One of the most prominent Super Bowl storylines in 2023 is Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid facing off against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. In regular season play, Reid is 3-0 vs. Philadelphia since he was fired in 2012. The last time these sides met was in October 2021, when quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes threw for five touchdowns and Jalen Hurts tallied a career-high 387 yards through the air in a 42-30 shootout in Philadelphia.
The fourth meeting is obviously the most important one to date, and there is a lot at stake personally for Reid. Only 13 head coaches have ever won multiple Super Bowls, and just three (Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, and Tom Coughlin) have accomplished it in the 29-year-old salary cap era. He’d been here before in 2020, but the bid for back-to-back championships ended with a resounding defeat to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For his glowing reputation as a quarterback whisperer and offensive mastermind, one of the biggest knocks on Reid during his otherwise extremely successful tenure with the Eagles was his inability to even get to the Super Bowl, let alone win one. In his 14 seasons with Philadelphia, Reid won six division titles, reached the playoffs nine times and appeared in five Conference Championship games. He only won one of those NFC Championship appearances, and his lone Super Bowl trip became infamous for horrific clock management.
Even after Reid found instant success with the Kansas City Chiefs upon his hiring in 2013, ghosts of postseasons past continued to haunt him. A 38-10 lead turn into a historic 45-44 Wild Card collapse against the Indianapolis Colts. Two years later, his Divisional Round exit against the New England Patriots invoked some unwanted Super Bowl memories. The following season he was knocked out at home in the Divisional Round by a Pittsburgh Steelers side that didn’t score a touchdown, only the fifth such playoff result since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Another massive Wild Card collapse, this time at home against the Tennessee Titans, occurred in the same playoffs that saw the Eagles win the Super Bowl over the Patriots under longtime Reid assistant Doug Pederson.
Exit Alex Smith and enter Patrick Mahomes as his starting quarterback and Reid’s offenses have torn up the league for five years running. Reid spent two decades dogged by the qualifier of “couldn’t win the big one” until he finally did against the San Francisco 49ers. For however long it lasts, they will go down as one of the greatest head coach/quarterback duos the sport has ever seen.
While Reid turned the Eagles into a prolonged perennial contender, it’s clear that the separation at the end of the 2012 season has yielded a win-win outcome. Andy has enjoyed his best years and greatest achievements with Kansas City, whereas the Eagles have made the playoffs six times, won a championship, and are vying for a second just two years into the Nick Sirianni/Jalen Hurts era.
“Listen, I had 14 great years there,” Reid said of Philadelphia at Super Bowl media day. “I loved every minute of it. It’s a great organization. I still am close with the people there. It was great to see the kids that we had drafted that are now these veteran players — All-Pro players — on that team. I had the chance to give them a hug, and now we go our separate ways and get ready to play.”
Reid’s accomplishments to date should be more than enough to confirm his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has the most wins and highest win percentage for both Kansas City and Philadelphia franchises, the 5th-most regular season wins, and the 2nd-most playoff wins of all time. But his story is not yet complete, and victory in Glendale on Sunday at the expense of his former team would put him in rarefied air with universally revered coaches, cementing his legacy as unimpeachable.