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Nate Sudfeld Gets Into A Groove On Game-Winning Touchdown Drive

Posted Aug 20, 2016

Completing just three of his first 10 passes against the Jets, Nate Sudfeld engineered a game-winning drive in which he connected on seven passes including a touchdown to Kendal Thompson.

Completing just three of his first 10 passes against the Jets, Nate Sudfeld engineered a game-winning drive in which he connected on seven passes including a touchdown to Kendal Thompson.

The preseason, much like training camp, prepares players for situations they may face once the regular season begins.

Throughout the team’s stay at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., the offense worked on two-minute and four-minute drill situations.

Then the third-team unit actually faced both tasks during Friday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.

Trailing 18-14 with less than four minutes to play, the Redskins started their final drive on their own 27-yard line.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden originally wanted to use the last possession of the evening to evaluate the running backs, but elected to allow Nate Sudfeld to air it out and see just how far he could lead the offense.

Sudfeld had struggled for most of the evening, as he took the field with his teammates for the final time just 3-of-10 for eight yards. But he didn’t let all of the miscues adjust his confidence.

“He's very poised,” rookie wide receiver Kendal Thompson said. “Kind of light-hearted, feeding off of him we felt like we could go down there and win the game."

And that’s exactly what the Redskins would do.

After his first attempt – a shovel pass – was incomplete, Sudfeld completed his next two passes before the two-minute warning.

That gave Sudfeld time to regain his composure and relax the entire huddle's nerves.

“There was a TV timeout so we were in the huddle for a while so I said, ‘Hey listen guys, one play at a time. It hasn’t been great so far but just take it one play at a time. Don’t worry about it,'" Sudfeld said. "As soon as we get a completion we’re in two-minute and going fast paced so guys were very calm, we knew what we had to do and once we got a few completions we got rolling and it turned out pretty well.”

Pushing the Redskins into Jets territory out of the break with a 17-yard coompletion to T.J. Thorpe, Sudfeld eventually connected on his final three passes of the evening, the last of which was a one-handed grab by Thompson for the go-ahead touchdown with just 36 seconds left.

Then the two connected for a successful two-point conversion to extend the Redskins’ lead to four.

“I felt like we were behind the chains all day, penalties, bad throws and bad decisions and some drops so it was really frustrating kind of early on when I was in,” Sudfeld said. “I didn’t feel like I was able to get in a rhythm, but I was glad they stuck with me. They kept giving me good plays and I knew once I’d get a few completions I’d get in a rhythm and I knew we could go down and score so it was really cool to get that touchdown in the end.”

The game-winning drive gave Sudfeld something positive to build on after his constant testing of the Jets’ defense nearly resulted in a few interceptions.

“My first or second drive the guy got one hand and almost picked it off,” Sudfeld said. “I really should have checked it down. We had run like four plays in a row and I was just itching to throw a ball and I didn’t want to check it down which is just so juvenile. I need to just check it down and throw it to who’s open. I was trying to fit in a nice throw but when I threw I knew I kind of forced it.”

Then there was the first throw of the fourth quarter, when Sudfeld tried to go deep on 3rd-and-20 instead of playing it safe.

“I was like, ‘Let’s get the first down,’ but I should’ve checked it down and made it an easier punt,” Sudfeld said. “The little things like that and continue to get into the flow of the game and the coaches were really good with me. They never got on me too bad they just said, ‘Hey next play, next play.’ They were giving me a lot of confidence, so I really felt good and then the final drive we started to get rolling and I was thinking there’s no way we’re not scoring so the guys around me did a great job.”

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