LANDOVER, Md. — Nate Sudfeld’s dash to the back of the FedEx Field end zone might have been faster than the 4.84 40 he ran while preparing for the 2016 NFL draft.
Sudfeld had just thrown the first touchdown pass of his NFL career, to Nelson Agholor, a 22-yarder that set the final score of the Eagles’ 24-0 regular-season-ending victory over the Washington Redskins.
To his horror, Sudfeld watched Agholor hand the ball to a young Eagles fan in the first row.
“Yeah, I felt pretty bad, but I went up to the kid and his dad and I was like, ‘Hey it’s my first touchdown, is there any way we can switch you out?’ So we ended up getting him another ball. They were really nice about it,” Sudfeld said. “But I really wanted to keep the first touchdown pass.”
Sudfeld said the play was a naked bootleg. “I just had to throw it over a defender and [Agholor] did the rest. Great play call.”
Agholor zipped down the Redskins’ sideline with the short pass. It was Agholor’s second touchdown catch of the game, the first time he has managed that in four NFL seasons.
“Nate Sudfeld is going to throw a lot more of those,” Agholor said. “That first touchdown ball don’t mean nothing. He’s going to throw a hundred more.”
Sudfeld got in for one play the previous week, against Houston, when Nick Foles took a big hit from Jadeveon Clowney during the Eagles’ winning field goal drive. Clowney was flagged for roughing and the league fined him $40,110.
This appearance was 10 plays, including two kneel-downs. It had to be sweet for Sudfeld, a sixth-round Washington draft choice in 2016 who was cut by the Redskins before the 2017 season. The Redskins ended up using four quarterbacks this season, including Sunday’s starter, Josh Johnson, who hadn’t played in a game since 2014 when they signed him for the final three games.
The TD pass was Sudfeld’s only throw of the game.
The Eagles’ 2019 schedule is set.
They have home games against Chicago, Detroit, New England, the New York Jets, and Seattle, in addition to their three NFC East rivals. They travel to Green Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo, Miami, and Atlanta, in addition to their three NFC East rivals.
Every opponent except Seattle and Atlanta was established before the season based on the NFL’s rotating schedule. The Seahawks and Falcons games were determined by the standings. Seattle finished second in the NFC West and Atlanta finished second in the NFC South, which is why they’re matched with the second-place Eagles.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks was active and started even though he had a calf injury that caused him to miss practice time leading up to the game. Hicks was considered questionable. All four players who were questionable — Hicks, Michael Bennett, Jason Kelce, and Jason Peters — started.
Peters, who left last week’s game against Houston with a quadriceps injury after just five snaps, said after Sunday’s game he was fine.
The Eagles had rookie offensive lineman Matt Pryor active for the first time this season, and cornerback Josh Hawkins made his Eagles debut. Pryor did not enter the game.
Wide receiver Shelton Gibson was inactive for the first time this season.
» EAGLES-BEARS: Next week’s kick time and the rest of the playoff schedule
There are enough Eagles-Bears connections to fill stories throughout this week, but no connection hits closer to home than the Long brothers.
Eagles defensive end Chris Long will play in the playoffs against Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long, who was activated from injured reserve in time for Week 17.
“He wasn’t texting me back a lot this week,” Chris Long said. “I sent him a lot of bulletin board material to get him mad at the Vikings. Now that the game is over, I can tell you that it’s a great opportunity for this team. Any time I get to see my brother, I am excited — especially if it’s playoff football. You know, life’s crazy.”
Long also said that the Bears’ 24-10 victory over the Vikings, in a game that ultimately meant nothing to Chicago’s playoff situation, was a testament to how good the Bears are.
Other Eagles-Bears connections include wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who will be playing his former team after spending five seasons in Chicago without a postseason bid, and Bears coach Matt Nagy, a former Eagles assistant who worked with Doug Pederson in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He coached Nick Foles in both places, too.
In fact, in 2016, when Foles signed with the Chiefs, he was dropped off at Nagy’s home and he borrowed Nagy’s car during training camp, Nagy, riding to work with another coach, Foles said.
“He’s one of my favorite people in the world,” Foles said. “When they hired him, I knew right away he was going to be an outstanding hire, and he has been.”