Ten years after being let go by the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Andy Reid has his sights set on revenge, with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on his former team in Super Bowl LVII. While the respected coach won’t spin this as a revenge matchup as he seems genuinely “proud” of his former players yet, it’s hard to ignore the long history between Reid and the Eagles organization.
Reid still leads the Eagles in games coached, wins (regular + postseason play), and playoff appearances. But now he has a chance to win more Super Bowls than the Eagles have as a franchise. Let’s go back in time to look at the crazy path that’s taken Reid to this point.
Philadelphia Eagles ran out of patience with Andy Reid
Despite being fired after leading nine winning seasons in 14 years, there’s no way for coach Reid to be upset or bitter about his time with the Eagles. Philadelphia took a big risk by hiring Reid back in 1999 when he was the second-youngest head coach in the NFL at 41 years old. That may not be too significant now, but he was also the first head coach to be hired without having any previous experience as an offensive or defensive coordinator.
Basically, he was as unproven as they come, but the Eagles saw a bright offensive mind who could turn a franchise coming off a 3-13 season into a competitive squad. And that he did. Reid struggled to a five-win season in his first year on the job but sparked a quick turnaround with an 11-win season, even winning a playoff game, their first since 1995.
Reid’s postseason display was not short-lived, as he got back to the playoffs in the next four seasons, peaking with a 2004 Super Bowl appearance behind a loaded roster. This Pro Bowl cast featured Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins, and several other all-time greats.
While it felt like a young core that could quickly return, the Eagles never won 13 games or became NFC Champions again. It appeared the Eagles’ patience began to wear thin, due to their lack of postseason success in the long run.
Reid won seven postseason games in his first six years but only three in his next eight seasons. Ultimately, Reid was let go after a 4-12 record, missing the postseason for the second year in a row. The Eagles quickly made it back to the postseason under Chip Kelly the following year, but they wouldn’t win another playoff game until 2017 when Doug Pederson brought home a Super Bowl.
Reid quickly proved the Eagles wrong
While the Eagles had their struggles after moving on from Reid, the coach had no trouble landing on his feet. Just five days after the Eagles announced they would be moving on from the longest-tenured coach in football, the Kansas City Chiefs struck a five-year agreement with the one they affectionately call ‘Big Red’ to lead the franchise.
In Reid’s very first season on the job, he took the Chiefs from a 2-14 team to an 11-5 record and a Wild Card berth, taking the NFL’s worst scoring offense to one that ranked sixth in the NFL. It was an impressive change of direction for Kansas City, but much like Reid’s Eagles, the Chiefs kept knocking on the door in the postseason only to fail to advance past the Divisional Round.
That would all change with one key addition in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Patrick Mahomes, Reid pairing is the NFL’s winningest duo of all-time
Ever since Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback for the Chiefs in 2018, Reid’s team has yet to finish with fewer than 12 wins in a season. In fact, the duo’s regular season record of 64-16 gives them the best win percentage of all other coach/QB pairings in NFL history at 80%.
But it’s not just their regular season success. Many would argue that regular season success doesn’t define greatness. Based on Philadelphia’s handling of Reid, they would appear to agree.
Well, if that’s the case, then Reid’s postseason success with Mahomes only strengthens his coaching résumé. They’ve gone 10-3 across five seasons, winning Super Bowl LIV and making it to another. Well, actually, now Mahomes and Reid are set for their third Super Bowl in the past four years.
It’s a mark of dominance rarely seen from any team, and being that Mahomes is still just 27 years old, we can’t help but wonder how successful this tandem can be long-term. While Reid has had an interesting career and surely enjoyed his time in Philadelphia, do you really think he has any regrets about ending up in Kansas City, coaching a generational talent like Mahomes?