Super Bowl XLIV: What Andy Reid Should Have Learned

WesAnalyst IFebruary 8, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are no strangers to failure and heartbreak in the Super Bowl.

In Super Bowl XV the Eagles went down in a ball of flames to the Oakland Raiders 27-10. The loss marked the first time a Wild Card team won the league’s biggest prize.

Eagle’s fans had to wait 24 more years to feel the pain and disappointment of a 24-21 Super Bowl loss. At least that time around it came at the hands of the New England Patriots, whom many considered a dynasty.

Even though both Super Bowls left an awful taste in the collective mouths of the fans, they still learned a little something about the Eagles. They saw where the Eagles needed to improve and the direction the front office needed to move if they wanted to produce a world champion.

But the most eye-opening and informative Super Bowl in Eagles’ history may have occurred in Super Bowl XLIV.

Too bad the message probably went right over Andy Reid’s head.

While Reid sat around wondering if he was going to hit it big in his block pool he began to gain a false sense of hope about his team.

He witnessed the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 by running an unbalanced offense and relying on their quarterback to come up with big plays in the clutch.

Those who cry for Reid to dial up more runs can kiss that wish goodbye thanks to Sunday’s Super Bowl.

If you don’t count the one kneel down by Drew Brees, the Saints had 56 offensive plays. Of those 56 plays, Sean Payton asked his quarterback to chuck it around 39 times and hand it off only 17. That means the Saints offense threw the ball 69 percent of the time.

The winning Super Bowl team not only failed to commit to the run, but they were terrible when they ran it. Their 52 rushing yards—not counting the kneel down—helped the Saints produce a 3.06 yards per carry average.

Those stats should send shivers down the spines of Eagles fans.

Just imagine if Reid watched the game and actually thought the best way to win a Super Bowl is through the pass. Just imagine if he actually thinks he has a winning recipe for a Super Bowl brewing in South Philly.

That’s fine Andy. Maybe you do have the recipe for success. But there is one big problem: You don’t have the main ingredient. 

Brees, the Super Bowl MVP, completed 80 percent of his passes.

You got a quarterback like that Andy? Do you know what that means? If you want to run your pass-happy offense you better get a quarterback that is accurate. Completing 60 percent of your passes isn’t going to cut it in this era of the NFL.

Even in a losing effort, Peyton Manning completed 70 percent of his passes.

I hate to say it but Donovan McNabb couldn’t come up with a performance like that to justify Reid running an unbalanced offense.

It is usually dangerous to listen to the fans, but this one time I sure hope Reid had a friend lean over to him during the game and say, “You do know that Donnie boy couldn’t do that, right?”

I know I heard statements like that throughout the game and I know I said it too.

The fans learned a lot about what produces a winner during Super Bowl XLIV.

I’m just not sure Reid got the message.