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Eagles made a TERRIBLE decision not to challenge Russell Wilson’s forward lateral

Doug Pederson definitely should’ve challenged this one.

Russell Wilson is a crafty football player, but one of his trickiest plays Sunday night should’ve been ruled a penalty. On a run well past the line of scrimmage, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback pitched to running back Mike Davis who broke free for another 17 or so yards.

Just one problem: The pitch was definitely forward.

It was tough to tell at full speed and looked backward just due to the positioning of the players. But where Wilson let go of the ball and where Davis caught it was about a 1-yard difference.

Philadelphia could’ve challenged the play but opted not to.

Earlier in the game, the Eagles challenged a fourth-and-inches spot that was ruled just short of a first down. After replay upheld the call on the field, Philadelphia was left with just one more challenge and probably should’ve used it on the lateral.

Instead, the play resulted in a first down for the Seahawks and extended a drive that eventually ended with a touchdown that extended the team’s lead over the Philadelphia Eagles to 24-10 in the fourth quarter.

Challenging would’ve been a roll of the dice for the Eagles, but it’s one that Doug Pederson definitely should’ve gone for.

His earlier decision, a poor one, to challenge a spot factored into why he didn’t throw the red flag on the lateral.

"Real time, it looked fine. It looked legit," Pederson said. "We didn't get all the necessary looks. They hustled to the line, but at the same time, it looked good, and I trust the guys upstairs making those decisions and didn't challenge that. I already challenged one in the half and lost that, so I didn't want to risk another timeout."

By letting that go, Pederson allowed the Seahawks critical momentum and a new set of downs on a drive that ultimately resulted in a touchdown.

You could argue that it didn’t matter and that the Seahawks would have won by one touchdown instead of two. Challenging the play and getting it overturned would have kept the game close, changing the dynamics on what the Eagles could have done offensively with seven-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

Those weren’t Pederson’s only struggles with game management on Sunday night. He opted not to go for it on fourth-and-1 in the first quarter near midfield, a situation where the Eagles have found plenty of success this season. A little later in the first half, with 18 seconds left before halftime, Pederson punted instead of going for it on fourth down. Then he did opt to go for it on fourth-and-3 in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were in field-goal range.

Philadelphia is still in fine shape for making the postseason and locking down one of the NFC’s top spots. But one thing’s for sure: The Eagles head coach is going to have to get much better with his coaching decisions if his team’s going to have a real shot at going all the way.


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