Doug Pederson knew he had to play for touchdown late

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Of all the lessons Doug Pederson has learned as the Eagles head coach, the biggest might have been a year ago, in a game he wasn’t in.

Instead of sitting on a lead or playing safe when he could have taken the lead with a field goal, Pederson remembered a 28-3 Falcons lead over the Patriots that went awry.

Trailing by a point in the fourth quarter, the Eagles stayed aggressive with their play-calling because they knew they had to against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The result was the drive that ended with Zach Ertz‘s leaping touchdown grab and a five-point lead, at a time when a field goal would have put them up 35-33.

Pederson didn’t mention last year’s Super Bowl specifically, but he didn’t have to.

“I knew that we were going to have to score a touchdown in that situation,” Pederson said. “A field goal wasn’t going to be good enough, not against Tom and the Patriots, so we stayed aggressive.

“Nick (Foles) made some outstanding throws, guys made some plays for him — Nelson (Agholor), (Zach) Ertz on the touchdown. Play after play, guys really stepped up tonight, and just had to get a touchdown in that situation.”

Granted, the sack-strip-fumble that followed (which was forced by Brandon Graham and recovered by Derek Barnett) nearly made it a moot point. If Pederson had learned the lesson about not going for two-point conversions too early and then chasing them, the touchdown would have given them a seven-point lead and the field goal after the turnover would have sealed it.

But to his credit, he didn’t make the bigger mistake the Falcons made, which is why he’s celebrating right now.

12 responses to “Doug Pederson knew he had to play for touchdown late

  1. Doug Pederson. Some teams have beaten the Patriots but far fewer have outcoached Bill Belichick.

    He’s learned so much of what NOT to do under Andy Reid therefore his success should not surprise us.

    Does this mean McDaniels gets a second interview in Indianapolis tomorrow?

  2. Kicking the extra point wouldn’t have given the Eagles a 7-point lead. They were down 33-32 before the TD. XP would have made it 39-33, NE could still win with a TD. Went for 2 to get 7-point lead.

  3. Doug Pederson coached to win the football game, not to lose. They had to cut the head off of the snake, and did just that.

  4. To be fair, the Eagles clock managment in the final 3 mins was questionable at best.

    First they went out of bounds after getting the first down to the 12 yard line which cost them a chance to take it down to the two min warning.
    Then they threw into the endzone on second down when again the best case scenario would have been getting a short gain and taking your shot on third (or if they had got a first, could have won it with a chip shot).

    Finally the time for the Eagles to get aggressive was with 2:03 left, after a questionable time out by Bill, the Eagles ran on second down when they had no reason not to pass (obviously taking a sack was out of the question), where an incomplete pass had no negative consequences and a first down ended the game.

    Peterson coached an excellent game but some of the clock management reminded me of his mentor.

  5. One year could be luck. Next year we’ll see whats Doug made of. So far, he’s been the best coach if the year and for sure, one of the most impressive achievments by a non top team to win the SB.

    I cant imagine another team with such amount of replacements and average players winning the big Game.

    I Hope this is not another temporary successful team (as the seabirds)

  6. Lol u better get ur boss on the phone, who has been celebrating Pederson’s use of analytics all year. Analytics says u always go for 2 there n u always go on for it on fourth and short between the 40s. The dont go for 2 early is the old dinosaur way of running a football team.

  7. “Kicking the extra point wouldn’t have given the Eagles a 7-point lead. They were down 33-32 before the TD. XP would have made it 39-33, NE could still win with a TD. Went for 2 to get 7-point lead.”

    I wrote this earlier. Later realized that she was probably talking about when Eagles went for 2 when up 15-3. Don’t think that was clear in article but I should have got that in context. My mistake.

  8. One year could be luck. Next year we’ll see whats Doug made of. So far, he’s been the best coach if the year and for sure, one of the most impressive achievments by a non top team to win the SB.

    I cant imagine another team with such amount of replacements and average players winning the big Game.

    I Hope this is not another temporary successful team (as the seabirds)

    Wow.. what a backhanded compliment this is. How again we’re the eagles not a top team?? I guess going 16-3 for the season which was the best record doesn’t make you a top team. Average players you say? Best all around football team in football most others say. Keep trolling tho bud 👍

  9. I’m an eagle fan and this team is not top (player by player).

    The récord doesnt mean you are top. I remember the dream team and the record was awful. Now, its the opposite, not names but a united team. And thats Dougs blame.

    I Hope this is what he ido as a coach, and not a Lucky year. I’d love yo see 2 or 3 lombardis coming but, we’ll see if he can maintain this coaching level and, if when Wentz finish historia rookie contract de can conserve that DL.

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