A good night of sleep didn’t change Doug Pederson’s mind.
The day after the Eagles’ 28-23 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium, the head coach said he isn’t second-guessing any of his decisions from the game.
“No. Not yesterday,” Pederson said at his weekly Monday press conference. “I felt comfortable with everything we did, with how I called the game. Even down the stretch, we had opportunities in that last four plays of the game. To have opportunities to extend that drive and potentially score and we just missed on the last play of the game.”
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At least after the Cowboys loss, Pederson second-guessed one of his more insignificant decisions. After this loss, there was nothing he would have done differently. That includes his decisions to go for it on two 4th-and-shorts in the second quarter.
On the first, he ran a running play with Carson Wentz on a 4th-and-2. The play lost four yards. While the play appeared doomed, Pederson on Monday blamed its failure on a “missed assignment.”
On the second, he called a handoff right to Darren Sproles on a 4th-and-1 and Sproles was stopped for no gain.
In both situations, the Eagles were in field goal range and possibly gave away six points. They lost by five on Sunday.
“I still feel strong about those,” Pederson said. “I think the decisions to go for it just shows confidence and belief in the guys at that time. I felt like we were moving the ball. And at the end of the day, we had more opportunities in this game. To me, in my opinion, it didn’t come down to those plays. There were enough things in this game that cost us this football game. I still stick by what I did, how I chose to go for it in those situations.”
The Eagles, of course, were playing from behind for nearly the entirety of Sunday's game. Two Wentz interceptions led to two quick touchdowns for the Giants, who built a 14-0 lead with just over five minutes gone in the game.
While Pederson was aggressive with those two fourth-down play calls in the second quarter, he claimed on Monday that his aggressiveness wasn’t a reaction to the early deficit.
“We can always speculate in those situations,” he said. “It was so early, though, in the football game that it didn’t really get us out of our game plan. Even down 14, there was no panic, just eagerness offensively to get back on the field and right the ship.”