American Football

Nick Sirianni explains punting on 4th-and-2 and leaving Eagles starters indown 23 points


The Eagles head coach emphasized having to coach better to get things cleaned up, and gave credit to the 49ers for being a really good team.

The Eagles have a lot to clean up after their loss to the 49ers on Sunday, and head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters postgame and talked about Jalen Hurts, why he decided to punt on 4th-and-2, and explained why he left the starters in while down 23 points. He emphasized throughout his press conference the need for them to coach better, to get these things fixed.

“We didn’t coach good enough, we didn’t play good enough. It’s as simple as that.”

Sirianni went on to give credit to the 49ers, calling them a good team, and a team you have to play your best against — something they didn’t do.

Here’s what else he had to say:

On Jalen Hurts

The head coach was asked about how Hurts played after he was evaluated for a concussion, and Sirianni said the QB was operating fine.

“I thought [Jalen Hurts] was fine when he came back in and was running the show and operating fine. Went down, drove, got a touchdown. Then we just stalled out on the next drive.

They’re playing soft or giving us the stuff underneath, but I thought he operated fine when he came back in. Obviously, we’ll see how he’s feeling and everything.”

On his decision to punt in the 3rd quarter

Sirianni said that he felt like there was still a lot of football to be played in the third quarter when they made the decision to punt it away on 4th-and-2, and he doesn’t regret it.

“I don’t regret that decision. To me, with that much time, where that ball is right there, I did what I felt like I needed to do in that particular time.”

He was later asked if Jalen Hurts’ health played a factor in not going for it on 4th down, but the head coach said it wasn’t.

On leaving starters in down 23 points

Sirianni said that they kept the starters in when they were down by 16 because he felt like there was still enough time on the clock to come back two scores. When it was pointed out that the starters were still in when the Eagles were down 23 points, Sirianni noted they weren’t giving up.

“Yeah, we’re gonna fight to the end.”

On facing the 49ers again

Some of the Eagles players said, “We’ll see them again,” as the went back into the locker room, and Sirianni talked about how that’s not what they should be focused on right now, but if it happens, they’ll be ready.

“I heard a lot of guys back and forth talking about playing them again, and it’s probably going to happen again. But there is so much football to be played between now and then. There are so many other good teams also.

So that can’t be in our thought process. What’s going to have to happen tomorrow is we’re going to have to get the corrections of what we made mistakes on and then go through our process. Anybody we play in the NFC, we’re going to make sure we go through our process to say what happened, and then kind of our game evaluation if we play them again, here are the things we need to do better; here are the things we may not have expected that they did; here are some things they did well that you can anticipate repeating.

We’re going to go through that process, and if it happens, it happens, but we’re focused on the next game.”

Other notables

  • Sirianni said that it’s hard to say that the 49ers made a ton of offensive adjustments after the first quarter, because it was only six plays, but they were then able to get some things going.
  • The head coach said that it was a little bit of an uncharacteristic day with the tackling, noting that they’ll have to coach things better and players will need to execute better. He also pointed out that some of those plays were the 49ers breaking a tackle and gave them credit for making plays.
  • He was quick to admit to their redzone struggles in the first quarter, and said it was tough to start the game fast and only be up 6 points. Sirianni explained that he’ll need to watch the tape to see exactly what happened with those.

“We’re always going to want to play better when something like this happens and coach better.

But [the 49ers] did a good job. They have good players and they had a good scheme and they stopped us.”

  • Sirianni talked about Big Dom being ejected and said they were just focused on the next play and not getting distracted by it.

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