There’s been enormous speculation that this Sunday’s contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants will be the final one for Andy Reid as head coach for the Eagles.
Of course, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin can certainly relate.
The two-time Super Bowl champion had his share of success taking over the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, and just one year later, he led the team to the first of its four straight playoff appearances, including a pair of berths in the AFC title game.
In 1999, the Jaguars owned the league’s best record at 14-2. But when it was all said and done, they couldn’t beat the Tennessee Titans in three tries that season, including the conference championship game at home.
That same season, Reid began his tenure in Philadelphia, leading the Eagles (3-13 in 1998) to a 5-11 record. A year later, the Birds made the first of five straight playoff appearances, including four consecutive NFC title games. And the fourth finally proved to be the charm as Philadelphia upended the Atlanta Falcons en route to a Super Bowl XXXIX date with the New England Patriots…in Jacksonville.
But you wouldn’t find Coughlin there, at least not as head coach of the city’s team. In 2004, he began his run with the Giants, one that has seen only four double-digit-victory campaigns in nine seasons but a pair of Super Bowl titles. And how many times has the veteran football mind been rumored to be on the outs with Big Blue?
So a victory by the Eagles, which would ironically raise Reid’s record to 5-11 in 2012, would also end the defending NFL champions' reign after one season. And it certainly would be odd to see a pair of head coaches with a combined 302 overall wins (162 by Coughlin, 140 by Reid) on the outside looking in…perhaps in more ways than one.