Once again the Eagles ended a season filled with promise and expectation with a frustrating defeat in the playoffs. Under head coach Andy Reid, it’s an annual rite of January that his team will frustrate and underwhelm when the playoffs begin. That’s just what the Eagles do when the playoffs start.
This time it was the Green Bay Packers who perplexed Reid with a rarely seen running attack that just made the Eagles’ inability to cash in on opportunities all the more maddening.
You know… different year, same crash-landing result.
So as the Eagles push into their second half-century without a championship (the third-longest drought amongst NFL teams and 15 years longer than the Flyers’ epic run without a title amongst Philly teams) it’s only fair to size up the latest failure with the other mind-numbing defeats.
Here are the Eagles’ worst non-Super Bowl losses in the playoffs in no particular order of disappointment:
2003 NFC Championship at Lincoln Financial Field (Jan. 18, 2004)
Panthers 14, Eagles 3
You know the phrase, “It was like watching paint dry…” In the case of this game such a statement would be unfair to paint, the color spectrum and the periodic chart of elements. Truth is, it would have been preferable to watch paint dry than this football game.
Usually the numbers don’t tell the entire story of a game, but this one sure did. Donovan McNabb, playing with torn cartilage in his ribs, went 10-for-22 with 100 yards passing and three interceptions by 5-foot-9 cornerback, Ricky Manning Jr. Eventually, Koy Detmer came on to relieve McNabb, but it wasn’t enough to boost the Eagles.
Of course what would a playoff loss in the playoffs be without complaints of Reid’s coaching moves? What would we talk about if we weren’t befuddled about the coach’s decade-long aversion to a running game… even when it’s working? The word after this game was that lineman Jon Runyan pleaded with the coaches to keep running the ball, especially since Correll Buckhalter and Duce Staley combined for 137 rushing yards.
No, this one might not have been the most disappointing loss in team history, but it was easily the ugliest.