Hindsight is 20/20, so they say.
Doug Pederson had that benefit on Monday morning when he appeared on 94 WIP for his weekly phone call with Angelo Cataldi, who asked if the Birds head coach would have tried something different instead of punting the football and settling for a tie after a false start pushed his team out of overtime field goal range.
“I think looking back on it, a couple of things – I hate the fact that the game came down to that one play. We should have won the game. Probably in regulation, looking back on it, with some of the execution (issues) we had not only offensively, but defensively. Fast forward to the end of the game, it’s long (the field goal), but obviously within Jake’s range, and it would have been 4th and 7 at that time. Things that go into that decision obviously are, I believe we haven’t converted a fourth down all season, other than a QB sneak. Our execution there has been lacking a bit. But looking back on it, I probably would have gone the other way, and taken a chance to, maybe a shot down the field, and put the ball in the air. Looking back on it, obviously with clear eyes this morning, a lot of things could have happened, right? DPI, illegal contact, could have been offensive holding or a sack. There are a lot of things that could go into those plays. Looking back on it, it’s probably what I would do.”
After the false start, the Eagles found themselves in a 4th and 12 situation from the Cincy 46 yard line. That means a 59-yard field goal attempt would have become a 64-yard attempt, which is beyond Jake Elliott’s career long range. They could have tried to throw the ball as Doug mentions, needing to reach the Cincy 34 to move the sticks. Otherwise, a failed effort would have given the Bengals the ball back with about a dozen seconds remaining on the clock, needing to complete a pass and then stop the clock before trying a long field goal of their own.
Here’s the full audio if you want to listen: