On Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Washington Football Team, 20-14. The Eagles were already eliminated from the playoffs, and the win clinched the NFC East title (and therefore a playoff berth) for Football Team. The Eagles finished 4-11-1 and will now have the sixth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft; if they’d won the game, they'd be picking ninth.
If Washington had lost the game, the 6-10 New York Giants would have made the playoffs. So of course, Giants players were upset on Twitter when the Eagles, down just three points in the fourth quarter, pulled their starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and inserted Nate Sudfeld, who had been the third string guy all season. People became indignant at what seemed like a purposeful tank job by the Eagles to close out the season.
But here’s the thing. Giants players placing the blame for missing the playoffs on a four-win team not trying hard enough is lame. Going 6-10 and attributing the fate of your team to anything other than your terrible record is lame.
You know what’s cool? Screwing one of your biggest rivals out of a playoff spot. You know what’s smart? Setting yourself up for better draft position. You know what’s fun to watch? The Eagles barely trying to hide the fact they were doing the cool and smart thing that Sam Hinkie did when he was in charge of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Eagles took some heat after their Sunday night tank job, and honestly, it made me feel nostalgic. The Sixers used to take that same heat every single day for three years. People were lining up to tell the world that the Sixers were a disgrace to the NBA and making a mockery of the sport of basketball. Then Joel Embiid came along and justified everything. Hopefully selecting at six instead of nine will allow the Eagles to draft someone who will do the same.
The Giants can be giant babies all they want — it won’t change the fact that they missed the playoffs.
Your team didn’t make the playoffs just like every other 6-10 team in NFL history https://t.co/yqV535I9Q4— Shake Milton Better (@TrillBroDude) January 4, 2021
Luckily, instead of whining on the internet, the Eagles organization took matters into their own hands to improve their draft position, ensuring they lose a meaningless game by doing awesome stuff like this:
PHI decided to punt to WSH from the WSH 36* on 4th & 7* with 5:06 remaining in the 3rd while losing 14 to 17.— Surrender Index (@surrender_index) January 4, 2021
With a Surrender Index of 64.45, this punt ranks at the 99.8th percentile of cowardly punts of the 2020 season, and the 99.7th percentile of all punts since 2009.
Tanking is both cool and smart. The Sixers proved it under Sam Hinkie, and the Eagles gave us a great reminder of it on Sunday night.