Darrel Williams picked a good day to deliver an exceptional performance. With a productive day against the Cleveland Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs running back stole the spotlight on offense.
Williams started his career with the Chiefs in 2018 when they signed him as an undrafted rookie. He has never been a prominently featured back on the team, but has had several chances to showcase his talents through three seasons.
In 2018, Williams was still setting his footing with KC, but in 2019 we saw a glimpse of what he could do. In week 3 of the 2019 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Williams tallied 9 rushes for 62 yards, along with 5 receptions for 47 yards. He played 54% of offensive snaps in this game because of an injury to Damien Williams.
Now in the 2020 season, Williams has been a solid second/third string running back for the Chiefs. During the regular season, Williams had four games with over 5 carries and averaged 4.3 yards per rush attempt for the year.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire being injured heading into the postseason, most thought that Le’Veon Bell would be the feature back for the Chiefs against the Browns. However, on the first play of the game, Williams was in at running back and that is where he remained for the majority of the contest, as he was on the field for 79% of offensive snaps.
Williams finished the game with 13 carries for 78 yards, while averaging 6 yards per carry. He also garnered 4 receptions for 16 yards. Throughout the game, he came up with some huge plays for Kansas City:
- On the first drive of the game, Williams amassed 3 rushes along with a crucial 9-yard reception. His reception featured a broken tackle that was a key piece to the touchdown drive, as he shortened a second and long to a third and manageable.
- Immediately following Mahomes’ exit in the third quarter, in a 19-10 game on 4th-and-1 at Kansas City’s own 48-yard line, Williams broke loose on a pitch to the outside for 12 yards that gave K.C. the momentum to continue driving down the field.
- With a little over 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter on 3rd-and-4, Williams made one of the biggest plays of his career. He caught a 5 yard reception. This was not just a typical 5-yard reception, but this catch and run for the first down gave Kansas City the chance to continue milking the clock below the two-minute warning.
Williams is not a player who complains about his role on the team. He carries the football with determination, provides good pass protection, and is more than capable of making key plays when needed.
This playoff game against the Cleveland Browns was Williams’ biggest opportunity of his young NFL career and he definitely took full advantage of it. He didn’t make any single jaw-dropping plays, but his running game provided much-needed flexibility when Patrick Mahomes went down and his 3rd down catch in the fourth quarter played a major part in the Chiefs victory.
His name may not be widely-known throughout the NFL, but Darrel Williams’ play against the Browns showcased that he can be a stable second-string running back and even take the majority of the load when needed.