Doug Pederson’s Nate Sudfeld Explanation Is Bogus

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Doug Pederson pulled Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a game that swung the NFC East to the Washington Football Team. If the Eagles had won, the Giants would’ve made the playoffs, and Giants players were baffled at the decision-making.

After the game, Pederson explained that he felt pulling Hurts for Sudfeld gave the Eagles the best chance to win:

“Yes, I was coaching to win,” Pederson said. “Yes, that was my decision solely. Nate has been here for four years, and I felt that he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps. Listen, if there’s anything out there that thinks I was not trying to win the game. Ertz is out there. Brandon Graham is out there. Darius Slay is out there … all our top guys are still on the field at the end.”

Everybody with a brain knows that the Eagles were tanking. They would’ve drafted ninth overall if they had won and now they are picking sixth because they lost. Many Eagles fans are actually happy with the move. Giants fans who are irate about it should, of all people, understand: they were mad at their own team for winning in Week 16 last year against Washington and swinging the pick for Chase Young, who went on to terrorize the division this season.

Pederson ultimately did what the NFL incentive structure yields as the most rational decision. If the league doesn’t want more mockeries made of its competitive balance going forward, it is going to need to devise a system that doesn’t reward teams for bad behavior. Whether that is a draft lottery that provides equal weight to all teams that miss the playoffs, or whether it’s something else, Pederson cynically exposed a big flaw in the system.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. As a Colts fan who knows the buzz saw waiting for them on Saturday, just because you make the playoffs doesn’t mean you’re going to the Super Bowl. The 6 win Giants were not going far, might as well take it like men instead of crying about it. Philly has the right to play who they want, and Pederson’s priority is 2021 at that point, no doubt about it.

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