Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson realizes he didn’t just punt in the final seconds of overtime, but he punted away the opportunity to pull out an unimpressive win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Instead, the Eagles remain winless three games into the 2020 season, a costly Matt Pryor false-start penalty on the game-winning field-goal attempt with 19 seconds remaining in overtime forcing Philadelphia out of range.
Rather than go for it just inside Bengals territory to try and pry another opportunity to win the game, Pederson opted to punt, relegating his team to a 23-23 tie.
“You go from 4th-&-7 to 4th-&-12, it’s a tough thing,” Pederson said (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia). “Looking back, you probably put it in your quarterback’s hands to win the game. Zach [Ertz] was having a decent second half and some of the guys, and you look back at it and you go, ‘Let’s trust those guys and put it in their hands.’ But 4th-&-12, to overcome that, it’s got to take 11 guys doing the right thing.”
“I hate the fact that the game came down to that one play. We should have won the game. Probably in regulation, looking back on it.”
The Eagles had to claw back just to force overtime, a Carson Wentz seven-yard touchdown scramble in the final minutes salvaging something from an otherwise underwhelming weekend.
Wentz was picked off twice, his fifth and sixth interceptions of the season. He had seven picks all of last year as his regression continues while headlining a shorthanded Eagles offense that continues to misfire.
Such a decision from Pederson suggests that he no longer trusts Wentz and his playmakers to get the job done, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“I still trust in the guys, I still believe in the guys, and these are things that we will learn from,” he said. “I will learn from it. I’ve never been in this situation as a coach obviously to make this decision at the end of the game like this, and these are things that we continue to coach, we continue to teach.”
“This is why we get in this business. I made 92 other decisions offensively in this game plus a few more, and that’s just what it comes down to. It comes down to making those one or two right decisions and that’s on me.”