RB Alfred Morris - Free Agent
|5-9, 222||Born: 12-12-1988||College: Florida Atlantic||Drafted: Round 6, pick 173 (2012)|
2018 Week 1 vs MIN (12 / 38 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Unsurprisingly, Morris gained all of his rushing yardage on inside zone runs. Otherwise, the story of Morris' usage and performance found its genesis deep in Vikings territory. Twice, he lined up out wide as a pawn in Kyle Shanahan's neverending chess match. This bit of trickery resulted in 31 yards and a touchdown for other receivers. Also twice, he fumbled near the goal line, the second of which resulted in a turnover when San Francisco was about to tie the game.
2018 Week 2 vs DET (14 / 48 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)
Morris played a higher percentage of snaps than Matt Breida because of Detroit's weakness against the run and San Francisco playing most of the second half with a multi-score lead. What was more surprising was his usage. Specifically, he was split out wide a handful of times, including on one of his two receptions. His other reception came on a simple dumpoff in the left flat. Also interesting about his usage was that 8 of his 14 carries went behind tackle or to the outside.
2018 Week 3 vs KC (14 / 67 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Unlike the first two games, Morris was used in more of his conventional role as an inside runner. To wit, 12 of his 14 carries were directed in between the tackles. By far, his best drive was San Francisco's second drive of the third quarter, which started down 35-16 and ended with a Morris rushing touchdown. On that drive, he had his longest run of the game, gaining 16 yards on an outside zone, barreling over two tacklers at the end for good measure.
2018 Week 4 vs LAC (4 / 14 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
In a surprise turn of events, Morris hardly saw the field during a game in which the 49ers had the lead most of the time. In fact, after an 8-yard carry early in the second quarter, he didn't touch the ball again until early in the fourth quarter. Nursing an injury all week, perhaps he was healthy enough to play, but not healthy enough to play extensively.
2018 Week 5 vs ARI (18 / 61 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Morris' rushing performance after Matt Breida got hurt was wholly uneventful, as he ran into stacked front after stacked front for minimal gain after minimal gain. What was eventful, however, was his surprising display of skills as a receiver. His three receptions were not garden variety dumpoffs or some such. These were catches that required soft hands, one of which also required him to run a legitimate pass route while split out wide in the formation.
2018 Week 7 vs LAR (9 / 25 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris' quiet day was due to the 49ers' interior offensive line being thoroughly overwhelmed by the Rams' interior defensive line, as well as the unfavorable game script. The silver lining of Morris' stat line is that four of his nine carries went for 5 yards or more. The darkest timeline is that two of these four runs came with San Francisco down 29 points in the fourth quarter and that his longest run went for only 6 yards.
2018 Week 8 vs ARI (6 / 28 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Five of Morris' six carries went for 2 or fewer yards. That sixth run, however, was an outside stretch play that went for 26 yards, largely untouched thanks to superb blocking from San Francisco's offensive line and downfield receivers.
2018 Week 17 vs LAR (16 / 111 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
With San Francisco putting Matt Breida on ice, Morris was finally taken out of cold storage. And then Jeff Wilson got hurt five minutes into the game, so they were forced to fully reanimate Morris in short order. And it turns out, reanimated Alfred Morris isn't that bad! With two carries accounting for 71 of his 111 rushing yards, that means his other carries gained only 2.9 yards per carry. But forget all that noise! This may very well be the last Footballguys game recap of Morris' career, so let's focus on the positive. On his second carry post-reanimation, Morris gained 51 yards via equal parts perfect execution from his blockers, perfect vision and tackle-breaking from Morris himself. The play was designed as a pitch left off tackle with fullback Kyle Juszczyk lead-blocking through the hole and left guard Laken Tomlinson sealing off the second level. But from there, Morris saw that Tomlinson's block created a cut-back line inside, and he took it. Safety Blake Countess arrived quickly, but Morris shed him with ease. Linebacker Matt Longacre hustled to catch up with Morris 25 yards downfield, but the newly reanimated, now-indefatigable 30-year old dismissed that arm tackle as well. The official box score may say Morris was ultimately conquered by cornerback Marcus Peters on this run. But a stiff arm uncovered by watching film of the play reveals that no, it wasn't Peters. Only the boundaries of the field, so established by the manmade artifice of an NFL rulebook, could defeat Morris in the end.
