Did Doug Pederson Make The Right Call Benching Jalen Hurts?

Last night against the Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson benched quarterback Jalen Hurts. At the time Hurts was benched, the Eagles were down 17-14. The QB’s last play actually happened when Pederson decided to go fo it on fourth down in the red-zone, instead of kicking a short field goal to tie the game. Then on the next Eagles’ offensive series, backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld* trotted onto the field: the decision confused many.

According to Pederson, his decision was based on him, “. . .coaching to win.”

Now, everyone who has a brain that is somewhat intact knows that, that is a bunch of malarkey. Hurts is clearly the better quarterback, and no head coach in their right mind would bench a guy who was / has been pretty much the entire offense since taking over as starter.

So really, what was the point? If the Eagles beat their division rival they would have knocked them out of the playoffs. Granted that would’ve helped another divisional enemy, the New York Giants, get into the postseason, but the chance to play spoiler against a hated opponent should have been something on Pederson’s mind.

Maybe Pederson was “trying to win” but if that is really the truth he should be fired immediately. Still, I think he was just peeing on everyone’s head telling them it is raining. Clearly Pederson put in Sudfeld to secure the loss and get better draft position. But was it the right thing to do?

In short, the answer is no. First of all, tanking really only works if you plan on grabbing a quarterback. The Eagles do not appear to be in that situation. Secondly, Pederson basically conceding to Washington sends a bad message to his team, as well as the league the league as a whole. Has competition in the NFL become secondary if you are playing in a lost season?

And last but not least, the Eagles only gained one spot in the draft order because of the loss. Instead of winning and knocking Washington out of the playoffs, Philadelphia is picking 6th instead of 7th. Yipee!

Still, at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter. What matters is if the team makes the right pick. It isn’t a given that the teams selecting towards the top of the draft are getting the best players. Busts happen all the time and picks anything but a sure thing.

So while it is all fine and good that the Eagles are picking 6th, maybe they would be better off picking 7th. I mean, in the 2020 NFL Draft Philadelphia picked wide receiver Jalen Reagor one pick ahead of Justin Jefferson. If the Eagles were picking 7th maybe it would give them less of a chance to mess up: something Doug Pederson and General Manager Howie Roseman have been doing a lot of lately.

– Jarrod Ribaudo (@jarrod_ribaudo on Twitter)

*Note: Quarterback Carson Wentz was a healthy scratch*
Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @barstoolsports

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