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Sunday Night Football: Washington clinches NFC East with 20-14 win over Eagles

Washington will represent the NFC East in the postseason.

The Football Team defeated the Eagles 20-14 in the final game of the 2020 regular season, clinching their playoff berth and eliminating the Giants.

Washington got out to a 10-0 lead, but Jalen Hurts scored two straight rushing touchdowns to gain a 14-10 advantage.

Then Logan Thomas’ 13-yard touchdown reception put the Football Team back on top 17-14 before halftime. And Dustin Hopkins nailed a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.

But this game might be better remembered for head coach Doug Pederson’s quarterback decisions. Benched quarterback Carson Wentz was a healthy scratch, inactive for Sunday’s contest so Philadelphia could activate Nate Sudfeld as Hurts’ backup.

Hurts completed 7-of-20 passes for 72 yards, and had 34 yards on the ground.

But after Hurts threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the four late in the third quarter, Pederson inserted Sudfeld into the contest. He promptly threw an interception and then fumbled a shotgun snap for two giveaways in six plays.

Sudfeld finished 5-of-12 passing for 31 yards with an interception.

One of the season’s best stories, quarterback Alex Smith was 22-of-32 passing for 162 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’ll now get a chance to start a playoff game next week.

As the NFC’s No. 4 seed, Washington will host No. 5 Tampa Bay next week in the wild-card round.

At 7-9, the Football Team is the first squad with a losing record to make the postseason since Carolina won the NFC South at 7-8-1 in 2014. That team was also coached by Ron Rivera.