2017 Week 1 vs NYG (4 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With Darren McFadden a surprise inactive against the Giants, Morris was the clear No.2 back to Ezekiel Elliott. While Morris did not make an impact on his low volume of snaps, the depth chart shift is a notable change from the preseason if Elliott should begin serving a suspension in the coming weeks or miss time by injury.
2017 Week 4 vs LAR (2 / 76 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris rarely sees the field as Ezekiel Elliott dominates the backfield snaps for Dallas. However, Morris ripped off a long run of 71 yards against the Rams in relief duty. Morris was tracked down in the open field before the goal line as he lacks even average long speed. Morris remains the back to own behind Elliott as Darren McFadden was again a healthy scratch.
2017 Week 10 vs ATL (11 / 53 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
As expected, Morris was the lead back for Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott starting his suspension in Week 10. The Dallas offensive line provided minimal help to the Cowboys rushing attack, however, as Morris struggled throughout the first half to find the second level of the defense. In the third quarter strung together three runs of at least 10 yards, two of which were well-defined holes for Morris to gain momentum into the secondary. This stretch of three carries encompassed most of Morris' production on the day as Dallas fell behind as the game progressed and Rod Smith, the passing down back of choice, saw more playing time. On the positive side, Morris had a solid market share of snaps when the game was within reach if Dallas can hang in future games to sustain Morris' volume with better blocking at the point of attack.
2017 Week 11 vs PHI (17 / 91 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris was the clear starter against the Eagles logging 17 touches and a strong snap share until the closing minutes of the blowout home loss. Morris' success (91 yards), however, centered on a stretch in the third quarter and three runs overall totaling more than 60 yards. Morris enjoyed wide running lanes on those carries and struggled to create on his own without a clear path to the second level. Rod Smith was the preferred passing option and Morris did not see any short-range touchdown opportunities. With an overall neutral rushing schedule remaining, Morris has a better matchup in Week 12 against the run defense of the Chargers.
2017 Week 12 vs LAC (9 / 36 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
With Tyron Smith back at left tackle and a good matchup with the Chargers' rush defense, Morris had a solid early part of the game. However, Morris' snaps took a sharp downturn in the higher leverage moments of the red zone and when Dallas trailed in catch-up mode much of the second half. Rod Smith was the preferred back in the red zone and as the pass-centric option. Morris had more success early in the game than previous weeks, including breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage on the opening play and converting third-and-short. Morris' lone target produced a productive screen pass gain.
2017 Week 13 vs WAS (27 / 127 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris logged his highest rushing total since 2013 this week against his former team, the Washington Redskins. Morris saw strong volume as the clear lead back early in the game but with minimal success. Dallas' offensive line struggled to control the line of scrimmage and Morris was not creating on his own by eluding the initial defender. In the second half, however, Dallas' offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage at their highest level since the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott began. Morris' reads were solid to open running lanes and to cap off his successful game, Morris plunged in for a goal line touchdown to ice the victory. Morris quelled concerns about being in a committee with Rod Smith this week as the unquestioned starter in snaps, touches, and impact.
2017 Week 14 vs NYG (19 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Morris was active early with seven of his 22 touches on the opening drive for Dallas against the Giants. The offensive line was a positive influence to Morris success, paving the way for accessible yardage near the line of scrimmage, a stark contrast from earlier in the season. Morris consistently accrued three or more yards on his rushes with the occasional power shown through contact. Morris' biggest run of the day, nearly 40 yards to the perimeter, was called back by holding, which would have pushed him over the 100-yard mark. While Morris caught three passes, Rod Smith was the clear preferred option in the hurry-up offense and in the red zone, optimizing Smith's touches instead of Morris' volume. Morris has one more game in the sun without Ezekiel Elliott before Elliott's return in Week 16. Oakland marks a strong matchup to see a positive game script and substantial volume.
