new york giants joe judge
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

When the Eagles benched Jalen Hurts, their chances of beating Washington — and New York making the playoffs — vanished. 

Joe Judge preaches the will to fight; the will to give it your all.

He preaches a crucial quality in the game of football: integrity.

So when the Eagles (and head coach Doug Pederson) showed a lack of that quality, benching Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a one-possession game against Washington, the rookie head coach had some words.

“There’s a number of sacrifices that have been made by all the players and coaches in this league. There’s a number of sacrifices that come along as well with the family members of the people connected to them,” he said. “To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League; to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win…we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants.”

After defeating the Cowboys 23-19 in what was a great Week 17 game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the New York Giants needed the Eagles to oust the Washington Football Team.

Pairing an Eagles win with their own triumph earlier in the day would have delivered the NFC East crown to the Giants for the first since the 2011 season. It also would have meant the Giants’ first playoff berth since the 2016 campaign.

Hope within the hearts of the Giants and their fans was present up until the final quarter of the Sunday Night Football battle, but the choice by Pederson to go with Sudfeld instead of Hurts while trailing led to two turnovers and zero points for Philly. The decision effectively ended the Eagles’ chances of winning and was met by much criticism from around the league.

The Giants not making the postseason is their own fault though. Their ten losses, especially their three straight towards the conclusion of the regular season, is on them. You cannot leave your destiny in the hands of another team, and that’s exactly the situation the Giants put themselves in for Week 17.

But it’s okay to still believe what Pederson and the Eagles did was disrespectful to the game of football, regardless of the team you cheer for every week. It’s okay to disagree with the move that was made, especially since it’s looking like Hurts is going to be Philly’s QB1 in 2021 and potentially beyond amid the Carson Wentz situation.

Judge is right. There are many people that came together to make this pandemic-impacted season a success. From players missing games due to positive COVID-19 tests and close-contact tracing to games occurring in the middle of the week due to rescheduling purposes, it’s astonishing the regular season was completed in full.

Put the Giants’ situation aside.

Yes, they should’ve won more games and finished the year with a better record. That still doesn’t change the wrong and disrespectful decision Pederson made on Sunday night.