The biggest beneficiaries of the Philadelphia Eagles’ controversial performance in Week 17 were Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team.
On Monday, Rivera was asked about the Eagles actions, benching Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter among other controversial decisions. The Washington head coach stated that he won’t apologize for beating the Eagles and he plays to win.
“You play who’s out there,” Rivera said, per ESPN’s John Keim. “I’m not apologizing for winning… A lot of people are happy about [the move], a lot of people aren’t happy about it and that’s just tough. So many things have happened in this world that are tough, that are hard. This is just a game that we’re playing, and we play the game as it comes to us. And I’m not going to apologize. You apologize for losing in the playoffs, but you don’t apologize for getting in.”
Washington went on to beat the Eagles, 20-14, finishing 7-9 but with a sufficient record to win the NFC East title. They’ll host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wildcard Round this coming weekend.
The Philadelphia Eagles were 4-10-1 heading into the game, out of the playoffs and playing for nothing – except draft position.
By scratching struggling QB Carson Wentz and benching Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter, the Eagles lost and secured themselves the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia’s loss may turn out to be their gain if the player they pick turns out to be a game-changers.
But the controversy over how they got to this point will likely rage all the way through April.