The Redskins made a lot of big plays against the Saints on Sunday but perhaps none was bigger than the 78-yard screen pass to Matt Jones. The rookie running back took it to the house, scoring a touchdown that put the Redskins up 21-14 in the second quarter. It was a lead they never relinquished.
“We had it schemed up perfectly, we had them in the defense we wanted to have them in,” said Jones after the game. “I give credit to my guard [Brandon Scherff] and my center [Josh LeRibeus]. They waited patiently and got the to second level so fast and gave me the ability to make the cuts that I did.”
He got help from another lineman, too. The play went to the offense’s right side and after Jones got about 20 yards past the line of scrimmage his escort of blockers included wide receivers, tight end Derek Carrier and, surprisingly, left tackle Trent Williams. He made one of the last blocks that Jones needed to complete his rumble into the end zone.
The thing is, Williams wasn’t supposed to be there.
“I was supposed to be blocking the D-end and drawing him upfield,” said Williams. “But I think Jordan Reed may have knocked the D-end down so I was just standing there with nothing to do and I still had time to enter into the screen so I went for it. I always ask coach can I enter the screen, he always says no, take care of your assignment. I kind of felt like a kid sneaking out of the house. I had a blast, man I had a blast, making the one block that helped spring the touchdown.”
On a quick side note here, the sub headline here is that Jordan Reed knocked a defensive end down. His blocking has not been a strong point and it appears to have improved considerably.
Back to Williams, despite the result of the play he still seems to feel a tinge of guilt about not following his assignment.
“It looked like it was designed that way,” said Williams. “You’d never know that I wasn’t supposed to be in the screen. I’m not going to make that a habit but if the opportunity presents itself maybe I’ll take advantage of it again.”
Williams didn’t mention the coaches correcting him for his “mistake”. The saying in football is that if you’re going to make an error, make it while your hustling. It looks like Williams checked that box and is in the clear.