While Doug Pederson stole some of their thunder, the officiating crews in Week 17 gave us plenty to think about heading into the NFL postseason.
The Eagles head coach pulled his starting quarterback down three in the second half to the Washington Football Team for…Nate Freaking Sudfeld. Jalen Hurts deserves better, but here we are heading into the NFL postseason discussing a 4-11-1 football team and their rookie quarterback, all because they kept the 6-10 Giants out of the playoffs on purpose.
Perhaps it’s for the best.
All this being said, don’t let Pederson’s actions distract you from what lies ahead — a likely NFL officiating blunder in the worst possible moment. It happens every postseason. Potential game-winning drive. Crucial down. Fate of the NFL playoffs decided by a zebra.
We can only hope the final week of the regular season wasn’t a sign of what’s to come. But, as you’ll see, perhaps such concerns are a moot point given two of the teams screwed over by our pinstriped friends have been put out of their 2020-21 regular season misery.
3. Browns holding on for dear life
The Cleveland Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. I’m not here to rain on their parade. However, in a two-point game against many of the Steelers backups, the Browns got away with a hell of a hold on *checks notes* Henry Mondeaux as he was trying to rush Baker Mayfield.
Mondeaux was obviously aggravated by the no-call, and the Browns would win by the narrowest of margins. Despite the late-game heroics of Mason Rudolph, the Steelers failed tow convert a two-point conversion for the tie, setting up a Wild Card weekend matchup between these two teams on Sunday Night.
As appetizing as that is, any loss by the Browns would’ve been quite useful for the Miami Dolphins, who were obliterated by the Buffalo Bills in their Week 17 test that could’ve potentially sent them to the AFC postseason as a Wild Card team.
The Browns quite literally held on for dear life.