The Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid had a mixed playoff legacy together. As such, it made sense that the Eagles and Reid kicked off this year's postseason together, with Reid's Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Indianapolis Colts before Philadelphia hosted the New Orleans Saints. It also made sense that both Reid and the Eagles had victory in their hands, only to both give it up at the last second.
Reid and the Chiefs had the most infamous collapse, as they led the Colts by 38-10 early in the second half and still lost by 45-44. Kansas City once had a stalwart defense when it started 9-0, but a slew of injuries and big plays from Andrew Luck shredded the Chiefs in an historic collapse.
The Eagles didn't give up such a big lead to the Saints, although they did take a 24-23 lead with five minutes left. But because they left too much time, and because a Cary Williams horse collar helped the Saints start their last drive at midfield, the Eagles never got the ball back as the Saints won by 26-24 with no time left.
Philadelphia was stalled for much of the game and couldn't really stop New Orleans, even with Drew Brees unable to light the Eagles up. In truth, the Eagles would have stolen the win over the Saints if they held on -- although it wouldn't have been close to the highway robbery the Colts committed.
Indianapolis turned the ball over four times, endured three Luck interceptions and had no answers for Alex Smith for 30+ minutes. But as Luck heated up and the Chiefs lost the likes of Jamaal Charles, Donnie Avery, Brandon Flowers and Justin Houston to injury, Reid had no answers to stop the bleeding.
Reid and Chip Kelly both gave the Chiefs and Eagles a new beginning this season, yet it didn't have to end this soon. Kelly had his limitations exposed by Sean Payton and the Saints, while Reid once again let sure fire postseason success slip through his fingers.
The Chiefs peaked when they started 9-0, and the Eagles' NFC East title was clearly the most they were ready for. Although Reid and Kelly hit their ceiling in 2013, can Kansas City and Philadelphia clear a higher bar than this in the future -- or are their playoff near-misses the first of many?