Doug Pederson defended his play calling just before halftime and blamed Carson Wentz’s game-turning interception on the fifth-year quarterback.
During his regular Monday morning spot on 94 WIP, Pederson said staying aggressive late in the first half made sense but said Wentz has to make a better decision.
“When you call the play, you don’t expect an interception,” Pederson said in his interview with WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi. “Hindsight’s 20-20 and I trust my quarterback. Could he have made a better decision maybe to go somewhere differently with the football? Sure.”
The Eagles led Washington, 17-0, at FedExField Sunday when they got the ball back on their own 28-yard line with 1:44 left before halftime.
On their first play of that drive, Wentz threw an out to rookie Jalen Reagor near the left sideline just inside midfield. Washington cornerback Fabian Moreau jumped the route and picked off the pass, and Washington quickly went down the field and scored to make it a 17-7 game game at halftime.
They outscored the Eagles 20-0 in the second half and upset the Eagles, 27-17, in the season opener.
Pederson said he won’t change the way he coaches.
“No, not at all,” he said. “This is what people have to understand. In this league, I don’t care if it’s 17-0, 20-0, 17 points in this league is not a win and by no means am I going to sit on the ball and do any of that. I trust my guys and I put my guys in a position to be successful. It is unfortunate, it’s a costly mistake obviously, and it wasn’t the only one. But I’m going to continue to put our guys in that position. I’ve got to … show confidence in the guys, so I would definitely do that again. At the same time, I would maybe coach that play or coach the quarterback, coach the protection, whatever we have to do to make that play better."
This was the first time the Eagles outscored a team by 10 or more points in a first half and then were outscored by 20 or more points in the second half since a game against Washington at the Vet in 1986.
“When you look at it, you can always say punt the football there or run the football there, whatever it might be, with any play out there you could say that,” Pederson said. “We’re going to do our part this week to make sure those plays are coached up correctly.”