Doug Pederson was on fire in 2017. It seemed like everything he touched turned to gold, and everything he decided to do was the best decision he could make. His bold and gutsy mentality was a huge factor in the Eagles being able to bring home their first Lombardi Trophy and beating the New England Patriots dynasty.
2018 is a whole new world for Pederson. He is still considered one of the most aggressive coaches in the NFL, but there have been quite a few decisions he has made this year that have left fans scratching their heads. One of those head-scratchers came Sunday against the Cowboys. With just over a minute left in the 4th quarter, the Eagles scored a touchdown to make the score Cowboys 23 Eagles 22. Jim Schwartz's defense had just given up two touchdowns on their previous two outings, and looked exhausted. With a win badly needed, and overtime basically being decided by a coin-flip, many thought Pederson would try to go for the two-point conversion and the win. Instead, Pederson went conservative and went for the tie to try and force overtime.
After the game when he was asked if he would change his mind, Pederson doubled down and said he would have still kicked the extra point and go to overtime if given another chance.
What made it such a head-scratcher was that the Cowboys committed a penalty on the extra-point attempt - Pederson could have accepted it and went for the two-point conversion from the one-yard line. Last season (with less on the line at that moment), the same penalty happened and Pederson chose to put his offense on the field to go for two and it worked.
Pederson becoming conservative this season is a direct violation of his own advice. In an interview with MMQB, Pederson stated before “You learn if you play passive, if you play conservative, if you call plays conservatively, you are going to be 8-8, 9-7 every year.” It's funny considering the Eagles have a half-decent shot of ending up at 8-8 the season immediately after Pederson made that comment.
Last offseason Doug Pederson released a book called Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion. He will need to take some of the advice he put in there if he wants to make one final playoff push this season, or if he wants job security that goes past 2019.