The New York Giants sat down to watch Sunday Night Football in hopes that the Philadelphia Eagles would defeat the Washington Football Team and send them to the playoffs. However, Eagles coach Doug Pederson benched quarterback Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter and put in backup Nate Sudfeld, prompting an angry outcry from Giants players and fans. Even retired quarterback Eli Manning took aim at his former rivals.
"This is why we don’t like the Eagles," the two-time Super Bowl champion tweeted on Sunday night. He and several other current and former players had issues with Pederson's decision due to how it impacted New York's season. Putting Sudfeld into the game essentially doomed the Eagles to a loss and meant that the Football Team would win the NFC East instead of the Giants. Manning's former team had taken care of business earlier in the day by defeating the Cowboys, but they still missed the playoffs due to earlier losses in the season, as well as Pederson's decision.
Manning was not the only player taking issue with the Eagles and the decision to bench Hurts when the game was within reach. Several existing members of the Giants also voiced their frustrations on social media while watching their playoff hopes disintegrate. These players said that they can't wait until the 2021 season begins until they can get revenge on the Eagles.
"Why on gods green earth is Jalen Hurts not in the game," wide receiver Darius Slayton asked. He continued and said that the entire situation was sickening. "You play the game to win point blank period," he continued. "JJ Watt said it best the other day outside of how it effects [sic] us this just disrespectful to the game.
Sudfeld struggled mightily after entering Sunday night's game against the Football Team. He threw an interception to start one series and then fumbled a snap, adding a second turnover in a mere five plays. Hurts, on the other hand, had rushed for two touchdowns and kept the Eagles within three points entering the fourth quarter.
Pederson said after the game that the decision to bench the star rookie was his alone and that the front office did not tell him what to do. Pederson actually said that his plan entering the game was to give Sudfeld some snaps. "Nate has been here for four years, and I felt he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps," Pederson said, per ESPN.
Regardless of his intentions entering the game, Pederson upset several football fans and players alike. Manning was among this group due to watching his former team miss out on the playoffs once again. Now he will hope that the Giants handily defeat the Eagles twice during the 2021 season.