Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made an odd move during the team’s recent game against the Washington Football Team.
In the fourth quarter with only minutes left in the game, Pederson took starting quarterback Jalen Hurts out of the game. With former starter Carson Wentz unavailable, Pederson put third-stringer Nate Sudfield into the game. Though they were losing the game at the time of the switch, they were very much in the game with time left to pull out a win. The Eagles would go on to lose the close game to the Football Team by a final score of 20-14.
Now Pederson is getting heavy backlash for his decision to bench his starting quarterback with the game still in reach. Many have accused Pederson and the Eagles of “tanking” the game. (For those unfamiliar, tanking is when a team intentionally tries to lose in order to improve their draft status.)
With the loss to Washington, Philadelphia will be picking sixth in the upcoming draft. Had they beaten the Football Team, they would be picking three spots lower at number nine.
Now the media, fans and Eagles players are sounding on the decision to “tank” the game against Washington. It is safe to say that Eagles players are not happy about throwing a game.
Doug Pederson Denies ‘Tanking’ Game Against Washington
A report from TMZ Sports states that two Eagle defenders had to be restrained from approaching Pederson during the game. The report says some Eagles players were “shocked and outraged” by the decision.
Two other prominent Eagles players, including team leader Jason Kelce, also approached and questioned the coach’s decision.
For his part, Pederson says he was simply “coaching to win the game” and wasn’t tanking to get a better draft pick. While no coach will ever admit to tanking, it is fair to question the team’s decision to bench their starting quarterback in a winnable game.