News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 PFF ReFocused: Washington Football Team 20, Philadelphia Eagles 14

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Sudfeld led the Washington Football Team to the postseason to close out the 2020 NFL regular season.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story Of The Game

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles were one play away from either going up four points or tying the ball game at 17 late in the third quarter. Hurts missed the throw on fourth-and-goal, and head coach Doug Pederson subsequently benched Hurts for Sudfeld — and threw in the proverbial towel.

Washington beat Philly 20-14 to advance to the postseason.

Neither offense averaged more than five yards per play in the game. Hurts completed just 7-of-20 passes for 72 yards and a bad interception to Washington rookie Kamren Curl, but Alex Smith wasn’t all that better. Smith completed 22-of-32 passes for 162 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. In fact, Hurts finished with a higher PFF passing grade than Smith on first review of the game.

Sudfeld, on the other hand, earned a sub-30.0 PFF grade on the few snaps he took for Philadelphia.

Defensively, Washington edge defenders Chase Young and Montez Sweat both turned in strong performances. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne also combined for five defensive stops, per PFF’s first review of the game.

Eagles linebackers T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton both earned strong grades against Washington. Edwards picked off a Smith pass intended for tight end Logan Thomas in the fourth quarter, and Singleton led the team in tackles (13) while making multiple splash plays against the run.

The bottom line is that both teams put together poor performances offensively. The better fourth-quarter offense won the football game, the one with the side’s best quarterback still starting under center in the final minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH

Hurts was far from perfect, but he wasn’t the reason Philly lost Sunday night’s game. He was inconsistent through the air but added 34 yards and two scores on the ground.

On Washington’s side, Young capped off what should be a season worthy of Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with an 80.0-plus PFF grade on first review of the broadcast film.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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