Ex-Eagles question Pederson's bizarre OT punt decision originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles' frustrating, ugly Week 3 tie with the Bengals ended in a burst of confusion for Eagles fans, who were left shocked - and frankly appalled - by head coach Doug Pederson's decision to actively play for the tie instead of trying a last-ditch attempt at a win.
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After Matt Pryor false-started on a 59-yard field goal attempt, making a 64-yarder a stretch even for strong-legged Jake Elliott, Pederson opted to take an intentional delay-of-game penalty and then punt the ball away on 4th & 17 with 18 seconds to play.
Why not just try to get the first down? Why not let Elliott, who famously hit a 61-yard field goal against the Giants during the Eagles' Super Bowl season, just try it from 64? Is a tie even worth it?
Apparently two former Eagles from that Super Bowl team were asking the same questions on Sunday afternoon.
Former defensive end Chris Long asked on Twitter, as Pederson made his decision, whether the tie is even any better than a loss at this point in the season, with things trending the way they are with the Eagles:
It's a fair question. The Birds are 0-2-1, not exactly a record that inspires any confidence.
Former Eagles wideout Torrey Smith was far more blunt in his assessment of Pederson's decision:
Neither can I, Torrey. Neither can I.
Pederson is often held up as the bastion of aggressive decision making across the NFL, but on Sunday he was surprisingly timid down the stretch in overtime, at home and while playing against a rookie quarterback.
I cannot believe he was so afraid of Burrow getting the Bengals into the correct spot - with less than 20 seconds and no timeouts - for a long game-winning field goal that he didn't even try a hail mary or a long field goal. It'll boggle my mind for days.