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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reid’s Record After the Bye: Hype or Impressive? (Updated through 2011 season)

UPDATE 8/28/2012: Many thanks to Mike Missanelli for using this post on his show during last season. It’s one of my most popular posts, so as we enter the 2012 season I thought I’d give it an update. The Eagles went to 13-0 under Reid in games after the bye. See below for the updated opponents list.

          This week fans will hear and read about one thing over and over again – Andy Reid’s record as the Eagles head coach after the bye week. It seems to be one of Reid’s most impressive statistics – he’s never lost after the bye. That’s 12-0 . . . in the regular season. We all know what happened in the Super Bowl when Reid had two weeks to prepare as did Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

          In fact, while 12-0 speaks volumes, only once did the Eagles face an opponent that was also coming off of a bye – Atlanta in 2008. (For the record, the Falcons finished 11-5 and lost in the Wild Card game of the playoffs.)

          So, I decided to look a little deeper into the vaunted Reid record after the bye week. There are two victories over eventual Super Bowl champions (the Rams and the Buccaneers), including his first season with the Eagles. That seems impressive. Yet, the Rams were playing the last game of a 13-3 season, which meant nothing to them according to the standings, and the Buccaneers later beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game that was the Eagles finale in Veterans Stadium. Only three other teams had winning records.

          Here’s the rest of what I found:

Eagles opponents after the Bye Week under Andy Reid


1999 Rams (played the previous week) – won SB, but last week of 13-3 season.

2000 Bengals (played the previous week) – last week of 4-12 season.

2001 Giants (played the previous week) – finished 7-9.

2002 Buccaneers (played the previous week) – won SB; Bucs only loss in 9-1 stretch, beat Eagles in NFC Championship in Vet finale.

2003 Bills (played the previous week) – finished 6-9.

2004 Carolina (played the previous week) – finished 7-9; Eagles game was in the midst of a Carolina 6-game losing streak which they followed with a 5-game winning streak.

2005 Chargers (played the previous week) – finished 9-7; won 5 straight after the Eagles game, and 3 of 4 just before the game.

2006 Redskins (played the previous week) – finished 5-11.

2007 Jets (played the previous week) – finished 4-12; Eagles game was in the midst of a 6-game losing streak and a 1-8 start.

2008 Atlanta (OFF the previous week) – finished 11-5 and lost in the Wild Card game of the playoffs; Eagles game was only loss in a 4-1 stretch.

2009 Buccaneers (played the previous week) – finished 3-13; Eagles game was towards the end of a 0-7 start.

2010 Colts (played the previous week) – finished 10-6; lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs; Eagles game started a 1-4 stretch followed by a 4-game winning streak.

          So, is Reid’s 12-0 record after the bye more a result of playing the right opponent at the right time than a credit to the coach? I’m leaning towards timing being the key factor.

UPDATE continued:

2011 Cowboys (played the previous week) – finished 8-8; missed the playoffs; won 4 straight games after this Eagles game; lost to the Eagles a second time in late December.

          This victory didn’t change my conclusion about Reid’s record after the bye week. Despite the Giants catching fire in the playoffs to win the Super Bowl, the entire NFC East wasn’t very good in the regular season.

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