Folks, the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team had a game for the ages last night in regards to a team openly not playing to win as the Philadelphia Eagles lost a very winnable game to the Washington Football Team last night. This drew the ire from many former NFL players and current Giants players who needed the Eagles to win the game to win the NFC East.
Contrary to what these former players think, the Eagles were right to do what they did.
For starters, the Eagles got to get a look at every single guy on their roster in game action last night which is an opportunity that most teams don’t get outside of the preseason. That could give them an edge when putting together their roster for next season.
More importantly, the Eagles losing bumped their draft position from the ninth pick in the draft to the sixth pick in the draft. Those three spots may not seem like a lot but they can be HUGE in getting the guy you want. It also gives your pick a lot more trade value if there is a quarterback needy team looking to trade up. This could be the difference in the Eagles getting a game changing wide receiver in Ja’Marr Chase or Devonta Smith or getting neither of them.
People can talk all they want about the “integrity of the game” being in doubt but I’d argue that the Eagles did what was in the best interest of the integrity of their franchise last night. On top of that, expecting a team from Philadelphia to respect the integrity of anything besides themselves is asking way too much of them. These are the same fans who throw batteries at players and boo Santa Claus. When it comes down to it, the Eagles are in a much better spot to be successful in 2021 and beyond now because they didn’t play to win a meaningless football game.
It’s not like they intentionally threw the game either. They just played more aggressively on fourth down and subbed in some of their backups. It happens all the time in Week 17 and if it was a 1:00pm game nobody would have realized it.
It’s not their job to win the Giants the division title and the Giants players realize that. It’s their job to put themselves in the best possible spot for next season.
Speaking of my New York Giants, I am absolutely angry at how this season ended for them. It all stems from the fact that it’s been a brutal 4 seasons now to be a Giants fan. It wasn’t a fun year this year going 6-10. This team is still miles away from being a championship contender. The bar was set so low this season and they couldn’t even reach it.
If the Giants learned this principle of tanking last season and lost a meaningless game to Washington then Chase Young would be a Giant this year and maybe things would be different with a dominant edge rusher. Young had 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries as a rookie this season. He’s got gold jacket potential. But thank God this team won a meaningless Week 16 game last season to build a “winning culture” for a culture staff that’s been almost fully replaced and a roster that will likely be almost entirely turned over by the time this team is a championship contender again.
The Giants can have all of the “positive culture” they want but at the end of the day there’s a winning culture in the NFL and a losing one. Sometimes sacrificing a game in order to better your team in the long term is a necessary evil and the sad truth is that a lot of teams will never realize that.