Before Adrian Peterson had the chance to truly pull away from defenders in the open field for the first time in burgundy and gold, it was Brandon Scherff who was doing the pulling.
But instead of trying to avoid contact like Peterson was, Scherff was seeking it.
On a second-and-6 late in the fourth quarter in the Redskins' Week 8 win over the Giants, the 'Skins' guard took off running after the snap, moving laterally toward the right sideline and searching for a blue jersey to take care of.
He quickly found that blue jersey in Landon Collins, engaged him and drove him in the direction of the sideline. That collision, along with a similarly well-executed move by Chase Roullier, carved out a wide hole in the New York defense that Peterson was happy to speed through on the way to a 64-yard score.
After Washington's 20-13 win at MetLife Stadium, Jay Gruden reflected on the highlight.
"I saw Brandon ready to hunt," he said. "Once you see the hole is ready, and Brandon with his eyes on his target, you know something good is about to happen. Brandon is the best puller in pro football."
The player who benefitted the most from No. 75's athleticism on that sequence eagerly echoed Gruden's praises.
"He’s very dependable, and he gets around anything," Peterson said. "That last play was a great example of that. I was able to wrap around and take it to the house.”
It was the second time in two games that Scherff made the key block on a play that ended in six for the Redskins. Against the Cowboys in Week 7, his lunging effort is what sprung Kapri Bibbs on a screen pass.
"Natural born mauler," is how fellow insanely skilled O-lineman Trent Williams described Scherff. That kind of praise from that kind of star shows you the amount of respect that guys have for the fourth-year vet.
Now at 5-2, the Redskins are rolling largely thanks to how well Peterson has played. But that throwback, breakaway run — or much of Peterson's comeback, for that matter — wouldn't have been possible without Scherff's contribution, to go along with the rest of the guys up front.
This year, Jay Gruden's team is trying and succeeding at establishing a new, physical, nasty brand of football. And Scherff, who's playing on an injured knee but still neutralizing whoever is unfortunate enough to show up in his path, is the very embodiment of that style.
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