We love you Chip. We really do. When we watch your offense play, the time is truly ours. But step aside for a quick second. We need to reminisce about your predecessor, the Mac-Truck of a man with the rotund waste and the red mustache.
Andy is back tonight. And he may or may not ‘Run the balllll!’ We don’t miss "Big Red," because you can’t miss anyone during a honeymoon. But we still appreciate him.
During his prime from 2000-2008, Andy was the second best head coach in the NFL behind the iconic Bill Belichick. He won division titles with three different quarterbacks and transformed the Eagles into an NFL aristocrat, capable of luring a sought-after intellectual like Kelly to succeed him.
Andy’s 14-year tenure was a high and lowlight reel of exhilarating and excruciating moments. As we grew to know, love and hate Big Red, we came to understand these moments as quintessentially Andy.
With that, I present this countdown. It’s not the five greatest or worst moments of the Andy epoch. Those were battered to death by every local sports section and talk radio program when Reid was fired in January.
No, these moments are something different. They are the five most quintessentially Andy moments of his 14 years in Philadelphia. They may not have been great; they may have not been terrible. They were just Andy.
5. November 25, 2007: Eagles Take Unbeatable Patriots to the Wire on Sunday Night Football
Except for the Peyton Manning-led Colts, no one had touched New England all season. The 5-5 Eagles were 22 point underdogs in Foxboro with AJ Feeley starting for an injured Donovan McNabb at quarterback.
Even during his worst seasons, Andy had a way of reminding fans just how impeccable his game plans were in theory. Whenever the Eagles applied them in robust fashion, they looked like world-beaters.
In the midst of Reid’s most nondescript season, the Eagles put it all together against the best team in NFL history. Feeley torched an aging Pats secondary for 345 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were caught by unequivocal future hall-of-famer Greg Lewis.
Though this game ended in a heartbreaking Feeley interception in the end zone to seal a 31-28 Pats win, the rest of the league now had a blueprint to use against New England. Fittingly, the Giants carried it to an epic victory in Super Bowl XLII.
4. 2007 Divisional Playoffs: Andy Punts with 1:56 Remaining in the Game to Seal a New Orleans Victory
The impeccability of Andy’s pre-game preparation was matched by his ineptitude when thinking on his feet. Since the infamous two-minute non-drill in the Super Bowl was more a result of McNabb’s poor fitness than Reid’s inability to adjust, the white flag punt stands as Andy’s most egregious improvisational failure.
Trailing 27-24, the Eagles converted a 4th and 10 from their own 44 only to have it called back after a false start penalty on replacement right guard Scott Young. Five measly yards. That was all it took to convince Andy that a conversion was now inconceivable.
3. 2007 NFL Draft: Andy Selects Kevin Kolb with the 36th Overall Pick
In the Andy epoch, this was the ominous beginning of the "I’m Too Smart for My Own Good" era.
We now view the 2010 promotion of Michael Vick to starting quarterback, the 2010 and 2011 first round selections of Brandon Graham and Danny Watkins and the 2011 promotion of Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator as the signature moments of Reid’s downfall.
But the arrival of Kolb truly was the beginning of the end for one reason: it led to the premature trade of McNabb in 2010.
With a young arsenal that included DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, Donovan was coming off the second and third best statistical seasons of his career in 2008 and 2009 behind his banner 2004 campaign.
2. 2002 Stretch Run: Andy Leads the Eagles to a 5-1 Finish with Koy Detmer and then AJ Feeley at Quarterback
Andy has always been the best quarterback guru in the business. Prior to 2002, you could argue that Reid would not win without Donovan. Then McNabb went down for the final six games of the regular season with a broken angle in a 38-14 win over Arizona.
With Detmer and then Feeley, the Eagles played their best football of the second most dominant campaign of the Reid era. Their only loss came in a fluky 10-7 season finale at the Meadowlands that turned on a David Akers missed field goal at the end of regulation.
The Eagles also had nothing to play for while the Giants were fighting for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
1. 2009 NFC Championship Game: Eagles Fall to Arizona 32-25 in Andy and Donovan’s Last Stand
This was it. Their last real chance to erase the choke-artist label and bring a historic parade down Broad Street.
Riding a world-beating defense and a red-hot McNabb armed with new toys like Jackson and Celek, the Eagles looked a lot like the Giants team that caught lightning in a bottle as a wild card the year before.
Much like the loss to Tampa Bay six years earlier, this was a game everyone assumed the Eagles would win. Arizona was a 9-7 patsy hailed as the worst playoff team in NFL history by all pundits who had use of their five senses.
The Eagles also obliterated the Cards 48-20 on Thanksgiving night. But for the second time in their careers, Andy and Donovan could not overcome Kurt Warner.
It was not to be, just like it never was under Reid. That, more than anything, was quintessentially Andy.