Doug Pederson Says Fans Deserve Better, Clarifies Radio Comment
Hard Rock Stadium was teeming with Eagles fans on Sunday, all of them arriving in South Florida by some varying mode of transportation and all of them expecting to celebrate an easy win against a two-win Miami Dolphins team.
“It was exciting, it was,” said head coach Doug Pederson about the crowd when he went on 94WIP Sports Radio on Monday morning. “It was a great crowd. We were pumped to come out of that tunnel and hear the roars for the Eagles and the chants for the Eagles.”
Big Eagles crowds at road games isn’t anything different, but losing games like the kind the Eagles lost to Miami, 37-31, is very different for a team that won a Super Bowl just two seasons ago and is 4-1 in the postseason the past two years.
"We have to do better and we will do better," Pederson said on his radio spot. “Again, it's my responsibility. So if they're mad, be mad at me. So, obviously they deserve better. And we've got a great opportunity this week. We're back at home, Monday Night Football against the Giants. We got four division games coming up and none bigger than this week."
Pederson added that he is “disgusted, mad and angry," and that the Dolphins played harder than his team and wanted it more.
When Pederson met with the media on Monday afternoon, he backed away slightly from implying that his team didn’t want to win more than Miami or play as hard.
“I don't want to be misunderstood when I make that statement,” said Pederson. “What I mean by they want it more, there were certain plays in that game where obviously they made the play, we didn't. So, in that case, yeah, they wanted that play a little bit more than we did.
“As a whole, as a game, the effort, the energy level, all that was there in the game, playing tough. Guys played hurt in the game and went back in the game. It's none of that. It's the fact that there were plays to be made in that game; we didn't make them. They wanted that aspect of the game just a touch more. They made those plays and ultimately came out on top.”
The loss was shocking in that the team’s defense, which had played so well in the past month allowing 17 or less points in four straight games, was shredded by a Dolphins offense that had been averaging just 15 points per game and had scored just 18 offensive touchdowns all season before putting together five on Sunday.
The connection between Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (365 yards, three touchdown passes) and receiver DeFvante Parker (even catches, 159 yards, two TDs) was unstoppable.
The Eagles’ offense played better than in recent week’s but still could only manage a field goal the rest of the way after taking a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter.
So Eagles fans returned from sunny and warm South Florida to Philly, where a winter-weather advisory was issued on Monday and the chill of a devastating loss was still making them shiver.
It is up to Pederson to find a way how to give them better, before their three-game losing streak snowballs to four.