Doug Pederson didn’t coach scared against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are partially to blame.
Pederson and his Philadelphia Eagles pulled out all the stops in February’s 41-33 win, highlighted by a trick-play touchdown in the final seconds of the first half — on fourth down, no less.
Ironically, the Jaguars’ handling a late-half situation two weeks prior against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in part “fueled” Pederson to take such a risk.
In his new book, which comes out Tuesday, the Eagles head coach describes watching the Jaguars’ passive play-calling on the road against New England. Most notably, Jacksonville’s decision to run out the clock late in the first half drove Pederson up a wall.
Of course, Pederson’s club still had to beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, and they did, throttling Minnesota behind an opportunistic defense. A couple weeks later, Pederson made sure not to make the same mistake the Jaguars did, and the Eagles kept their foot on the gas all game, ultimately holding on for the biggest win in franchise history.
Pederson is a pretty aggressive coach by nature, so he probably didn’t need much inspiration, but if there was something to be gained, the Jaguars certainly helped by not showing the courage that defined Pederson in the Super Bowl.
h/t to For the Win
Thumbnail photo via Kirt Dozier/USA TODAY Sports Images