It Hurts

How Will the Benching of Jalen Hurts Impact the Eagles Moving Forward?

Shane Olexa, Reporting Journalist

The Philadelphia Eagles were playing to spoil the Washington Football Team’s playoff hopes on Sunday Night Football. At least, that’s what the thought was. The New York Giants had knocked the Dallas Cowboys out of playoff contention with a win against them earlier on Sunday. In spite of this, the Giants only chance of going to the playoffs was with an Eagles win. 

Last Sunday night’s game was 17-14 in Washington’s favor and Doug Pederson decided to bench Jalen Hurts in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld came into the game and wound up with a quarterback rating of 14.6 and a completion percentage of 41.7. Additionally, he dropped a snap and threw an interception. Almost everyone questioned the decision including the Eagles players. Eagles running back Miles Sanders was on Sports Radio WIP and said, “Oh man, if I’m being honest, nobody liked the decision. Nobody. And that’s all I can say. I don’t know who was the main person behind that decision, but all I know is there’s a lot of people on the team who were confused.”

Hurts didn’t play well either. He threw for 72 yards and had an interception and a passer rating of 25.4. The decision to bench him could’ve been Doug Pederson’s or it could have come from the front office. If Jalen Hurts really is their QB of the future, then at least leave him in the game and see what he can do in clutch time. Instead, the Eagles decided to play a third-string quarterback who hasn’t played since 2018. Some believe Doug Pederson pulled Hurts to secure the 6th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Eagles won, they would’ve had the 9th pick in the draft, which is a huge difference from the sixth pick. At number six, players like DeVonta Smith or Ja’Marr Chase will most likely be available. At number 9, they’d likely be gone.

Some question if the potential “tank” was worth the risk of Doug Pederson potentially losing the locker room, which is understandable. We’ll have to wait until next season to find out.