It took 13 weeks, but the Redskins displayed a rushing attack in Sunday's victory over Carolina that many expected to be a weekly occurrence in 2019.
In Washington's 29-21 road victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins rushed for 248 yards, over 100 yards more than they finished with in any game prior. They nearly had two 100-yard rushers, as Adrian Peterson finished with 99 yards to go along with Derrius Guice's stellar 129-yard outing.
What was the difference for the Burgundy and Gold's rushing attack in Week 13? Redskins running back Chris Thompson joined The Sports Junkies on Monday to explain why the ground attack was so successful in Charlotte.
Washington came into Sunday's contest with Carolina with a plan, and that course of action was to set the tone with their rushing attack.
"Coach Callahan, ever since he's taken over, he's wanted to make [the running game] a big focus," Thompson said. "This week for sure, he was telling us every day, 'In order to beat this team, we're going to have to run the ball.' I think the O-Line just took that as a challenge. AP and Guice, they ran for [228 yards] together. It was great. Everything was just clicking."
The effort by those two didn't give running back Chris Thompson many opportunities in his return to the field (Thompson has been sidelined since Week 6), but that didn't matter to No. 25. The team won, and Thompson even joked on Twitter about it.
The Panthers jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the first quarter, scoring with ease on their first two drives. It would have been easy for Callahan and the Redskins to abandon the run down two scores, but the old-school head coach stuck with the plan he entered the day with.
"Our first 12 plays that we had scripted, I think seven out of the 12 were run plays," Thompson said. "[Callahan] was trying to set a tone and we were able to do so. It was just on point and we were going to stick with it."
Perhaps no run quite described the tone the Redskins were trying to set like the nasty, jaw-dropping stiff-arm that Guice delivered on a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"It was crazy. Right before, [Guice] kept telling me, 'Man, nobody out there is talking noise. The only one that's been talking is Shaq [Thompson],'" Thompson said. "He just kept saying that every time he was coming off the sideline. He got his opportunity, and he was able to get his payback with that stiff-arm."
The second-year pro turned in easily the best game of his young career -- notching 129 yards on the ground on just 10 carries to go along with two touchdowns. The complete effort from Guice on Sunday is exactly what the Redskins have been waiting to see for close to two years.
"It was just great to see that out of him," Thompson said. "That's what we saw at LSU. That's why he was considered to be the first running back drafted a couple of years ago. Plays like that and his angry run style. It was real good to see."
The Redskins entered 2019 with a plan to win by leaning on their run game and their defense. It took three-quarters of the season, but it finally happened in Week 13.
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