Says Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports:

Of all the challenges that lurk amid the competitive carnage of an NFL game, getting kneecapped by your own coach generally isn’t one of them.

Well, unless you’re a Eagle who was asked to fight and battle the Washington Football Team only to have coach Doug Pederson effectively tank the game by pulling starter Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter of what was, at the time, a 17-14 game.

Hurts was replaced by Nate Sudfeld, the franchise’s longtime third stringer/backup/practice squad quarterback in what can be described only as a nationally televised farce.

Sudfeld promptly threw an interception and then lost a fumble. He completed just five passes for 32 yards as the Eagles never threatened again to score. Washington received a gift-wrapped 20-14 victory that clinched the NFC East championship and a home playoff date on Saturday night with Tom Brady and Tampa Bay.

We can’t say for sure that the Eagles inserted Sudfeld in an effort to throw the game in order to improve their draft status (the loss means they’ll pick sixth rather than ninth with a win). However, if they were trying to throw the game to improve their draft status … well, inserting Sudfeld would be a pretty effective way to accomplish it.

“I was coaching to win,” Pederson claimed afterward, noting that he wasn’t receiving orders from the front office. “That was my decision solely. Nate has been here obviously four years and I felt that he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps.”


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