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Eagles coach 'pissed off' after loss to Giants, report about Wentz's 'sloppy practice habits'

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

Sometimes it's hard to figure out which statement by Eagles coach Doug Pederson is the most incredulous.

There were plenty of them Monday, one day after the Eagles lost 27-17 to the Giants and dropped to 3-5-1 while still holding on to first place in the weak NFC East. 

Pederson began by saying he was "pissed off" on his Monday morning radio show on SportsRadio 94 WIP, and doubled down on that later at his press conference with reporters.

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"I’m disappointed. We’re all disappointed," he said. "The guys in the locker room at the end of the game were frustrated, were mad. I look back, we had 14 days since we played a game. 

But really, what Pederson said on the radio seems like a more apt description of where the blame should lie: “I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off at myself. I’m pissed off at the way we played. It frustrates me. It frustrates me to no end. We have too much pride. I have too much pride. These players have too much pride."

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on the field for pregame warmups at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in East Rutherford.

Pederson definitely deserves some of the blame.

Quarterback Carson Wentz is constantly under siege. The play-calling (more on that later) is questionable at times. And then there are decisions like going for 2 points after the Eagles scored a touchdown while trailing 21-11. The extra point would have kept the Eagles within a field goal. 

By missing the two-point conversion after Corey Clement's 5-yard touchdown run with 5:20 left in the third quarter, the Eagles trailed 21-17 and had to score a touchdown to take the lead.

"You go for it and you make it, then a field goal can win the game for you later on in the fourth quarter," Pederson said after the game. "At least it gives you an opportunity to know exactly what you need to do to win the game."

Actually, if the Eagles kick the extra point – a 94% success rate – then they know they need a field goal to tie. And as it turned out, the Giants kicked a field goal to go up by 7 midway through the fourth quarter.

That meant the Eagles had to score a touchdown to tie the game, which led them to go for it on 4th-and-10 from the Giants' 36 with 5 minutes to go. Had the Eagles kicked the extra point earlier and thus trailed by six at that point, they would not have had to take such a huge chance on fourth down.

But Pederson wasn't done.

He was asked if he was satisfied in his play-calling Sunday, and throughout the season. Pederson has always called the plays on offense rather than having a coordinator do it.

"I feel good about the plays that have been called," Pederson said. "I even looked at the game and felt I was in rhythm. I've always looked at the game through the eyes of the quarterback and how he views it and how he sees it. I think it's important that quarterback and play-caller are on the same page."

It sure didn't look that way.

Wentz was 21 of 37 passing for 208 yards, without a touchdown and – for the first time this season – without a turnover after committing an NFL-high 16 through the first eight games.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) leaps over New York Giants cornerback Logan Ryan (23) in the second half. The Giants defeat the Eagles, 27-17, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.

But Wentz's passer rating was 72.8, in line with his rating for the season of 73.2, which ranks 31st in the NFL. 

"Look, not every game is going to be perfect," Pederson said. "There's going to be mistakes made and there's going to be things that we're going to have to overcome and that's part of our jobs. Nobody's perfect. By no means am I perfect."

Pederson was then asked if he's happy with his play-calling, then why is he mad at himself?

"We've had a lot of time to really kind of sit back and reflect and focus and there's been a lot of questions asked," Pederson said about the week off. "Why was the team flat? Why was there this? Why was there that? So those are things I look at.

"I get frustrated because I want every play to work, right? I want every drive to end in a kick, whether it be a field goal or an extra point. When it doesn't happen, obviously that's where I get a little frustrated and a little upset and what can I do better during the week."

Then came the issue of Wentz, after Michael Silver of the NFL Network reported Monday that, "there have been some sloppy practice habits that he has been allowed to perpetuate."

Silver said that if that continues "on a downward spiral, the Eagles could blow this up."

Pederson said he had not seen the report, then said, "I don't understand where that's coming from, and we're just going to continue to coach and make sure we hold everybody accountable."

Pederson was asked a follow-up question about whether Wentz has sloppy practice habits.

"No," Pederson replied.

With that, the Eagles will start preparing for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as they enter a stretch of five straight games against teams with at least six wins, and a 32-13 combined record.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.