Eagles coach Doug Pederson defends two-point conversion play call, not using Ryan Mathews
Doug Pederson stood by his play call on the failed two-point conversion at the end of Sunday's 27-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and defended not putting Ryan Mathews at running back for the play.
"In my mind, there was zero opportunity to run, because what we anticipated is what we got defensively," Pederson said Monday, alluding to Baltimore's blitz. "There was not going to be a lane. It was going to be a 1-yard loss if we tried to run the football at that time."
Pederson said the Eagles had a good one-on-one opportunity for Jordan Matthews in the slot, but Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley deflected the pass before it could reach Matthews. The coach emphasized that the problem was not who was playing running back.
"It didn't matter who was in the backfield at the time," Pederson said. "The fact of the matter was we weren't going to run the ball in that situation."
Considering Mathews' success running the ball Sunday -- he rushed for a season-high 128 yards and ran well throughout the second half -- his presence might have threatened the possibility of a run. The Eagles used Mathews to run on a successful two-point conversion earlier in the game. Pederson said that the situation was different, and that it would not have fooled Baltimore.
"Maybe from layman's terms it might look to appear that way – when you are in the heat of the battle like that, they are going to do what they do, we're going to do what we do," Pederson said. "I know what we did the first two-point conversion. It was in the first half of the game when really I decided to go for two then because of the weather. I didn't want to take points off the board necessarily with a potential missed extra point with the way we were kicking into the wind at that time.
"So, that's a different situation, different scenario. This was a true, got-to-have-it situation, and we had our best play at that time against that defense."