Corey Clement scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to cut the Eagles' deficit to 21-17 with 5:20 left in the third quarter. Pederson, who converted a two-point attempt earlier in the game, just needed an extra point conversion from Jake Elliott to make the score 21-18 -- putting the Eagles within a field goal of the Giants. Instead, Pederson decided to go for two again -- which would have made the score 21-19 if the conversion was successful.
Carson Wentz was sacked on the conversion attempt, and the score remained 21-17. The Eagles would not score again the remainder of the game.
"The decision making you know, was to obviously trust my guys upstairs," Pederson said regarding his decision to go for two. "We just converted one before and I felt good with the play call. You go for it and you make it and a field goal can win the game for you later on in the fourth quarter. It at least gives you the opportunity to know what you need to do to win the game."
Pederson offered a deeper explanation on the two-point decision with SportsRadio WIP host Angelo Cataldi Monday morning, explaining the decision had more to do with improving the chances to win if the attempt was successful.
"So we have a two-point chart based on points and win probability," Pederson said. "Down four, to go down two in that situation, your win probability goes way up and that's why I made that decision to go."
So were the Eagles' chances of winning greater by going for two? The Athletic's Ben Baldwin demonstrated Philadelphia's chances to win the game are 47% if the conversion is successful compared to 43% of the Eagles convert the extra point. If Philadelphia failed at the two-point conversion attempt, the chances of winning go down to 42%, compared to 43% if the Eagles just kick the extra point and make it.
The success rate is much higher of kicking the extra point then going for two, which the Eagles are successful just 38.14% of the time. Jake Elliott has made all 12 extra point attempts this season.
Perhaps the Eagles are too dependent on analytics and Pederson doesn't have a feel for the game -- where kicking the extra point puts his team down a field goal with just over 20 minutes of game clock remaining. The Giants ended up punting on their next two possessions and the Eagles trailed by four both times (21-17).
After New York kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 24-17, the Eagles needed a touchdown to tie the game -- forcing Pederson to go for it on fourth-and-10 from the Giants' 36-yard line with 4:56 to play. If the Eagles kick the extra point earlier to make the score 21-18, they are trailing 24-18 on that fourth-and-10 and Pederson perhaps kicks a 53-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 24-21. Or Pederson calls his plays differently in a 24-18 game knowing he doesn't need a touchdown to force overtime, hoping his defense can get one more stop and play for overtime on the next possession. Even in a 24-18 game, a touchdown and an extra point gives the Eagles a 25-24 lead heading into that drive.
Pederson trusted his number gurus to go for two down 21-17, a situation that ultimately made the Eagles' chances to win more difficult. The Eagles head coach should have cashed out when he had the chance.