Just finished a column for Sunday's paper about the match-up with the Packers. Part of the story deals with the 12-year history of Andy Reid in the postseason and with his place in coaching history.
I'm going to post this to hopefully prevent some needless e-mail on Sunday morning from readers who -- not you guys, naturally, other guys -- don't necessarily read all that carefully.
There are a bunch of statistical points to be made about Reid's head coaching career, most of them positive, but there is also this, quoting one passage of the column:
"...Among coaches without a championship to their names, only two in the 90-year history of the league have won more overall games (regular season and postseason) than Reid while managing fewer trips to a title game, which means zero. If Marty Schottenheimer and Chuck Knox did the least with the most, Reid is in danger of being included in that conversation if his career drags on without a big trophy."
Stop, stop. Stop screaming about Jeff Fisher and Bud Grant and all those guys. Read the paragraph.
Let's start with Reid's record. He has 128 overall wins now. This season alone, he moved past Dick Vermeil, Mike Ditka, Jim Mora and George Allen, among others. Reid is now the 24th winningest coach in league history. (Good luck to anyone who wants to catch Don Shula and his 347 wins. Bill Belichick is highest active coach with 177.)
How many coaches on the list above Reid have never won a championship? Six. Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves, Knox, Grant, Marv Levy and Fisher.
How many NFL title games did each lead his team(s) to? Reeves (4), Grant (4), Levy (4), Fisher (1), Schottenheimer (0), Knox (0).
So, how many coaches without a championship have won more games than Reid, but advanced to fewer title games? Two. Schottenheimer and Knox.
The other numbers associated with Reid's success are obvious and the Eagles don't mind tell you about them. During his 12-year tenure, the Eagles have made the playoffs nine times, with only Indianapolis (11) doing better in that stretch. He's one of only 11 head coaches in NFL history to coach at least 200 games and have a better than .600 winning percentage.
The Eagles have been damn good nearly every season -- no one denies it -- but there is that big dusty spot in the trophy case.
All right. One more to chew on before Sunday, and I'd be lying if I said I knew what this means, or if it means anything.
Reid has earned a reputation as a great game-planning coach, someone who takes information and can form a strategy that will win you games. If there is criticism, it is usually about in-game decision making (run/pass ratio, time management, etc.).
That would indicate that the Eagles should do well when they play a team for a second (or third) time in a season, and the planning and adjustments have some real history on which to be built, and previous losses can be turned into wins -- hopefully. Such is the case Sunday when the Eagles play the Packers, who beat them in the opener.
Well, during Reid's tenure, the Eagles have met up in the playoffs against a team that beat them in their last (or only) meeting of that regular season.
It happened in the 2000 season vs. the Giants; in 2001 vs. the Rams; in 2006 vs the Saints; and in 2009 vs. the Cowboys. The Eagles record in those games: 0-4.
There have been a total of 12 postseason games under Reid in which the Eagles have played a team they met at least once in the regular season (win or lose). Their record in those games: 5-7.
Sunday is the 13th. Maybe it will be a lucky one.