If you’re a New York Giants fan, you’ve become far too accustomed to the feeling of false hope over the years. There’s no better example of this than the up and down rollercoaster that was the final day of the 2020 NFL regular season.
After rookie safety Xavier McKinney sealed a Giants victory with a game-winning interception of Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton on Sunday afternoon, Big Blue faithful shifted their focus and energy on to the Sunday night game, as did Giants players.
For the first time, likely ever, New Yorkers echoed the infamous Philly tagline “Fly Eagles Fly,” as an upset win over the Washington Football Team would book the G-Men a ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
However, those high hopes would eventually shift to anguish following a mind-boggling decision by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
That decision had Giants players, present and past, asking questions.
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Eli Manning: “This is Why We Don’t Like the Eagles’
An undermanned Eagles roster, with 10 players deemed inactive including Carson Wentz, clawed and battled on Sunday night.
Heading into the final quarter of play, Philadelphia trailed by just three points, riding the coattails of two Jalen Hurts rushing touchdowns and bringing hope to Giants fans worldwide.
And then, just like that, the sense of hope was stripped. In an act that begs the question “is Doug Pederson trying to get fired?” the Eagles head coach pulled Hurts, opting to see what third-stringer Nate Sudfeld had to offer.
In his first game appearance of the season, Sudfeld looked like a chicken without its head, and the decision to play him, quite frankly, looked like a tank job.
Befuddled, Giants running back Saquon Barkley took to Twitter in search of answers.
Can someone make it make sense to me what’s going on….?
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) January 4, 2021
While he didn’t exactly have all the answers, Saquon’s former quarterback, two-time Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning, still managed to sum things up quite simply for Barkley.
This is why we don’t like the Eagles. https://t.co/Efe7kEPtES
— Eli Manning (@EliManning) January 4, 2021
In other words, the Giants should have known better than to place their faith in one of their most hated rivals.
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Fletcher Cox Trolls Eli, Giants
Eagles star defensive tackle caught wind of Manning’s remarks and quickly reassured the likely Hall of Famer that the disdain goes both ways.
We don’t like you either 😀😀😀 https://t.co/aAjrcSEri8
— fletcher cox (@fcoxx_91) January 4, 2021
Sudfeld finished the game with two turnovers (one fumble, one interception) and a QB rating of just 14.6. Washington notched their seventh victory of the season and will now host the 11-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a home playoff game this coming Saturday.
Despite the question of tanking, Pederson reassured the NFL world he “was coaching to win,” when speaking to reporters during the postgame.
“Yes, it was my decision, solely,” Pederson said of pulling Hurts. “Nate has obviously been here for four years and I felt that he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps.”
Eagles Legend Slams Pederson’s Tank Job
Despite claiming he was trying to win, Pederson’s decision did not sit well with the nation, Eagles faithful included. Eagles great Seth Joyner went as far as to claim “I’ve never been more ashamed to be associated with the Philadelphia Eagles than I am tonight,” on NBC Sports Eagles postgame show.
“I would love to be a fly on the wall and stand in that locker room and hear the words of consolation that Doug Pederson has for that football team after what I just witnessed,” he said.
“You asked these guys to play injured, you ask them to play hurt, you ask them to give 100 percent effort, you ask them to lay it on the line,” Joyner proclaimed. “And tonight, [Pederson] owed it to this football team, the way those young guys went out and played their behinds off, he owed them the opportunity to win this game.”
Joyner’s sentiments have been echoed by the majority of the sports world. However, does Cox also fall into that category? Well, that’s up to your interpretation.
Hmmmm trying to see what’s upset got to do with me trolling Eli https://t.co/OWlOToud4J
— fletcher cox (@fcoxx_91) January 4, 2021
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