After signing a contract extension to start the week, running back Chris Thompson showed why the organization values him so much in a tough season-opening loss to the Eagles.
Running back Chris Thompson's week began with a contract extension, an olive branch from an organization that he has progressively provided for entering his fourth year in the league. Thompson's week ended showing why he had earned it, in case anyone needed reminding.
Despite the Redskins falling to the Eagles, 30-17, at FedExField Sunday afternoon, Thompson remained a vital part of the passing attack, scoring the offense's only touchdown in tough, bruising fashion and being a consistent outlet for quarterback Kirk Cousins in moments of panic.
In a game where finding an explosive play while running the ball felt futile, Thompson provided a spark out of the backfield with his pass-catching, grabbing four throws for 52 yards, which included a 29-yard score that, at the time, gave the Redskins a one-point lead.
It was, arguably, the biggest highlight of the day, the result of his elusiveness as a runner and the stability in his foundation, refusing to fall over. The pass from Cousins – thrown late in the second quarter -- hit him in stride in middle of the field, providing him the opportunity to gain more speed. After making one defender miss, he collided into cornerback Rodney McLeod, was hit by linebacker Jordan Hicks and spun to elude safety Malcolm Jenkins before sprinting to the end zone.
"I really can't break down what happened, what I was thinking," Thompson said. "It was just something that happened on that play. I was just looking to make a big play. As an offense, we weren't prepared for them at the level that I thought we were capable of. For me, I got a trips route, and I always want coach Gruden to call a twist route for me, and he gave me the opportunity and I just made a play."
The Redskins couldn't find their way back into the end zone in the second half, a product of dropped passes and mistakes that each member of the offense took responsibility for. The Redskins finished 3-for-11 on third down and committed four turnovers, issues Thompson knows will be corrected.
"Any time you lose, that basically means that the other team played harder. They executed better than you did," Thompson said. "Going into next week, we've got to play harder and beat the man across from us. That's what this game is all about, winning your one-on-one matchups. I've got to find a way to do that and break some more tackles and pick up my blocks better. It's a lot of things we need to get fixed and I have no doubt that we will. We'll be alright."
Adding to Thompson's emotional week was the added fact of uncertainty with regards to his family, which was relocated to a shelter in Tallahassee, Fla., due to Hurricane Irma, scheduled to hit the state Sunday and into the early part of the week.
Thompson's mother and step-father, along with his brother and his family, were moved there for safety, and Thompson had planned to check in with them following the game.
"When I heard about it, my mom told me yesterday, I kind of got a little nervous, but then it's one of those things I can't let it bother me too much," Thompson said. "Because, I know my mom, she's not too worried about it, she's a praying woman, so I never have a doubt that she's going to be fine and whatever happens, we find a way and I'll find a way if I got to do anything for my family, I'll find a way to put them back into good standing."