While the Washington Football Team greatly benefitted from Doug Pederson's decision to pull Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a three-point game, the same can't be said for the Giants.
New York needed Philadelphia to win, so the idea that the Eagles tanked the game to improve their draft position didn't sit well with them, including head coach Joe Judge.
While Judge made sure to mention the Giants' 6-10 record had more to do with his team missing the playoffs than anything the Eagles could have done on Sunday night, he made it clear that the Giants will always be a team that plays to win under his leadership.
"We will never do that [disrespect the game] as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants," Judge told reporters Monday.
The Giants beat the Cowboys earlier in the afternoon to clinch a top-two spot in the division. All they needed was an Eagles win to take the division and host the Buccaneers in a playoff game. The Eagles, who were eliminated from playoff contention a week earlier, decided to rest several key starters leading up to the game, and then obviously pulled their starting quarterback in a tightly contested matchup.
Pederson explained after the game that the plan was to get Sudfeld into the game in the fourth quarter, but that answer was unconvincing enough for a reporter to fire back at him with claims that it was obvious his team was tanking.
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"To me, you don't ever want to disrespect those players and their effort and disrespect the game," Judge said. "The sacrifices that they made to come into work every day and test before coming in, to sit in meetings spaced out, to wear masks and have shields over those masks, to go through extensive protocols, to travel in unconventional ways, to get text messages at 6:30 in the morning telling them 'practice was going to be canceled and we have to do a virtual day,' to tell them 'please don't have your family over for Thanksgiving, please avoid Christmas gatherings, we know it's your wife's birthday, let's make sure we put that one off until the offseason.' There's a number of sacrifices made by all the players and coaches in this league. There's a number of sacrifices that comes along as well with the family members and people connected to them.
"To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success in the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything they can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants," he said.
With the loss, the Eagles secured the sixth pick in the draft, capping off a dreadful season for a team that won a Super Bowl three years ago.
The Eagles have plenty of questions to answer now that their season is over. Who's going to be the quarterback? If it's not Carson Wentz, will he be traded? Will Pederson be there next year? What about Howie Roseman? All of these need answers before the 2021 season begins, and the question of tanking doesn't seem to be going anywhere either.