Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the oil.
It worked in Doug Pederson’s favor Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts, when the Eagles got a much-needed defensive holding call to extend their game-winning touchdown drive.
Pederson revealed Monday morning on WIP that earlier in the game, he called over the referee to let him know that the Colts’ defensive line had been holding their offensive tackles. Pederson told him to just “be aware of it.”
Then on 4th-and-5 at a crucial moment in the fourth quarter, that little chat ended up helping the Eagles in a big way.
That’s a pretty clear hold. Jabaal Sheard holds Lane Johnson so Margus Hunt can get around the edge on a stunt. It works and Hunt forces Wentz to throw the ball early.
Maybe if Hunt isn’t in his face, Wentz delivers a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews to get the first down. He probably does, but we’ll never know. If you think the Eagles get a first down, we’d have to assume Wentz’s non-pressured throw would be on the money and Matthews would catch it. Very possible, likely even, but not guaranteed.
This penalty gave the Eagles the first down and they scored the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later.
During Monday’s press conference, I asked Pederson if he’s strategic in bringing up these things to refs:
No, it’s common practice. I get a chance to meet with officials before the game. I get a chance to meet with the head referee before pregame. Listen, it’s a tough job. And if there’s something out there that we see, they want to know about it so they can get it right. It’s not strategic, it’s not planned in any way. It’s something that we saw throughout the game and wanted to bring to their attention and it was a true hold on Lane and they got it right. It’s not a competitive advantage other than we just want to make sure that everything is officiated correctly. I’m sure Frank (Reich) had things on their sideline too that he could talk to them about. It’s fair game, so to speak. It’s just common practice throughout the league.
It might not have been strategic, but it’s a good thing Pederson pointed out those penalties that hadn’t been called earlier in the game.
Holding calls on defensive linemen are pretty rare; it’s not something refs are probably super focused on during games. They’re looking for holding from offensive linemen and from defensive backs. So Pederson’s bringing it up to the officials likely put it on their radar.
And it helped the Eagles when they really needed it.