In the Andy Reid era, there are certain things Eagles fans have come to expect. Jon Runyan is going to play even if he isn't breathing, Jim Johnson is going to blitz until the other team cries "Uncle" and Reid will make sure the Eagles win the game after the bye week.
In his 10 years as head coach, Reid is 9-0 following the bye. It shows that Reid maximizes the time the bye affords and he uses it to recharge, refresh and refocus. Here's a look at the games following the bye in the Reid era. If this is any indication, the Atlanta Falcons should have their hands full at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Eagles 38, St. Louis Rams 31 - January 2, 2000: Following the first of two consecutive Week 16 byes, the Eagles welcomed the eventual Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams to Veterans Stadium. It was Reid's first season at the helm and the Eagles were suffering through a 4-11 season. But the two teams reversed roles on this day, as rookie quarterback Donovan McNabb threw for three scores and the Eagles' defense forced seven turnovers for the upset win. Joe Banner on Eagles Live!
Eagles 16, Cincinnati Bengals 7 - December 24, 2000: Coming off another late bye in Week 16, the Eagles, who were 10-5 at the time, were preparing for their first playoff appearance in four years. Conversely, the Bengals were 4-11 and were warming up the bus, waiting for the season to end. At Veterans Stadium, the Eagles jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back to finish the regular season with an 11-5 record.
Eagles 10, New York Giants 9 - October 22, 2001: Following a Week 5 bye, the Eagles traveled to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Giants' defense stymied McNabb and Co. almost the entire game, but New York only held a measly 9-0 lead in the third quarter. Akers connected on a 25-yard field goal and McNabb found James Thrash for a touchdown with 1:52 left as the Eagles snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. More importantly, the win snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Giants.
Eagles 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 - October 20, 2002: In a precursor of the NFC Championship game later that year, the Eagles hosted the Tampa Bay Bucs at Veterans Stadium after a Week 6 bye. The Eagles' defense rose to the occasion, limiting Tampa's offense to just a field goal. The Buccaneers' defense, however, got on the scoreboard after Derrick Brooks returned a fumble 11 yards to give Tampa Bay an early 7-3 lead. But McNabb accounted for two touchdowns – one through the air and one rushing – to help the Eagles fight off the Bucs.
Eagles 23, Buffalo Bills 13 - September 28, 2003: Coming off an early-season Week 3 bye, the Eagles traveled to Ralph Wilson Stadium in scenic Buffalo. Again the Eagles jumped out to a big lead only to watch Buffalo rally. Philadelphia held a 16-0 lead before Drew Bledsoe piloted the Bills' offense to two scores to pull Buffalo within three. But Brian Westbrook rode to the Eagles' rescue after he ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run with 2:10 left in regulation to help keep Buffalo at bay.
Eagles 30, Carolina Panthers 8 - October 17, 2004: In a rematch of the 2003 NFC Championship game, the Eagles hosted the Panthers after a bye in Week 5. The Eagles' defense kept Carolina off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter and by that time the Eagles' held a 23-point lead. Lito Sheppard had a 64-yard interception return for a score and Brian Westbrook sealed the win with a 42-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left to help the Eagles exact some revenge.
Eagles 20, San Diego Chargers 17 - October 23, 2005: Following a Week 6 bye, the Eagles hosted LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. Tomlinson came into the game having scored a touchdown in 18 consecutive games, but the Eagles defense stuffed Tomlinson, holding him to seven yards on 17 carries. Still, the Eagles were trailing 17-13 late in the fourth quarter when Quintin Mikell blocked a field goal attempt and Matt Ware returned it 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Eagles 27, Washington Redskins 3 - November 12, 2006: Following a bye in Week 9, the Eagles hosted the NFC East rival Washington Redskins on a soggy day at Lincoln Financial Field. Akers started the game with a 37-yard field goal before McNabb connected with Donté Stallworth for an 84-yard touchdown pass and Correll Buckhalter on a 55-yard strike to give the Eagles a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Sheldon Brown capped the win with a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Eagles 16, New York Jets 9 - October 14, 2007: Following a Week 5 bye, the Eagles traveled up the New Jersey Turnpike to take on the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Jets kicker Mike Nugent gave New York and early 3-0 lead, but a 75-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to receiver Kevin Curtis gave the Eagles a lead they would never relinquish. The teams traded field goals throughout the rest of the game as the Eagles emerged victorious.