Q. Can you take us through the decision to punt at the end of the game, please? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: The decision there [was] one of two things. You can either attempt it on fourth down and try to go for it — we tried to go for the field goal, the game winner. That was the thing, we were going to go for the game winner with the kick. Felt comfortable with [K] Jake [Elliott]. Had the wind. The false start backed us up, so we said let’s just punt the football here.
We didn’t want to give them the ball towards midfield or even a chance to go for it on fourth down and long. Incomplete pass, something like that. They get the ball, short field, they could kick a field goal and win the game.
Just made that decision. Hopefully something positive might have come out of the punt.
Q. If you go back to regular time, did you consider at all going for two when the game was tied? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I did. I did consider it. But I also felt like the way our offense was playing down the stretch, battled to get ourselves back in position. [QB] Carson [Wentz] in overtime felt comfortable there to just kick the extra point, and then put it back in our offense’s hands at that time. Just elected to kick the extra point.
Q. Curious what you tell your guys right now? What is the mood for this team? A tie is kind of almost as bad as a loss at this point. (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: I told them in the locker room after the game that we weren’t a very smart football team today. I think 11 penalties. [Some] came at crucial times. We couldn’t get off the field on defense. Offensively, we didn’t execute well enough. We had some injuries, but that’s going to be part of the game. Just not a smart football team right now. That’s on me. We’ll get that fixed as we get ready for this next week.
But I like how our team battled, hung in there, came back to tie the game at the end. But just overall not very smart today, not very disciplined when those are some of the things we talk about quite a bit.
Q. Why do you think this offense is still out of sync, still can’t seem to find a rhythm? How much do you blame some of those injuries on that? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: It is hard when you got some moving pieces and you got different guys in there.
Listen, we’re not going to make excuses for anything. We got to continue to work, practice, get better and sort these things out. When the injuries piled up today, it just sort of got us a little bit out of our game-plan rhythm.
It was tough today to find a sync, find rhythm. I have to give credit to the Bengals for kind of mixing up some coverages, some fronts on us. We just have to continue to work.
Q. Are Carson Wentz’s mechanics the reason why he’s missing layup throws? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: No.
Q. You pride yourself on being an aggressive coach and like the confidence it instills in your players by doing that. How does that jive with your decision to punt and create a situation where they had no chance to win? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: That’s a good question.
Obviously in those situations you hopefully do what’s right for the football team. That’s probably a decision I’ll look back on tomorrow and say we could have done something else. It is what it is. We’ll learn from it. I’ll learn from it. We’ll get better.
Q. You are minus seven this season when it comes to overall turnover differentials. You had 11 penalties today. Do you feel right now especially it’s more scheme or just execution? (Chris Franklin)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, a lot of that is just execution. The turnovers, we’re turning it over and we’re not getting the takeaways. That’s something we talked about this week as a team, trying to win the turnover ratio. We didn’t do that again.
I have to continue to sort of talk about that with our football team. Somewhere we need to get a break where we can create a short field for our offense. Right now, we’re not doing that. The penalties today were costly, as I said, and can’t happen.
Q. Did you feel like you would be able to take advantage of them more running the football? There was kind of a sequence in the first half where you threw seven straight passes. What were your thoughts as far as trying to take advantage of them and their run defense? (Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I guess. Now looking back, you could say we could have done this, could have done that. In the moment at the time, they had done some things with some of their nickel edge pressures that kind of deterred us from some of our run game fits, stemming the front, doing different things to kind of disrupt.
We knew that coming in with this team. This is a team that gives you a lot of multiple fronts and multiple looks. We were making adjustments on the sideline. Felt like, too, we could make some gains with the ball coming out of Carson’s hand and get him on the run just a little bit during the game.
Q. What was K Jake Elliott’s range going into the game? As far as not going for it on the fourth down, what do you think is the chance of happening: you converting a fourth and 12 or them getting 12 yards without a timeout if you got the incompletion there? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: We were right at the kick line for Jake. My decision to kick the field goal and win the game was the right one at that time.
Q. And as far as going for the punt and not keeping your offense on the field to try to get the fourth and 12? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: The false start right there. We were struggling a little bit on third down. Again, looking back, hindsight is 20/20, I guess. I’ll look at that decision tomorrow with clearer eyes and make a decision later.
Q. Not to beat this point like a dead horse, but when it was going to be the 64 yarder, because Jake had hit from 61 before, because he hit from 54 with room to spare earlier in the day, was there any discussion at all with special teams coordinator Dave Fipp or Jake whether to just kick it anyway? (Jimmy Kempski)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I mean, again, look, that’s a decision—if you miss it, they get the ball right at the midfield stripe. You didn’t want to do that either and give them a short field and [a chance to] win the game.
Q. What did you see from Carson on the final touchdown drive that tied it at the end of regulation? Looks like he made some good decisions with runs, especially on the touchdown. Did you get anything out of that, take anything from that going forward after an up-and-down performance from him? (Nick Fierro)
DOUG PEDERSON: I mean, he battled. He was tough. He had some tough runs. He had the scramble for the touchdown. He played physical. That was one of the things we did. We took away from that. We did have the ability to run the football. We came out in the overtime period and basically tried to do the same thing, tried to simulate the run game, get it going.
We were a little behind the chains on a couple of drives today. We weren’t very good on first down again. Second-and-long, third-and-long situations, that hurt us.
Looking at that drive, the toughness that really all our guys, not just Carson, but all our guys, we had some guys beat up that were playing hurt at the end of the game. Commend them for battling and tying the game.