On December 30th, 2012, the Philadelphia Eagles fired long-time head coach, Andy Reid after their worst season in over a decade. Reid had gone 130-93-1 as Philly’s head coach, making the playoffs nine times in 14 seasons, even reaching the Super Bowl once. But with the exception of John Madden, every great coach gets fired eventually, even Bill Belichick. Reid found his new home in Kansas City, where he remains to this day, and the Eagles moved on to Chip Kelly, the hottest coaching prospect at the time, though not for long.
Seven years later, both parties have experienced their own success, but ask any bitter teenager, someone always wins the breakup, and someone always loses. Nearly a decade later, which party got the better of the split?
Who Won the Andy Reid/Philadelphia Eagles Divorce?
The Argument for Andy
The brass in Philadelphia thought Andy Reid was done when they parted ways with him, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Reid relocated to Kansas City, where they’d only enjoyed one season with more than five wins over the six previous seasons, and immediately made an impact.
He traded for San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Alex Smith, and the duo enjoyed instant success, going 11-5 and making the playoffs. Together, Smith and Reid would enjoy great regular season success over the next four years, going 53-27, making the playoffs every season but once.
Then, last season, Reid traded Alex Smith to Washington, and turned over the keys to 2017 first round pick, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes had an ungodly year, winning league MVP and helping lead the Chiefs to a 12-4 record, securing the first round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
From 2013-2018, Andy Reid is 65-31 in Kansas City, with five playoff appearances and three straight AFC West Championships. Over that same span, the Eagles haven’t been as lucky. They’re 56-30, and they’ve only made the playoffs three times… but when they did get into the post-season, they did something Andy Reid hasn’t been able to do in his entire career.
The Argument for Philly
The Chip Kelly experiment ended up being a disaster for the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn’t lose a ton of games, but he did get rid of franchise staples like LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. After a great start that saw them win 10 games and make playoffs, they experienced one of the more dramatic meltdowns in recent memory. In 2014, after starting 9-3, his Eagles dropped three games in a row, missing the playoffs completely, and he wouldn’t make it through the next season.
Doug Pederson, ironically a disciple of Reid’s, was hired to be the team’s head coach. He didn’t deliver instant success like his predecessor. The Eagles only won seven games in Pederson’s first season with the team, but that would change quickly.
Because in 2017, Pederson and his quarterback, Carson Wentz, took the NFL by storm, winning 13 games and locking up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Even when Wentz went down, Nick Foles, another of Andy Reid’s projects, stepped in, and led the team to a Super Bowl victory over the hated New England Patriots. That season, Doug Pederson delivered the Philadelphia faithful something Andy Reid never could, a Lombardi Trophy.
Andy Reid was fantastic for the Eagles, and he’s made the Chiefs one of the most consistently excellent teams in the AFC, but he’s never won the big one. He’s this generation’s Marty Schottenheimer, and frankly, he’s only won nine more games than the Eagles have since the split.
Ask any fan, would they rather have won nine more regular season games over seven years or have a Super Bowl? I think most would take the ring. Especially when you consider that Reid’s post-season struggles, something that haunted him in Philadelphia, have carried on to Kansas City.
Reid is 2-5 in the playoffs since he arrived in Kansas City, and Pederson is already 4-1. If Andy Reid can deliver a Super Bowl to the Kansas City faithful, we can revisit, but as long as there’s that Tom Brady-sized shadow looming over Reid’s trophy-case, it seems as if the Eagles ultimately got the better of the split.