Nick Sirianni Explains Decision For Matt Patricia To Overtake Eagles Defense

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In a thrilling Monday Night Football game, Matt Patricia found his way back into the NFL spotlight.

The former play-caller for the New England Patriots, both on offense and defense, took over the defensive play-calling duties for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Eagles had previously allowed at least 30 points in three straight games under defensive coordinator Sean Desai. With Patricia making the calls, the Eagles did improve and hold the Seahawks to 20 points, though Philadelphia allowed a game-winning 92-yard drive when Drew Lock hit rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the decisive score in a 20-17 loss.

Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni did not previously make the decision public in order to inform his team first and prevent a “competitive advantage” against Seattle. Since the Patricia news had not surfaced until late in the week, the third-year head coach took time after the loss to explain the decision to elevate the former Patriots assistant.

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“I made the decision,” Sirianni told reporters on Monday night, per team-provided video. “I did what I thought I needed to do in the best interests of the football team. We made some adjustments there. I feel like we weren’t playing well enough and coaching well enough on defense, so I made an adjustment. … It was a tough decision to be able to do this.”

Sirianni added that Patricia will make final decisions regarding defense moving forward this season after Philadelphia fell to 10-4. The Eagles did clinch a playoff berth in Week 15 while they fight for an NFC East division title.

Patricia calling defensive plays in Philadelphia does raise some irony, given that his final game as New England’s defensive coordinator came in a 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. The teams set a Super Bowl record in that shootout with 1, 151 combined yards.

Patricia and the Eagles now prepare to host the New York Giants on Christmas Day in Week 16.

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