The quarterback situation in Philadelphia has been a controversial one all year. The Eagles added yet another wrinkle to the saga in a 20-14 loss to the Washington Football Team on Sunday night.
Down just three points in the fourth quarter, rookie Jalen Hurts was pulled from the game and replaced by Nate Sudfeld.
Hurts had a reserved response when asked about Doug Pederson’s decision after the game — but you have to imagine the young QB wasn’t too happy.
“As a competitor I play to win. But you’ve got to trust coach with that,” Hurts said, via NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo.
Jalen Hurts asked if he was upset about getting pulled: “As a competitor, I play to win. Just gotta trust Coach with that.”
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 4, 2021
Jalen Hurts struggled in the passing game all night, throwing 7/20 for 72 yards and an interception.
But, in his one quarter of relief, Sudfeld didn’t fair much better — connecting on just 5/12 passes for 32 yards and an interception of his own.
At least Hurts was getting it done with his legs. The recently-appointed starter accounted for both of Philadelphia’s scores on the ground, rushing for 34 yards and two touchdowns.
Through his first three starts as Eagles quarterback, Hurts threw for 847 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. After just two weeks under center for Philadelphia, Hurts became the first QB in the past 70 years to collect more than 500 yards passing and 150 yards rushing through his first two career starts.
In any other circumstances, this decision to pull Jalen Hurts would be utterly baffling.
But, at 4-10-1 heading into Sunday night, Philadelphia’s playoff hopes were a wash — even in the historically weak NFC East division. Carson Wentz wasn’t even an option to relieve Hurts as he was listed inactive for Sunday’s throw-away game.
While the game may not have meant much for the Eagles, the result had some massive implications elsewhere.
With the win over Philadelphia, the Washington Football Team franchise clinched an NFC East title and their first trip to the playoffs since 2015.
If the Eagles had pulled out the win, the New York Giants would be heading to the first-round Wild Card game.