I know I’m in the vast majority here, but I gotta say: God Bless Doug Pederson.
Contrary to those hot-take heads, I don’t think the Eagles coach has got to be got for what he did and more specifically, what he didn’t do in the Eagles season ending loss to the Washington No Names. I refuse to semblance a thesis paper on why Pederson should be brought up on charges for playing the role of Butch Coolidge in a game the Eagles sorta/shoulda/coulda won.
For those unfamiliar, Pederson took his starting QB, Jalen Hurts, out of a game the Eagles still had a chance to win the other night against Washington. He brought in some fellow named Nate Sudfeld, who is behind yours truly on most NFL depth charts. The Eagles would end up losing the game, and a result, handing Washington the division title.
The vitriol hurled at Pederson comes as a result of what was at stake. The Eagles had nothing to play for, outside of a higher draft pick if they lost. Washington was playing for a division title while their I-95 rival New York Giants were rooting hard for an Eagles upset that would have given them the chip.
Now, I could argue that Pederson’s decision to yank his starter was justified considering that Hurts was 7-20 for 70 yards, an INT and a QB Rating of 25 to that point. I could say the coach was looking to give Sudfeld one last chance to show his stuff before sending him off to sell life insurance. I could even be so bold as to imagine that Pederson was playing the margins: Maybe he figured Washington would take a nap once he subbed in a human paperweight under center.
I could say all of those things, but I won’t.
Because the mafioso in me feels like Coach Pederson put out a hit on the New York Giants division title dreams while at the same time looking out for his own interests. And he won . . I mean lost. Both.
I learned many lessons growing up in John Gotti’s Howard Beach. One of which is that for every bad guy, there’s always a worse guy. And if you’re talking NFL business, there are a ton of worse guys than Doug Pederson, starting with Sheriff Goodell, who runs his league the way Gotti used to run his empire.
Now I can dispense with the tongue in cheek defense of Doug Pederson, who for all intents and purposes, is a genuine creep. He skipped town after an alleged sex scandal when he was in KC. And he’s thrown a ton of look away passes in regards to certain members of the Eagles engaging in criminal behavior since he’s been here. Let’s just say the guy is building up quite the resume in the event he ever wants to run for political office.
There’s a robust irony to the NFL community getting all disjointed over Pederson’s assault on its warped senses. They cry about how coach is messing with the integrity of the game by positioning himself for a higher draft pick rather than trying to win a game. Am I being too cynical if I laugh at the idea of the league having any integrity left to mess with? I mean, we’re talking about a Commissioner who took money from the US military in exchange for those patriotic pre-game ceremonies. And a league where all manner of criminals are given second, third, fourth, fifth and six chances to play their game, so long as they have some talent left to give.
So yeah, thank God for this “Tank-Gate” moment, because it shines a light on the low down dirty shame of a league it’s coming from. And I really don’t give a flip if Giants players are upset that the Eagles “weren’t trying to win” the other night. They went 6-10 on the season, so it’s evident they know all about not trying to win. And I say to those Eagles players upset at their coach that they can ask for a trade, which really means a raise. And to all those talking heads out there concerned that the game they love is in dire need of change, I gotta ask.
Where you been?