It turns out the decision to bench Carson Wentz in favor of Jalen Hurts wasn’t Doug Pederson’s last significant quarterback change of the 2020 season.
Pederson on Sunday night pulled Hurts from Philadelphia’s season finale against Washington early in the fourth quarter. With WFT leading 17-14, Pederson handed over the keys to Nate Sudfeld, who was disastrous over the course of the final frame. The fifth-year signal-caller completed five of 12 pass attempts for 32 yards with no touchdowns and an interception, and Washington hung on to win the Week 17 game and the NFC East.
After the game, Pederson explained his decision to insert Sudfeld.
“Nate has been here for four years and I felt he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps,” Pederson said, per ESPN. He also added he was “coaching to win” and planned for Sudfeld to see some playing time heading into the game.
Many assumed Pederson’s quarterback switch was a tanking tactic. Had Philadelphia beaten Washington, it would have dropped down to the ninth overall pick in the 2021 draft. With the loss, the Eagles now are set to pick sixth April 29.
Giants players and fans surely were outraged by Pederson’s decision, regardless of the true reason behind it. New York, which beat the Dallas Cowboys earlier Sunday, would have won the division and claimed the NFC’s fourth seed had the Eagles downed Washington.