2017 Week 15 vs OAK (16 / 61 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris had one of his best segments of a game since Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended in the first half against Oakland. The Dallas offensive line was creating well-defined lanes for Morris and he consistently found them and gained yards after contact for five or more yards. The second half was a different story, however, as the holes disappeared and Morris struggled to shed defenders. Rod Smith's snaps increased in the second half and played more than Morris in the fourth quarter of the close game. Morris did have an opportunity for a touchdown as a red zone carry ended at the one-yard-line and he was stuffed on a third down attempt from point blank range. With Ezekiel Elliott set to return next week against Seattle, Morris will fight for snaps with Rod Smith and return to his ancillary role in the backfield rotation after seeing 16 or more carries in 4-of-6 games without Ezekiel Elliott.
2016 Week 1 vs NYG (7 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris saw minimal time behind starter Ezekiel Elliott against the Giants, but performed well with his opportunities. Morris ran hard and had three chunk gains during his small sample size of snaps. His successes were a mix of winning collisions after building up momentum through the hole and getting skinny through the line of scrimmage to daylight. Morris saw better overall run blocking on his touches than starter Ezekiel Elliott did with his. With Darren McFadden out of the lineup, Morris is the handcuff to Elliott.
2016 Week 2 vs WAS (5 / 7 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris saw minimal playing time behind Ezekiel Elliott until the rookie had his second fumble of the game against Washington. Morris converted a goal line carry to give Dallas a fourth quarter lead where the offensive line created a huge hole. Morris was also stuffed on a third-and-short situation. Outside of consistent fumbles by Ezekiel Elliott, Morris is relegated to inconsistent work in a run game yet to find its stride in 2016.
2016 Week 3 vs CHI (5 / 19 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Morris saw minimal playing time behind Ezekiel Elliott, but saw the ball frequently on his snaps in Week 3. Morris sported an effective spin move on a notable carry and powered in a goal line carry for a score on another. While Morris mainly sees snaps on scripted drive-long rests for Elliott, Morris remains one of the highest upside primary backups in the NFL if the starter (Elliott) were to miss time.
2016 Week 4 vs SF (7 / 34 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris had a minimal role behind Ezekiel Elliott, especially in the first half against San Francisco. As part of the clocking-milking effort with a late-game lead, Morris ground down the defense with his best runs. On his highlight run, Morris found a cutback lane, sported a spin move, and broken a tackle for a first down in the final 10 minutes of Dallas' road win. While Morris as upside for a goal line opportunity or two each week as Elliott's primary back, it is clear from the opening month Morris is a 5-to-10 carry back weekly unless Dallas is managing a blowout victory late.
2016 Week 5 vs CIN (6 / 33 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris continues to show well on limited touches, this week seeing six carries in pure relief duty of Ezekiel Elliott. Morris churned out five or more yards on most of his carries, including great blocking on his 17-yard highlight run. Morris is one of the better handcuffs in the NFL if Elliott were to miss time.
2016 Week 6 vs GB (3 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris barely saw the field against the Packers as Ezekiel Elliott continues to expand his game. Morris had just three touches with minimal success. Morris is a high-variance player with a high-ceiling if Elliott were to miss time and a minimal floor on a typical week with Elliott seeing his usual 20 touches or more.
2016 Week 8 vs PHI (3 / 6 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris was held in check as Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup against Philadelphia. Two of Morris' carries came on back-to-back snaps late in the first quarter. Without an injury to Elliott, Morris relies on overt garbage time to accrue much work each week.
