"I was coaching to win," Pederson told reporters after the game, adding he thought Sudfeld deserved to get on the field since he hasn't had many snaps during his time with the team.
The four-win Eagles were already eliminated from playoff contention, but they could've been a spoiler by knocking Washington out. Some read Pederson's quarterback change as a lack of awareness given the stakes.
Ryan Clark @Realrclark25
The NFL fans deserved better, the other 30 organizations & their players deserve better. In a pandemic the NFL found a way to power through 17 weeks. I mean fought like hell to play every single game! Who knew that the last 1 deciding the NFC East would have been the 1 to cancel
Then there's the added layer of how Pederson's own players may have reacted to the decision:
Hurts wasn't playing well, going 7-of-20 for 72 yards and an interception. If the Eagles had a better backup quarterback, then it would be far easier to argue taking him out of the game was the best way to get back into the lead. But Sudfeld hadn't thrown a pass since December 2018.
The general indignation about the NFC East playoff race seems misplaced.
A team that finished 6-10 doesn't have much room to argue about not receiving the requisite help to get into the playoffs. The New York Giants would be in the postseason right now if they had turned around any one of their 10 losses—Week 7 against the Eagles, for example.
By simply going .500, the Giants wouldn't have needed to worry about Washington's result against Philadelphia.
The criticism about what kind of message Pederson's players will take from Sunday night is more valid.
Maybe Pederson arranged this ahead of time and informed his team of the plan. It's something different entirely if the Eagles were as blindsided as everyone else watching the game.