On a day in which the passing game was subdued, Redskins running back Chris Thompson took over in the second quarter with two big touchdown runs.
It was a play the Washington Redskins took out of the Pittsburgh Steelers' playbook.
Just a few minutes after Redskins running back Chris Thompson took a toss play in for Washington's first touchdown in a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Florida State product had the highlight play of the day.
On 2nd-and-6 with less than two minutes left in the first half and Washington up 13-10, quarterback Kirk Cousins delayed his handoff to Thompson before the shifty running back burst past an overly aggressive Rams' defensive line.
Bursting past multiple Rams in the backfield, Thompson – aided by strong blocks from both guard Brandon Scherff and tight end Jordan Reed – cut into the middle of the field before outracing the entire defense for a 61-yard touchdown.
"We actually took it from the Steelers," Thompson said of his touchdown run. "We've seen Le'Veon [Bell], he does it a lot. It's one of those plays where he has the option to run through a lot of different gaps and we thought we could possible get that going this week. The O-line, they did a great job and it's all credit to them because they did such a good job at blocking. I just had to use my speed and get the job done."
It looked as if Thompson wouldn't quite finish the run for a score, as his college teammate – Rams safety Lemarcus Joyner – caught up with the Washington running back just at the goal line.
But Thompson evaded his tackle attempt to complete the longest running play of his four-year career.
"Down at the end, Lamarcus Joyner almost caught me and it just reminded me of a situation we had during camp back in college," Thompson said. "I broke a long run and he caught me right at the 1-yard line. He hit me right at the 1-yard line in practice, so I saw him after the game and was like, 'Man, you can't do that to me again.' It was just a good play, a good job by the offensive line; good play by Coach [Jay] Gruden also."
Thompson finished the day with 77 yards on three carries, two of which ended in scores.
It was part of a big day for the ground game, as Thompson, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine combined for 229 rushing yards. It helped balanced out an offensive attack on a day when Cousins threw for just 179 yards.
"That time of possession; keeping the possession of the ball, being able to run the ball, control the clock was big," Thompson said. "We weren't real successful with that last week, and we were able to get the job done this week and our offensive line, they just continued to fight. The Rams, they have a great front-seven, so it's all credit to our O-line. They just continue to just fight and battle it out."
Washington, of course, was able to hold off multiple comeback attempts from Los Angeles after jumping out to an early lead.
Despite a sluggish third quarter from the offense and the Rams continue to fight back, Thompson was happy with how the Redskins remained resilient in the face of adversity.
"These situations, it just shows how we continue to fight together, how close we are as a team," Thompson said. "In that third quarter, our offense, we couldn't get anything going and our defense continued to fight. They continued to help us stay in the game and they got us the ball back later in the game and we just made some plays. I love this group. There's just something different with this group of guys that we have this year. We're a lot closer, everybody's like brothers out there. You want to do things to not let your brothers down. We made the necessary plays today."