After receiving the game ball two weeks ago, Jamaal Williams followed it up by putting on a show during Sunday’s primetime game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Making just his second career start, Williams made sure to make the most of his opportunity as the former BYU running back totaled 135 yards and two touchdowns on the road at Heinz Field. The rookie ran for 66 yards and a score and also hauled in four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown in a 31-28 loss to the Steelers.
Williams’ first touchdown of the day came late in the first quarter. Facing third-and-8 from the 46-yard line, Williams took a screen pass from Brett Hundley and went untouched as he sprinted into the end zone to give the Packers a 14-6 lead.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 27, 2017
His second touchdown of the night was an important one with the game on the line. Down 28-21, and with just 2:08 left in the game, Williams took a handoff on first-and-goal and jumped into the end zone to tie the score up and record his first NFL multi-touchdown game.
Unfortunately, that left Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger with too much time as he guided the team down the field to setup Chris Boswell’s 53-yard game-winning field goal.
Jamaal Williams scores again!
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2017
The breakout performance by Williams — BYU’s all-time leading rusher — was exactly what Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy expected as he was high up on the Packers draft board before the team took him with the fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Williams shined during fall camp as was expected to be the guy behind starting running back Ty Montgomery. However, an injury early in the regular season sidelined him for several weeks as he fell down the depth chart as Aaron Jones came in and took over before going down with a big injury two weeks ago.
“You could see in training camp he was clearly ahead of the two rookies. (But) I think when the season started, he was trying to do things right and was thinking too much,” said McCarthy. “And frankly the opportunity being taken away from him with Aaron stepping in there, his hunger never changed.”
#Packers rookie RB Jamaal Williams has 128 total yards (62 rushing, 66 receiving) along with 2 TDs (1 rushing, 1 receiving). He's done everything tonight.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) November 27, 2017
Williams has also been a big fantasy football pickup in leagues the past two weeks. With Aaron Rodgers out for the season, the Packers have been focused on the run game which has allowed Williams to carry the load and an opportunity to make an impact and show what he can do. After Sunday’s performance, he’ll likely be one of the top fantasy pickups this week for those who have not already picked him up.