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Matt Jones Shows Power, Speed On Touchdowns

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In only his second game as a professional, Washington Redskins rookie running back Matt Jones propelled the offense with 19 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

When Matt Jones was selected by the Washington Redskins in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, he knew that he'd have to make the most of his opportunities, especially with Alfred Morris entrenched as the team's starting running back.

What he didn't know was how open Morris would be to helping him learn what it takes to be a professional.

Jones said Morris made him "feel comfortable" from the get-go, giving him advice all throughout offseason activities and the preseason.

"I learn from him all the time, each and every day," Jones said. "Each opportunity I get I'm trying to make the best of it."

On Sunday afternoon in the Redskins' 24-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams, Jones showed he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL, carrying the ball 19 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

His first touchdown run – a 39-yard carry – came just two plays after Morris started the Redskins' second drive of the game with a 35-yard run of his own.

"I was just feeding off of Alfred Morris today," Jones said. "I mean every good run he had, I was just feeding off of that with his energy. I learn from him each and every day, each and every game. We had great energy today to run the ball."

Jones may be known as more of a power back, but he showed some burst getting down the left sideline before outracing everyone else on the field.

"I just saw Shawn Lauvao blocking his butt off all day," Jones said. "I saw him knock one of their ends out. I got underneath and I saw daylight and I took it to the next level."

Jones did have one slipup in the third quarter, though, fumbling the ball on a four-yard carry.

While the Rams would score on the ensuing possession off the turnover – a 40-yard touchdown connection between Nick Foles and Kenny Britt – Jones said he had the support from his veteran teammates, as they remained confident that he could bounce back.

"I didn't feel terrible after the fumble because I had a lot of teammates lifting me up after that," Jones said. "Now just being a pro, I'm glad I bounced back. I'm glad it happened to me, because I'm definitely going to learn from this."

Jones, of course, would come back and eventually put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter, as he put the finishing touches on a 12-play 77-yard drive with a three-yard score that would extend the Redskins lead to 14 after a Dustin Hopkins extra point.

"It was just great effort, just me getting around the corner," Jones said. "Shawn Lauvao coming out lead blocking for me. I just reached out for the end zone and I scored."

Morris said he liked what the entire running back was able to do today, but especially what the rookie was able to achieve.

"He got in there he did a phenomenal job," Morris said of Jones. "I'm happy for him. I told him it was 'the first of many for you, 100 yard games.' Two touchdowns, that's awesome. so I'm happy for the young guy."

While the rookie received a lot of praise from other teammates as well for his performance during postgame interviews, veteran defensive end Jason Hatcher reminded him of where he stands in the pecking order.

"Matt Jones is a rookie. He gets no price for going 100 yards. Do it next week, Matt," Hatcher said with a smile. 

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