Doug Pederson: I’m going to continue to be as aggressive as I can
The Eagles had a chance to beat the Giants late in the fourth quarter when they had four plays from the 17-yard-line while trailing 28-23.
Quarterback Carson Wentz threw four straight incompletions, though, and the Eagles lost for the fourth time in their last five games. Things may have played out differently for the Eagles had a couple of decisions by coach Doug Pederson in the first half played out differently.
Facing a fourth-and-two at the Giants’ 23-yard-line to start the second quarter, the Eagles had quarterback Carson Wentz run a read option that was blown up in the backfield for a loss. Down 21-10 later in the quarter, Pederson called on running back Darren Sproles on fourth-and-one from the six-yard-line and the result was pretty much the same.
After the game, Pederson said it was an opportunity to “show confidence in the offense” and ride momentum after two early Wentz interceptions put the team in a 14-0 hole, something he said he thinks he’d do again in the future because of what it can do to help the team grow.
“I think I’ll stay aggressive. I think I have to,” Pederson said, via PhillyVoice.com. “I think, again, there’s opportunities there to be had and there’s plays to be made. And these are all part of our growth process on offense. Rookie quarterback, young receivers, veteran offensive line. So at the same time, we’re trying to build this thing. We’re trying to do it right. And by putting them in these situations, they’re going to be better for this. They’re going to be better down the stretch -- somewhere it’s going to pay off for us, it’s going to pay off for all of us. So I’m going to continue being as aggressive as I can and send a message to our football team that I trust them.”
Neither decision felt like an undue risk at the time, although the Wentz run call is one Pederson might like to have back given how often his quarterback was able to make plays through the air after his early flubs. The Eagles had nine pass plays of more than 20 yards over the course of the afternoon, although too much focus on Pederson’s play calls would ignore the impact of those turnovers, a blocked field goal and a defense that let the Giants go on long touchdown drives the first two times they closed within one score.