One week after the Redskins moved into the NFL lead for rushing yards this season, rookie phenom Alfred Morris took the team on his shoulders en route to his finest performance in the NFL.
Morris rushed for a career-high 124 rushing yards, keying the team's third-straight victory behind a rushing attack that gained 202 yards on the ground.
"It felt great; it was a hard fought game," Morris said in the locker room after the game. "We came in with the mindset that we were going to win and we did just that. It wasn't easy, it came down to the wire, and I'm glad we got the win."
With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, the team called his number and put faith in their young back.
"It felt great," Morris said. "It shows that my coaches and teammates had a lot of trust in me. They put the ball in my hands and I wasn't going to let them down."
Morris rumbled for his fifth 100-yard game of the season and became the first Redskins running back with a 1,000-yard season since Clinton Portis in 2008. He also became just the second Redskins rookie with 1,000 yards rushing in a season, breaking the team's rookie rushing record belonging to Reggie Brooks from 1993.
"Just coming from where I came from a lot of people counted me out, didn't think I was going to make the team, Morris explained after the game. "I made the team, rushed for 1000 yards. I did a lot of things that I myself didn't think I was going to be able to do."
Morris lost his third fumble of the season during a critical second-half drive, but never got discouraged or distracted. He said after the game that he knew he would have an opportunity to make amends later in the game if he kept running hard.
"[My coaches and teammates] put their trust in me and I earned their respect," Morris said. "I could have hung my head after that fumble, but I didn't, and I picked myself back up and knew we had a game to win."
Morris said that in his college career someone told him that you have to have a short-term memory when playing this game. He took that to heart and knew what he had to do after his turnover.
"I just blocked that fumble out and kept on playing, he said. "I knew we wanted to win and I knew it was going to come down to putting the ball in my hands."
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was very candid in his praise of Morris, admiring his mental and physical strength as the season wears on.
"He's phenomenal. He's a young kid who's very humble and talented," Alexander said of Morris. "He's been chipping away all year – pounding away – and never feeling like he's getting fatigued. [Running backs coach] Bobby Turner has done a great job of coaching him up and he's got [fullback Darrel Young] back there blocking, blowing guys up.
"It's just awesome what he's been able to do, breaking Reggie Brooks' record, first 1,000-yard rusher since [Clinton Portis] in '08 – so he's doing some big things, and it's very impressive."
Fullback Darrel Young has been Morris's lead blocker all season. He continues to be impressed and honored to rush alongside his record-breaking back.
"It's a blessing," Young said. "Every time you get a guy with his character and passion for the game you want to be in front of him."
Young added that this win is the biggest of the season, but only because it is the most recent. He was pleased with the team's current status, however knows there's always room for improvement.
"We want to get better, we want to get back to the drawing board," Young said." Watch this film. Think about all of the mistakes we made, come back Wednesday and get ready for Baltimore."