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Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth didn’t hold back their frustration at Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s decision to bench Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld.
The quarterback move by Pederson harpooned any chance the Eagles had of rallying against Washington in the 20-14 defeat, handing the NFC East to their rival.
“Al, I couldn’t have done it. I couldn’t have done what Philadelphia did.” Collinsworth said from the NBC booth. “I simply just could not have done it. You’ve got men out there that are fighting their guts out trying to win the game. And I’m not saying, I’m not blaming anybody, I, personally, could not have done what they did.”
Giants players agreed with several voicing their anger on Twitter as they watched their NFC East chances helplessly slip away after beating the Cowboys earlier on Sunday.
The Philadelphia-Washington game was flexed to Sunday night as it was the only game guaranteed to determine a playoff spot. Pederson’s controversial call gave the high-stakes matchup a preseason feel.
Hurts, the explosive rookie, had only completed 7 of 20 passes through three quarters, but had rushed for two touchdowns. Sudfeld had not played in a game since 2018 and had attempted 20 passes in his four-year career prior to Sunday night.
Sudfeld proceeded to throw an interception on his first possession and then failed to handle a low snap on the next one, which Chase Young promptly recovered for Washington.
“[If] they’re getting blown out, yeah. And we mentioned yesterday, Doug said he wanted to get Sudfeld into the game. But in this circumstance? Come on,” Michaels said.
Michaels later added, “[Hurts] numbers weren’t that great, but a couple of rushing touchdowns, and clearly a guy who is a big part of the conversation for the future. And the Giants have to be beside themselves, and who can blame them?”
On the final drive of the game, Michaels quipped that he would bring back a call from “41 years ago” referring to his famous “Do you believe in miracles?” call from the 1980 Olympics.
This ending was predictable, though.