Extra Points: Pederson Kissed A Shot at Victory Goodbye
Eagles coach Doug Pederson and I both made awful decisions Sunday.
I was torn between hitting the beach for a few hours and staying home to watch the Eagles try to earn their first victory of the season by taking on the Bengals.
All of my Twitter followers and Facebook friends urged me to skip the game in favor of some sand, sun and surf.
I should have listened. Bypassing the beach would have spared me from watching in disbelief as Pederson chose to give up on a chance at victory by settling for a 23-23 tie.
“We’re just not a very smart football team right now,” Pederson said he told the team after the game.
The lack of intelligence extends to the coach.
He seemed ready to make the right choice at the end of overtime. Place-kicker Jake Elliott – who had made a 54-yard field goal with ease earlier in the game – trotted out to try a 59-yarder to win with 19 seconds left, only to see guard Matt Pryor commit a false start that pushed the Eagles back 5 yards.
That meant a 64-yarder would win. The wind was at his back. Three seasons ago, Elliott made a franchise-record 61-yarder to beat the New York Giants.
Instead, Pederson took a deliberate delay of game, then punted, thus guaranteeing the Eagles (0-2-1) would be winless after three games for the first time since 1999, when Pederson was the quarterback.
It was also the Eagles’ first tie since 2008, when they played to a 13-13 tie. Afterward, then-Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb famously admitted he didn’t know games could end in a tie.
“I’ve never been part of a tie before,” McNabb said after the game. “I didn’t even know that was in the rules.”
Pederson certainly did, but he still opted to settle for a deadlock, anyway.
It marked the second time in less than 24 hours that I had seen someone fold the tent.
Saturday night, my wife and I attended an outdoor wedding at the Shore Club in Middle Township. The reception was held under a white canopy because of the threat of rain.
I could have used another one of those margaritas I enjoyed at the reception.
Like me, I think Pederson realized pretty quickly that he made the wrong choice Sunday.
“Looking back, I mean hindsight is 20-20, I guess,” Pederson said. “I’ll look at that decision tomorrow with clear eyes, and make a decision later.”
Evidently, his vision was pretty blurry Sunday.
Like mine on Saturday night.
Pederson’s brain cramp almost overshadowed another horrible performance from Carson Wentz. He threw two interceptions for the third straight game, dropped a fumble and overthrew a wide-open Miles Sanders early in overtime that would have made the late-game collapse moot.
According to NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com, Wentz is the first Eagles quarterback to throw multiple interceptions in three straight games since Ron Jaworski in 1985 and the first to throw six picks in the first three games of a season since Sonny Jurgensen in 1961.
Think about it. Even Bobby Hoying wasn’t this bad.
Meanwhile, down in Atlanta, Nick Foles came off the bench for the Bears to throw three touchdown passes in a 30-26 win over the Falcons.
Maybe the Eagles kept the wrong quarterback.
If Wentz continues to struggle, there’s no reason to keep Jalen Hurts in a backup role much longer. It wouldn’t be fair to throw the rookie out there against the 49ers, Steelers and Ravens, but if Wentz can’t get it together, I’d say the Hurts era should start on Oct. 22 against the Giants.
Regardless, I’m done passing up beach days or golf to watch the Eagles.
I might tune in next week, but that’s only because the Eagles-49ers game is on “Sunday Night Football.”
Or I could watch the Phillies in the playoffs … Oh, never mind.