Eagles accused of tanking at end of loss to Washington
The Philadelphia Eagles’ play and decisions at the end of their season-ending loss to Washington on Sunday were so bizarre that they left many wondering whether the team was tanking.
The Eagles, who entered the game 4-10-1, made a quarterback switch early in the fourth quarter despite only being down 17-14 to Washington. Jalen Hurts was not playing well and was 7/20 for 72 yards and an interception in the game, though he did have two rushing touchdowns.
Philly made the switch from Hurts to Nate Sudfeld after Hurts was unable to convert in the red zone on the previous possession. Sudfeld, who is the team’s third-string QB, threw an interception on his first possession and lost a fumble on his next.
The game remained close the entire time, but Doug Pederson continued to leave Sudfeld in rather than use Hurts.
“In New York they’re asking why are you experimenting on our time?” NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth said early on.
The Giants needed a Washington loss to reach the playoffs, and many were wondering whether Pederson was giving his team its best shot of winning.
Plenty of people on Twitter couldn’t believe what Philly was doing and wondered if Pederson was tanking for a better draft position.
I still don't know what we're seeing or why we're seeing it, but I can't think of any prior time that we've ever seen it.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 4, 2021
What the hell is Pederson doing? Is he TRYING to get fired?
— Jim Rome (@jimrome) January 4, 2021
Unfortunate that Doug Pederson has, for whatever reason, turned Game 256 into a Preseason Week 4.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 4, 2021
Collinsworth again questioned what Philly was doing.
Chris Collinsworth finally implies the Eagles are tanking and rips them for it pic.twitter.com/RzwMpfzizr
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 4, 2021
The Eagles’ players didn’t give up. The defense got an interception on Alex Smith and held Washington to a field goal on the following possession. But Pederson did not seem to be putting his team in the best position to win the game given his insistence on sticking with Sudfeld for the final four possessions.