The Washington Football Team won the NFC East by beating the Eagles 20-14 on Sunday night, but much of the focus after the game was on the Eagles’ decision to pull quarterback Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter.
Hurts had not played well, but Nate Sudfeld was even worse and feelings that the Eagles took a dive persisted through head coach Doug Pederson’s postgame denial. On Monday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera took issue with anyone who would take something away from his team because of how the Eagles handled the game.
“You play who’s out there,” Rivera said, via John Keim of ESPN.com. “I’m not apologizing for winning. . . . A lot of people are happy about [the move], a lot of people aren’t happy about it and that’s just tough. So many things have happened in this world that are tough, that are hard. This is just a game that we’re playing, and we play the game as it comes to us. And I’m not going to apologize. You apologize for losing in the playoffs, but you don’t apologize for getting in.”
Whatever you feel about Pederson’s decision, Rivera’s reaction is absolutely the correct one for Washington. What matters is that they are in the tournament and the way they got there won’t have bearing on what happens next weekend.