Carson Wentz stood near midfield and hurled a desperate pass toward the end zone. The brief flicker of hope that arose as the ball traveled through the air was quickly snuffed. Wentz’s Hail Mary prayer went unanswered, and the Chiefs prevailed over the Eagles by a score of 27-20.
In the aftermath of the game, two truths reasserted themselves: (1) The Kansas City Chiefs are legitimate Super Bowl contenders; (2) The Lombardi Trophy remains as elusive as ever for the Eagles franchise.
The common denominator that informs both observations is Andy Reid. Since Reid was driven from the Eagles’ nest in 2012 and landed in Kansas City, his Chiefs teams have been a model of consistency. In four seasons and two games in KC, Reid has compiled a 45-21 regular season record, good for a .682 winning percentage. He inherited a Chiefs team that was in total disarray and breathed new life into the franchise. In so doing, Reid has rejuvenated his own coaching career.
Meanwhile, the Eagles’ rebuild seems to be operating on the same time frame as the I-95 construction. It turns out it hasn’t been so easy to replace the foundation that Reid laid over the course of fourteen seasons, particularly when the wrong contractor is hired for the job.
The early days of 2013 were marked with optimism and excitement in Philadelphia. With Big Red gone, the Eagles finally had a chance to soar again. Eagles fans were in such a frenzy that we talked ourselves into Gus Bradley, the putative architect of the Seahawks’ elite defense. The Eagles were apparently ready to offer Bradley the job. A local blogger fed the hysteria by tracking Bradley’s cross-country flight. We were all on board the Gus Bus!
But then, out of nowhere, the news emerged that the Eagles had hired Chip Kelly. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie marveled at Kelly’s innovative approach. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words,” Lurie noted in his statement announcing the hire. Continue Reading