On Sunday, Jameson Williams played 51.5 percent of the Detroit Lions’ offensive snaps, the highest share of his young NFL career. While the stat line for Williams’ game against the Los Angeles Chargers was modest—two catches for 18 yards—his impact on the game was far larger than that.
Many have already rightfully given Williams praise for the block he threw on David Montgomery’s run that turned a 40-50 yard gain into a 75-yard touchdown. But he’s also making a big impact on the passing game, even when he’s not getting the targets.
YouTube account @NFLStudy put together a three-minute video of the All-22 film for all 19 of Williams’ route, and it’s absolutely worth a watch just to see how the Lions are utilizing him.
As you can see, the Lions are still predominantly using him as a deep weapon, and while he’s not getting the ball that often, he is very much impacting the play.
Take, for example, Amon-Ra St. Brown’s big 46-yard play. Williams’ clean-out route draws the far safety towards the hashes, allowing St. Brown to turn the corner upfield and gain an extra 15-20 yards of YAC.
Perfect example of Jameson Williams making a difference without getting the ball.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) November 14, 2023
Runs a deep route, cuts it inside to draw the safety toward the hashes. That gives ARSB just enough room to beat him to the sideline for 20 YAC. pic.twitter.com/SrlB3DVrP7
Williams’ tape from Sunday is filled with examples of clearing out space to get other players open over the middle of the field. He did the same thing on Kalif Raymond’s 41-yard gain on Detroit’s game-winning drive.
That just so happened to be one of Erik Schlitt’s five keys to victory.
To keep the Chargers from countering and pinching their safeties down, the Lions will have to stretch the field with their speedy outside receivers and keep them honest because the Lions have shown they can hit the explosive play.
Additionally, at the 1:13 mark of the video, you can see Williams’ 13-yard catch. If Jared Goff had gotten the ball out quicker, there’s a good chance the second-year receiver turns it upfield for a big gain and possibly a touchdown.
Overall, I personally think this was Williams’ best game with the Lions, and you can tell Detroit is sensing him moving in the right direction, as his role increases weekly. Additionally, he is now in the game for more critical situations, including red zone packages and even during the team’s final, game-winning drive—in which he was on the field for four of the five non-kneel down snaps.
- Here’s an awesome film breakdown of how the Lions were able to run all over the Chargers:
- Other written film breakdowns worth your time: Justin Rogers breaks down the brilliance of Ben Johnson, Dave Birkett takes a closer look at Brock Wright’s key touchdown.
- The Athletic’s Dan Pompei ($) has a neat article on Aidan Hutchinson’s spin move, and how it may have originated with his dancing background.
- Dan Miller and Lomas Brown did not disappoint with their calls of the game against the Chargers. And, yes, you’re getting a, “WHO? BROCK! WRIGHT!”
- In the past six weeks, the Lions offense has been absolutely unstoppable:
Updated Bills EPA in neutral game scripts, Weeks 5-10...— Tweets by Sneaky Joe (@SneakyJoeSports) November 14, 2023
EPA/Play - 19th
EPA/Dropback - 25th
EPA/Rush - 4th
Still hiding behind the Matt Canada hoping no one will see them. pic.twitter.com/BOAKSnY5cL
- Okay, I know I just said a bunch of good things about Jameson Williams just a second ago, but this is repulsive:
Jameson Williams put some McFlurry on his McDouble…— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) November 14, 2023
His teammates agree (via Jahmyr Gibbs’ Instagram):