2016 Week 9 vs CLE (17 / 56 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris enjoyed his largest workload of the season (17 carries) in mop-up duty of Dallas' comfortable road win against Cleveland. Morris' lunch pail effort would look better in the box score if not for a 15-yard run called back by penalty in the fourth quarter. Morris ground out the clock in the closing minutes with more than 20 yards on a key drive. This week was the ideal game script (outside of getting a rogue goal line look as Morris did in September) for Morris to excel. Without an injury to Ezekiel Elliott, Morris is a 5-to-10 carry option each week.
2016 Week 10 vs PIT (4 / 13 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Morris had his usual couple of series of work against the Steelers; however, he was largely ineffective. Morris saw few defined holes to build momentum to the second level. The veteran running back did flash in the passing game with nice hands on a throw behind him in the second quarter.
2016 Week 11 vs BAL (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris rarely saw the field against Baltimore with two non-descript carries during the stingy rush matchup. With Lance Dunbar in the mix for two-minute drill work, Morris upside if Ezekiel Elliott were to miss time takes some receiving production hit going forward.
2016 Week 17 vs PHI (8 / 12 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Morris saw mop-up duty as Ezekiel Elliott did not play against Philadelphia and Darren McFadden got the start as expected. Morris' best run came on a well-blocked perimeter play, but he was bottled up outside of his lone highlight. Morris has struggled to elude the first defender or break tackles consistently this season and McFadden instantly passed him on the depth chart once healthy. While under contract for 2017 and McFadden is a free agent, Morris' upside as even a primary backup at this point in his career is a dicey bet.
2015 Week 1 vs MIA (25 / 121 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had a fantastic day running the ball as he was the primary focus offensively. Alfred had a rather easy time navigating through running lanes as the O-Line set the tone opening holes constantly. Morris had about 10 carries in the first quarter as they chewed up the clock feeding him the ball. It was a pleasant surprise to see Washington have this type of success in the run game considering how awful the O-Line looked in preseason. Morris looked quick and decisive bursting through the running lanes as he had reportedly worked/focused on his speed and agility in the offseason. He ended the day with 25 carries which is a clear indication they want to feature him in the run game. It is encouraging that they had this type of success running the ball and more importantly for Morris who has been hearing whispers about his backup. Alfred ran well between the tackles as well as outside the tackles showing his trademark patience, but then using acceleration to often get to the second level of the defense. Only downside to Morris' day is that he wasn't featured more on the passing downs which isn't his strong suit anyway. Although he says to he has worked to improve in that area. The game flow was in Alfred's favor today but if the defense doesn't hold up then he can be a forgotten man due to volume of passing they will have to do.
2015 Week 2 vs LA (18 / 59 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris took a backseat to rookie Matt Jones today. It was actually a week later than most anticipated because Alfred lacks explosion but has extraordinary vision. Alfred's patience as a runner isn't as productive versus a Rams front that aggressively pursues everything. Therefore, Alfred's best attribute which is reading blocks and anticipating creases was counterproductive today. He is more of a volume rusher and most of his yardage came on a 35 yard gain in the first quarter. Often times in this game Alfred struggled to find a cutback lane which he thrives on so it was an underwhelming performance. As a whole, this backfield is more productive than anticipated so the expectation is that this could turn into a full blown timeshare in the near future.
2015 Week 3 vs NYG (6 / 19 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had a very quiet evening as he only received 6 carries total for the game. The game flow being down early really hampered the Redskins ability to feed him the ball. However, he didn't even start as Matt Jones replaced him in the lineup. This is concerning more so because of the presence Matt Jones has established as oppose to the game flow. This is a full blown committee at this point but it remains to be seen how involved Alfred remains going forward. He isn't a part of the passing game so that limits his upside as well.
