Doug Pederson spoke with reporters immediately after the Eagles’ near-win, but then actual loss, against the Ravens on Sunday. He talked about his decision to go for two points at the end rather than play for overtime, and what he saw from a few guys. Here are his full comments:
On his confidence level with running the ball during the game
“We were confident, but at the same time, as a play caller, I knew I had to be patient with the run game against this football team. They’re a tremendous defense, obviously tops in the league, and against the run as well, and it just came down to patience and sheer determination by the offensive line.”
On the decision to go for two
Were you going for two points the whole way?
“Yes. I had my mind up, if we had a chance to go for it and win it, we’re going to go win it.”
“I wanted to win the football game. Even our chances in overtime were less than 50 percent of winning this game. As an underdog going in, I wanted to win the game in regulation.”
What’s the logic behind the 50 percent number?
“Those were just the numbers we ran, and just being an underdog in this game. ... Plus they have a tremendous field goal kicker.”
Why was the play call to throw to Jordan Matthews?
“We knew and anticipated zero coverage, zero blitz, and we had a one-on-one with Carson and Jordan, but the ball just got tipped at the line of scrimmage. We had an opportunity there, and it was one of our staple plays we run against that coverage.”
“In those situations, it’s a gotta-have-it situation for both teams, and you know you’re going to be in zero blitz. It doesn’t matter who the back is, they’re going to cover up all the gaps, whether you run it or throw it. Your chances throwing it are actually a little bit better in that situation.
“The play call, the play design, everything about it was built for that coverage. Credit them, they got a hand up and tipped the ball.”
Did you think you were going for two out of desperation for a win?
“I wanted a win. Whether it’s desperation or not, I just wanted to win a football game.”
On what he saw from Carson Wentz in the final drive
“It just shows everything we’ve talked about and seen from him. It just shows his sheer determination, his mental and physical toughness, and just a great play to get himself in the end zone.”
On not being able to finish games with a win
“Everybody’s dejected, everybody’s disappointed, obviously. Not being able to finish on the winning side of these games. That’s been the feeling the last couple of weeks, and we just ... it’s a tough locker room. They’re hanging in there, they’re battling. Love those guys.”
On the offensive line’s performance
“I thought they played extremely well, after that initial turnover on the first drive, the offensive line settled in. I thought Isaac, first time at right tackle, played extremely well. He got a little nicked up in the game, was kind of hobbling a bit. We’ve got to find out where he is for the next game. But gosh, those guys battled. They’re tough, and they really hung together today.”
On why he ran a sweep with Nelson Agholor on a fourth down attempt
“I was thinking about getting the first down. ... It’s an opportunity to put the ball into a speed guy’s hands, circle the defense like we did before with Bryce, and get the first down.”