We could spend days, weeks even, pointing out the various anomalies of the Philadelphia Eagles over the course of the 21st century:
“McNabb made it to 5 NFC championships yet couldn’t win a title. What a shmuck.”
“T.O.? He’d rather do sit-ups in his driveway on camera than try to be a leader. He’s the reason we didn’t win.”
“Vick? The washed up, China doll dog-killer who never even made it to a Super Bowl? What did you expect?”
“Riley Cooper? The racist? Yeah, like he’s the answer.”
“Trent Cole? He has two first names, for God’s sake.”
And don’t even get me started on the Sanchize, oh he the holder of the only slightly arbitrary road-playoff-victories-record.
The Battlin’ Birds have certainly faced their fair share of turmoil since the start of the Andy “I swear I’m only a c cup” Reid era in 1999. In that span Philly posted an illustrious 130-94 record (58% winning percentage), 6th only the Patriots (159-65, 71%), Colts (151-73, 67%), Steelers (141-83, 63%), Packers (139-85, 62%), and Ravens (134-90, 60%). However, what separates the Iggles from these teams in the wrong direction is that the other teams have won 9 of 14 Super Bowls in that span, while the Eagles have won none. Their playoff record under Reid was 10-9, slightly better than those of the Pack (8-8) and Colts (9-11), but paling in comparison to those of New England, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, who combined to go 43-20 and capture 7 of those 9 championships, each winning multiple rings.
Reid had his own trials and tribulations in the form of his son Garrett, who passed away from a heroin overdose on August 5th, 2012, about a month before Reid’s final season with the Birds commenced. While he would surely deny that the emotional trauma affected his abilities, he turned out the worst season of his coaching career at 4-12 and was canned soon after. Perhaps another winning season and playoff berth could have netted him more time.
But this is all in the past. What matters now is that, despite the tumultuous collar bone fracture of precocious young quarterback Nick Foles and the raucous Philadelphia crowds that booed McNabb on draft day, one reality stands alone: the Eagles are good. Not just that, they’re damn good. And, lest I jinx them and bring down a plague of boundless 0-16 seasons, they’re bona fide Super Bowl contenders. (more…)