What Joe Judge Said About the Eagles in Press Conference Rant

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge has accused the Philadelphia Eagles of "disrespecting the game" for turning to third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of their loss to the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

The Eagles trailed Washington 17-14 on Sunday Night Football, when head coach Doug Pederson replaced Jalen Hurts with Sudfeld, who had last taken a snap in Week 17 of the 2018 season. Philadelphia failed to put up any points in the fourth quarter, with Washington securing a 20-14 and a first NFC East title since 2015. Had the Eagles won, the Giants would have won the division and made the playoffs instead.

With the loss to Washington, meanwhile, Philadelphia secured the sixth overall pick in the draft. Had the Eagles won, they would have picked ninth.

Several Giants players shared their frustration on social media on Sunday night as Pederson pulled Hurts from the game. Judge echoed their thoughts, making clear what he thought of the way the Eagles handled the situation on Sunday.

"To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success in the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything they can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants," he told reporters on Monday, as per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

The Giants had to defeat Dallas on Sunday afternoon and hope for a favor from Philadelphia. While Big Blue held up its side of the bargain by defeating the Cowboys 24-19, their effort ultimately proved futile.

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge
New York Giants head coach Joe Judge looks on during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on December 13, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants lost 26-7. Mike Stobe/Getty

Judge insisted the Giants were not looking for excuses after leaving their fate in another team's hands.

"So we're not gonna make excuses as an organization," Judge said. "Not now, not ever. We had our opportunities."

Judge and Giants players weren't alone in criticizing Pederson and the Eagles. NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth made his thoughts clear while calling the game on Sunday night, while ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said Philadelphia's decision to bench Hurts made a "mockery" of the NFL's competitive ethos.

"I couldn't have done what Philadelphia did," Collinsworth said.

In a note he shared on Twitter, Orlovsky added: "The NFL is a league that is about respect. In every aspect Philly is a city that prides itself on having a chance when no one thinks they do, for never giving in. Not one that bows down and looks for the easy road. What happened to respecting the game and respecting the other teams within the league?"

Despite the criticism coming his way, Pederson defended his decision, insisting it had been planned and that he was "coaching to win" the game.

"Nate has obviously been here for four years. And I felt that he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps," he said, before pointing out the Eagles had a number of veterans out on the field.

"Listen, if there's anything out there that thinks that I was not trying to win the game. I mean, [Zach] Ertz is out there. Brandon Graham's out there. Darius Slay's out there. You know, all our top guys were still on the field in the end. We were [trying to] win the game."