games in order to even have a chance at making the playoffs.  Miraculously, those underdogs came through, and the Eagles’ game against the Cowboys suddenly became a contest where the winner would get the NFC’s final playoff spot.

Given this second life, the Eagles didn’t disappoint.  The defense forced five Dallas turnovers, and the Eagles scored 27 first half points, essentially ending the game by halftime.

3. Eagles 41, Cowboys 14 – September 3, 2000

This was the game that really got the Andy Reid era started.  The Eagles were coming off a 5-11 season, and the Cowboys were still perceived as a threat with Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith.  Reid showed some gumption by opening the game with an onside kick leading to an early touchdown.  Behind Duce Staley’s 201 rushing yards, the Eagles established a dominance over the Cowboys that would last for several seasons.

2. Eagles 59, Redskins 28 – November 15, 2010

The greatest offensive performance in team history.  I don’t know if it’s possible for an offense to look better than the Eagles did this night.  Michael Vick showed off why some people consider him to be the most physically talented player to ever play the game.  At the time, I said the only athlete who could play as well was QB Eagles (aka Randall Cunningham) from the Super Tecmo Bowl video game.

Sep 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

1. Eagles 27, Falcons 10 – January 23, 2005

After three straight NFC Championship game defeats, the Eagles finally got over the hump.  The game was close throughout, but Chad Lewis’ fourth quarter touchdown finally sealed matters.  The Eagles had finally made it to the Super Bowl!  Sadly, this was the peak of the Reid era in Philadelphia.

December 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid before the start of an NFL game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Tags: Andy Reid Best And Worst Carolina Panthers Dallas Cowboys Donovan McNabb Duce Staley Football Green Bay Packers Jeremy Bloom Michael Vick Mike Lacy New York Giants NFL Osi Umenyiora Philadelphia Eagles Ronde Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers Todd Pinkston Washington Redskins Winston Justice

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