Football Team

Sweat says WFT would have 'finished' Eagles even with Hurts

Football Team

With the Eagles trailing by three points in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson made the decision to pull rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts and play backup Nate Sudfeld, who had not seen the field in two years.

Sudfeld's first drive ended with a Jeremy Reaves interception. His second possession ended with a fumble recovered by Chase Young. Both turnovers were killer for any chance the Eagles had to pull off the upset. Washington would hold off Philadelphia and capture its first NFC East crown since 2015.

After the game, Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat was asked how he thought the game changed once Hurts was pulled. After initially responding with "no comment," the second-year pro expanded his thoughts a little bit.

"It's definitely a difference when a less mobile quarterback comes into the game," Sweat said. "I mean, obviously, a quarterback with legs is more dynamic and [harder] to rush. You go in one gap and he just goes in the other. So Jalen Hurts is definitely a very dynamic guy."

Make no mistake about it, though. Even if Hurts stayed in the game, Sweat was confident Washington was going to get the win.

"I felt like we would have finished the job with either [quarterback]," Sweat said.

Sweat has a legit point, too.

For the game, Hurts finished 7-of-20 for 72 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. The quarterback did have 34 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground, but Washington's defense significantly limited Hurts' effectiveness throwing the football.

 

Young was also asked about the Eagles' QB switch, and said that his mindset didn't change when Hurts was pulled. Instead, he offered five words of what was going through his mind when he saw Sudfeld enter the game.

"Time to eat on 7 [Sudfeld]," Young said.

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After the game, Pederson defended his decision to pull Hurts, saying he felt that Sudfeld "deserved an opportunity to get some snaps."

The Eagles head coach also attempted to shut down any talk that Philadelphia threw the game, citing that several of the team's best players -- Darius Slay, Zach Ertz, and Brandon Graham -- all played until the final whistle.

Speaking with Philadelphia media postgame, Hurts offered a different opinion on the matter.

"As a competitor, I play to win," Hurts said. "Just gotta trust coach with that."

While Hurts may have wanted to stay in the game, there's no telling that the Eagles would have ended up winning the matchup. Now, Philadelphia will have months to think about what could have happened, while Washington gears up for its first playoff game in five seasons.