September 13, 2016
By the end of it, Williams was the first rusher of his age to have such an impressive game since Emmitt Smith put up 127 yards as a 35-year-old in 2004, but he also stood out in comparison to his present-day colleagues, becoming only the second back to run for 100 or more yards in the opening week of games. The days of the central stat-stuffing RB are increasingly on the wane; even Williams's brilliance was matched by that of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, who connected for eight routinely spectacular completions and two touchdowns. NFL offenses belong to quarterbacks and receivers, now, and the job of the backs is to provide a little contrast and blocking for as long as they can. It's tough work, and people don't last long at it. So while Williams's game on Monday was spectacular, the best rushing performance of the week, it was secondary. The real triumph was being on the field to begin with.