With the New York Giants pushing to win the NFC East in Week 17 of the 2020 campaign, they faced off against the Dallas Cowboys in a must-win game. Thanks to a late interception by safety Xavier McKinney, the Giants walked away victors in the contest, but it wasnâ€™t enough to secure a playoff spot as the Philadelphia Eagles purposefully lost against the Washington Football Team to gift them a playoff appearance.
Of course, for Giants fans, this was a blasphemous move, as the Eagles pulled starter Jalen Hurts and inserted Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 32 yards and an interception to finish off the game.
Even Philadelphiaâ€™s own players projected negativity after losing to secure a higher draft selection. However, Giants safety Xavier McKinney expressed his frustration recently on the All Things Covered podcast.
â€œI would be lying to you if I said I didnâ€™t, man. Iâ€™m not gonna lie,â€ McKinney said. â€œIt was tough. That was my first pick. . . . It was a winnable game for them.â€
With the Giants putting it all on the line and desperately needing a Philadelphia victory, not only did they lose purposefully but snagged DeVonta Smith right out from underneath Big Blue in the draft. Philadelphia and the Dallas Cowboys executed a draft-day trade, sending the Eagles into the 10th overall spot, where they subsequently selected Smith, McKinneyâ€™s former teammate.
â€œI turn on the game and I start watching, and Iâ€™m like, â€˜Damn, they just about to give it up.â€™ They gave it up, man. It was rough, it was rough to see it happen like that,â€ McKinney said.
Soon after Doug Pederson pulled Hurts and lost the game, Eagles management fired him due to differing perspectives on the future of the team. Seemingly, they used Peterson as a scapegoat for the transgressions that ensued in the Week 17 defeat to Washington, who made the playoffs with a 7-9 record.
Fortunately, the Giants spent a boatload of money and had a quality draft to further improve the team on both sides of the football. Hopefully, the Giants wonâ€™t need an NFC East rival to make the playoffs in the future, instead winning enough games to put a cushion between them and the second-place team in the division.