The Redskins had a lot of stuff to remember in 2017.
Now that the season has come to a close, the Redskins Blog will select its favorite things from Redskins fans, players, coaches and team personnel over the last 12 months.
We’ll continue with our five favorite Chris Thompson plays of the year.
1. The Rams Run
So much happens in this play that extends the Redskins’ lead over the Rams and ultimately propels them to victory in Los Angeles during Week 2 of the season. Let's focus first on Thompson, who darts his way through the second level and has enough gas to make it to the end zone. His quickness and vision are clearly evident here in the way he cuts right, then left, then right again, seeing the opportunity up the right seam. Then watch right guard Brandon Scherff lock up linebacker Alec Ogeltree, prompting Thompson to cut back inside. There, left guard Shawn Lauvao forced two Rams to collide into each other and tight end Jordan Reed makes just enough of a block to spring Thompson free, leaving behind a mess of Rams players on the turf. It was an unexpected thing of beauty.
2. The Eagles Demolition
If the inevitable emergence of Chris Thompson’s playmaking ability wasn’t noticeable, he solved that in the first game of the regular season. In the second quarter against the Eagles, Thompson ran outside and then streaked up the right hash, where Cousins hit him with a pass in stride. Waiting for him in the middle of the field were three Eagles defenders, all of whom were tossed aside as Thompson took a couple big hits, spun and eluded the grasp of their depleted efforts. He then sprinted the extra 15 yards into the end zone, tying the game with less than two minutes before the half. “I really can’t break down what happened, what I was thinking,” Thompson said. “It was just something that happened on that play.”
3. The Breakout Screen
This wasn’t your typical screen pass for a running back. Thompson, as he sometimes did throughout the season, lines up out wide, catching Trent Williams’s pass a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. As soon as he turns his head upfield, the play was destined for great things. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. initiated the first block and then the hustling offensive linemen followed up quickly. First Ty Nsekhe, then Trent Williams, then Brandon Scherff, then Spencer Long chugging for as long as he could with Thompson. With a 14-point lead, this run late in the third quarter set up the team for more points. This followed an earlier Thompson touchdown and showed the football world that Thompson was going to be a big thing in 2017.
4. The Made Him Miss
Here’s the best example of why no defender wants to go one-on-one with Thompson. He shakes a 49ers linebacker in good position to make a tackle and then it’s off to the races. Thompson finds running room and bullets through it for 49 yards before he’s finally brought down, erasing a first-and-22 situation in the process. This was the big play in a four reception, 105-yard receiving game for Thompson, making it seem as though every game would feature at least one spark plug moment.
5. The Wheel Route
Just a couple of quarters before Thompson’s season would end with an injury, he got the Redskins into the end zone for the first time in a heartbreaking loss to the Saints. This wheel route was attempted a couple weeks earlier in the season against the Vikings, but Cousins underthrew Thompson, preventing him from scoring. This throw, however, was perfectly thrown and Thompson easily breaks free of the linebacker being picked for the easy pitch and catch. I’m sure Thompson doesn’t want to remember this game, but as his last touchdown of the year, it’s another example of what the Redskins missed down the final stretch.