Hypocrisy in the NFL: Volume 2

Apparently, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson celebrated neither Columbus Day nor Indigenous Peoples Day last Monday.

He celebrated Hypocrisy Day instead.

First, Pederson said to linebacker Zach Brown, "You're the weakest link — goodbye" after Brown had this to say about Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, a teammate of Brown with the Redskins in 2017: "Cousins, I think that every defense is going to want that guy to throw the ball. For me, that's probably the weakest part of their offense is him (sic). Everything else is good. They've got a good running game, probably one of the best in the league. They have real good (sic) receivers. You just want them to pass the ball. You want Kirk Cousins to get it in his hands." These pompous, inarticulate comments were shared with ESPN.com's Tim McManus two days before the game in Minnesota.

If the Vikings have "real good receivers," then why did Brown want the Vikings to pass the ball? And obviously Brown has never heard the term "bulletin board material" — and Cousins responded by completing 22-of-29 for 333 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception for a passer rating of 138.4 in a 38-20 Minnesota win, snapping a 13-game streak dating back to last year of the Philadelphia defense allowing 30 points or less.

But on the same day, Pederson proved that he's never heard that term either, having this to say about their Week 7 Sunday night road game against the Dallas Cowboys, who had beaten the Eagles three times in a row: "We're going down to Dallas, our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we're gonna win that football game and when we do we're in first place in the NFC East."

And what personnel edges do the Eagles have that Pederson thought might help them win on Sunday night?

Certainly not at the quarterback position: going into the game, Dak Prescott was 36-21 as a starter, while Carson Wentz was 26-20. Prescott had completed 66.4% of his passes, while Wentz had completed 63.4. It was also "Advantage, Prescott" in yards per attempt (7.58 to 6.99), yards per completion (11.41 to 11.02), total touchdowns (Prescott has 105, including 22 rushing, to Wentz's 85, including three rushing), and rushing yards (1,122 to Wentz's 624). Prescott also had nine fourth-quarter comebacks and 15 game-winning drives, while Wentz had four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives. Finally, Prescott has yet to miss a game due to injury. Wentz has missed 13, including five in the postseason — and when he did miss those postseason games, Nick Foles had to step in and bail the team out.

Dallas also has huge edges at running back, wide receiver (certainly while DeSean Jackson is sidelined with his mysterious abdominal injury), and essentially across the board on defense, especially in the secondary.

All things considered, as W.C. Fields iconically said, Pederson would have been far better off plagiarizing what then-Baltimore Colts head coach Frank Kush told a Baltimore beat writer in 1982 who asked him what chance the winless Colts had against the defending AFC champion Bengals in their upcoming game: "They outman us. Who are you trying to kid?" Yet the "outmanned" Colts, 14-point home underdogs, almost pulled off what would have been the upset of the year, losing 20-17.

And Pederson's hubris couldn't possibly have been predicated upon how well his team has played on artificial turf: going into Sunday night's game, the Eagles were 4-11 on that surface, and since 2012 they were 5-12 in domed stadiums.

Later in the day, Pederson tried to dial back on his original comment on Philadelphia sports talk radio station WIP, falsely stating "Never said that. I never said 'guarantee a win.' I'd never do that" — and when further probed, Pederson added, "I'm not going to stand up here, or go on record as saying, 'We're going down there and try to win a game.' It doesn't show confidence. I want to show confidence in our players."

So Pederson's guarantee was taken out of context.

It would seem as if Pederson has a promising career in politics waiting for him after his stint as an NFL head coach is finished — which may be sooner than he realizes, since with a third consecutive road game at Buffalo followed by home games against Chicago, New England and Seattle after the visit to Jerry World, Pederson is staring down the barrel of the kind of record that might cause him to "lose the locker room," same as Mike McCarthy, like Pederson also a former Super Bowl champion, did last year in Green Bay — with the identical result.

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