Andy Reid, whose mustache is pictured above, is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He has been the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles since 1999, making his tenure the longest of any current NFL head coach. And today, with the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to the division-rival Washington Redskins cementing 2012 as the team’s worst season since Reid’s first year with the team, Reid has likely coached his last game in Philadelphia.
Despite Reid’s generally impressive level of success during his time with the Eagles — highlighted by five NFC Championship games, including one Super Bowl, over 14 seasons — there’s one feature of being a head coach that he’s never quite gotten the hang of: clock management. As in, at the end of games, he tends to either waste, misuse, or otherwise bungle the small amount of time remaining.
Today’s contest with the Redskins looked like it would suffer the same fate. Down seven points, the Eagles got the ball with four minutes, 15 seconds remaining. An eternity, in terms of one drive. And the more time there is, the more ways Reid could potentially mess it up. But his players had a surprise in store for him, and, in some ways, that surprise would be a fitting tribute to his years with the team.
3. With 18 seconds left, the Eagles ran an effective screen pass to LeSean McCoy. With 11 seconds to go, Philly had time for at least two more plays — maybe three.
4. They go with a quick pass on first down. It’s a good call — incomplete, but it leaves time for two more plays. Right?
5. Except, Nick Foles unnecessarily extends a dead play and throws it away at the end. He manages to get rid of it with a second to go, but the problem is, it’s an illegal forward pass — the ball never crosses the line of scrimmage.
After the two-minute warning, an offensive penalty results in a 10-second runoff. And because there was only a second left on the clock at the time of the illegal forward pass — if Foles had only thrown it away properly, he would have gotten another shot — that meant that what was almost certainly Andy Reid’s last home game as the Eagles’ head coach ended on a clock technicality.