The Philadelphia Eagles season has come to a close. They were defeated by the Washington Football Team on Sunday night, losing 20-14. The loss drops the Eagles to 4-11-1 and secures them the 6th overall pick in April’s draft. The win by Washington also won them the NFC East and sets them up with a date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL’s wild card round.
There has been a lot made about the way Eagles head coach Doug Pederson handled this game. From the inactives to his in-game decisions, heavy criticism has rained down from multiple avenues.
The Eagles were trailing by 3 points in the fourth quarter when Pederson made the decision (solely by himself according to Pederson) to pull Jalen Hurts, who finished 7/20 passing for 72 yards along with 34 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Who would take his place? Not Carson Wentz, who was a healthy scratch, but 3rd-year pro, Nate Sudfeld.
Pederson’s conservative play-calls, including opting to take a penalty and punt inside opposing team territory, to the decision to make several key veterans inactive, and starting Nate Sudfeld when Hurts was perfectly fine, signaled the direction Pederson wanted to go in.
And being 100% honest, it’s a bit hard to argue with him. With this loss, the Eagles secured the 6th pick in the draft vs. with a win, they’d be pushed back to 9. Getting ahead of a couple teams in the draft order is key. Teams like the Detroit Lions (7th), Carolina Panthers (8th), and Denver Broncos (9th), all of which are expected to look at possibly taking Quarterbacks in the 1st round and all of which are prime candidates to trade up (possibly with Philadelphia) in order to get their guy and in the process (see what I did there) equipping the Eagles with lots of draft compensation.
On Saturday, it was reported that Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz would be stepping away from the Eagles at the conclusion of this matchup. In his final game as defensive coordinator, I can say without a doubt, this defense fought for Schwartz, racking up 2 interceptions and 3 sacks.
Specifically, Alex Singleton and Marcus Epps shined in this last game. Singleton flied around the field like a man on a mission and Epps had a highlight reel play while making a tackle and coming up with an interception.
Ultimately, this game was pretty much decided at the outset. When you looked and saw the Eagles starters and then tuned in and watched the vanilla-esque play-calling, there was a clear and obvious objective from the Eagles.
This game also likely spelled the end of several beloved players in Eagles uniforms, including Zach Ertz, Jason Kelce, and possibly Carson Wentz. This offseason is shaping up to be a very busy one for the Eagles. A organizational overhaul is likely on the horizon and things are about to get shaken up a bit.