Eagles Should Have Challenged Russell Wilson Lateral, Because It Was DEFINITELY an Illegal Forward Pass (Videos)

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson let Russell Wilson get away with an illegal forward pass on Sunday night, and it may have cost the Eagles the game.

With the Seahawks up 17-10 with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson ran the ball up the middle on a crucial third-and-nine. Just before he got to the first down marker, Wilson lateralled the ball to Mike Davis, who turned what would have been a borderline first-down into a huge 14-yard gain.

Great playmaking from Russell Wilson there. The only problem? That wasn’t really a lateral pass. It looked like a lateral in real time because the ball travelled backwards relative to Wilson. But Wilson’s forward momentum meant the ball was still traveling forward relative to the field, which means it was really a forward pass. And because Wilson was way past the line of scrimmage, it was an illegal forward pass.

Take a look at the replays:

If the Eagles had challenged the call on the field the Seahawks would have been assessed a penalty. Then they would have punted on fourth-and-long, giving the Eagles a chance to tie the game at 17 with plenty of time left on the clock. But instead the Seahawks kept the ball. Then they scored a touchdown, putting the game out of reach at 24-10.

After the game, Pederson said everything happened too fast to make an informed decision on whether to challenge.

“Real-time it looked fine. It looked legit. We didn’t get all the necessary looks and they hustled to the line,” Pederson explained. “At the same time it looked good and I trust the guys upstairs making those decisions and didn’t challenge. I already challenged one in the half and lost that, so I didn’t want to risk another timeout.”

Sounds like the Eagles may want to fine-tune their organizational decision-making model after this one.

Hat Tip – [Pro Football Talk, NBC Sports Philadelphia]

Tags: Doug Pederson, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, russell wilson, Seattle Seahawks,