We’ll never know if Jake Elliott would have made that field goal attempt.
We do know that after Matt Pryor jumped offsides he never even had a chance to try.
Pryor’s false start with 19 seconds left and Elliott lining up to attempt a game-winning 59-yard field goal against the Bengals Sunday cost the Eagles their last chance to win their first game of the season.
It wasn’t a high-percentage kick, but the Eagles had a better chance to win with Elliott attempting a 59-yarder than Doug Pederson punting, which is what he did after Pryor’s penalty. Elliott has only attempted one kick of 59 yards or more in his career, and that was the 61-yard game-winner he made against the Giants in 2017.
With Isaac Seumalo out indefinitely, Pryor made his first regular-season start Sunday at right guard.
But it was on special teams where he committed his unthinkable penalty.
Pryor, a 6th-round pick in 2018 out of TCU, was very emotional on the sideline when the Eagles-Bengals game ended in a 23-23 tie, which is understandable considering a false start on a field goal attempt should never happen.
And in that situation, it just may have cost the Eagles a game.
“That’s a guy I know it means something to him,” Brandon Graham said. “If he wasn’t mad I’d be questioning him. But I know that Pryor definitely works his butt off, he’s happy for the opportunity that he got, he took care of business when he was in there. But he’s got to not make that mistake next time and I know he will make up for that.”
Overall, the Eagles committed 11 penalties for 93 yards and gave the Bengals three first downs on penalties. Last time they committed more was 2016, when they had 13 against Washington and 14 against Detroit.
Three of the Eagles’ penalties Sunday came in overtime.
On the Eagles’ first OT drive, the Eagles were on the Cincinnati 43 — just a few yards from field goal range — when Lane Johnson was called for a false start and later on the drive Herbig was cited for holding at the 42 — again close to field goal range. The Eagles ended up punting.
If any of those three penalties didn’t happen, Elliott likely gets a chance to win the game.
Ten different players were called for penalties Sunday: Malik Jackson and Corey Clement had 15-yard personal fouls, and Jalen Mills, Jason Kelce, Javon Hargrave, Rodney McLeod, Johnson, Herbig, Pryor and Brandon Graham also had infractions.
The Eagles have committed 20 penalties in three games.
“A lot of this stuff is self-inflicted, stuff that we can control, and we’re going to get it right,” Graham said. “Things happen in a game that sometimes, hey, we’re just not proud of. I jumped up offsides, I’m not proud of that. Mistakes happen.”
And on Sunday they kept happening over and over.