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Instant Analysis: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld carry Kirk Cousins-less Redskins past Jets

The Washington Redskins fielded a late-game comeback to defeat the New York Jets 22-18, but it was the non-starters who stole the headlines.

LANDOVER -- The Washington Redskins won their first preseason game Friday night, defeating the New York Jets 22-18 thanks to late-game heroics by rookie quarterback Nate Sudfeld and wide receiver Kendal Thompson. The Redskins decided to sit several starters, including quarterback Kirk Cousins, which is an interesting strategy in a second preseason game. Penalties continued to be an issue as Washington committed 10, accounting for 65 yards. It was another roller coaster of a game.   


Quarterback Colt McCoy started the day while Cousins was a healthy scratch. McCoy went 13-for-16 for 159 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He led a few great drives, but it was an inconsistent outing overall. Starting running back Matt Jones ran very well early, but ended up getting injured. The Redskins announced that Jones has a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder injury. The running back position is a major concern for Washington right now. The team attempted to give rookie back Keith Marshall more snaps, but he continued to struggle. Marshall had a nice 10-yard carry but also had a fumble and dropped pass. 

Sudfeld struggled a bit more this week than he did in the team's preseason debut. But he showed up when the game was on the line with a late game-winning touchdown to Thompson. Inaccuracy was Sudfeld's biggest issue. He is still a raw player who has to sharpen his mechanics and decision-making. But it's a good sign when your rookie QB shows up in a high-pressure moment.


Washington shut out the Jets' offense in the first half. The Jets didn't score a touchdown until the third quarter. Even on that touchdown, there were some positives from the defense as outside linebacker Willie Jefferson nearly had a sack. Washington has struggled getting to the QB so far this preseason; defensive end Stephen Paea's sack in the third quarter was the team's first of the preseason. Washington would go on to record three sacks on the night.

The defense also forced three turnovers. Safety Will Blackmon came down with a nice interception on an errant Geno Smith pass. The other two turnovers were fumbles.  

Washington had success against the deep ball until late in the fourth quarter when wide receiver Robby Anderson hauled in a 42-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a short-lived lead. However, the defense had a solid outing in general.

Special Teams:

Punter Tress Way continued his stellar preseason. He had a really nice punt downed at the Jets' 3-yard line. The coverage teams also did well this week by not allowing any long returns or touchdowns. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder did muff a punt early in the game, continuing his struggles as a punt returner. But overall, the special teams played well. 

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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