2015 Week 4 vs PHI (17 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was much more involved in this game than the last. He got the start and had the first two plays drawn up for him in the run game. He helped to establish a nice balance of run/pass in this game by running effectively getting positive yardage all day. Alfred seemed to be running with purpose from the start which can be attributed to his recent decline in the game plan as well. He got 17 carries on the day which clearly shows Washington wants to get him back on track but this committee is a mystery. Alfred was even in the game late as he had a 16yard run followed by a 12 yard run that got the final drive of the game moving. Alfred is a volume runner so he was able to get in rhythm today and it showed when it mattered most. Morris is a good closer and Washington needs to remember that.
2015 Week 5 vs ATL (8 / 15 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was relatively quiet today as he only had 8 carries. This is the downside to being in a running back platoon. The week to week production is unpredictable. He started the game and the game flow was actually geared towards a run heavy approach. The score stayed close all game but he never got on track. Alfred longest carry went for 4 yards.
2015 Week 6 vs NYJ (11 / 21 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had a quiet day considering he was the lead back with Matt Jones nursing an injury. He wasn't able to get on track due to the stout Jets defensive line. The game flow wasn't in his favor as well as the Redskins were down double digits majority of the 2nd half. Alfred isn't featured in the passing game so this always limits his productivity. His longest carry on the day was just 6 yards and he only had 11 carries total in this game.
2015 Week 7 vs TB (6 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was basically erased from this game as the Redskins got down 24 to 0. Unfortunately for Alfred his production is game flow dependent and being down equals plenty passing. Alfred isn't a passing down running back so he only had 6 carries on the day with minimal production.
2015 Week 9 vs NE (4 / 10 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was once again erased from the game script as Washington found themselves down early and unable to establish the run. Morris isn't a part of the passing game personnel so therefore he found himself watching from the sidelines a majority of the game. He had 4 carries in this game and his production was virtually non-existent.
2015 Week 10 vs NO (15 / 92 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris finally had a chance to remain involved based on the game script. He had 15 carries total but was allowed to finish out the game. It was a bit odd that he went nearly a full quarter without a carry (from early 2nd quarter to middle of the 3rd) but remained in a good flow once he returned. Alfred was back to being elusive, breaking through arm tackles, and finishing runs. He had a 28 yard run that showed flashes of the "chunk run" ability that he is known for in Washington. This was by far the most productive day Alfred has had in recent weeks.
2015 Week 11 vs CAR (2 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was a complete no-show in this game statistically and he left early due to a rib injury. He totaled 2 carries for the game.
2015 Week 12 vs NYG (23 / 78 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was more involved in this game than recent weeks. The score and game script had much to do with his involvement as he received 23 carries. Establishing Alfred early helped to control the clock and keep a steady flow offensively. Close games are typically when Washington can feed Alfred as the main cog in the rushing attack. His longest carry only went for 9 yards but it was his ability to get the tough 3 to 4 yards each time that kept the offense on schedule. Late in the game Alfred was used as a closer and he delivered two big first downs that drained the clock. This isn't the norm for Alfred so we can't expect him to be featured weekly.
2015 Week 13 vs DAL (6 / 12 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was seemingly benched in the 2nd quarter as he only had a total of 6 carries. He was barely on the field after a late first quarter carry. It was odd being that he was fresh off a 23 carry game prior to Monday night. This has been a reoccurring theme with the Washington backfield as you never know what will happen with each week.
2015 Week 14 vs CHI (11 / 24 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris started the game off well and looked to be featured in this game, but much like other games that wasn't the case. Alfred had 11 carries on the day and even scored the first touchdown of the game. This was a game script friendly game for Alfred to take advantage but Matt Jones took over majority of the second half work.
2015 Week 15 vs BUF (14 / 84 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris benefitted greatly in this game to positive game flow. Once again, he started the game but he was also more involved throughout the matchup. He had 14 carries and the biggest one came when Washington was backed up on the 4 yard line in the second quarter. He took off up the left side for a 48 yard run that got them out of potential trouble. Most of Alfred's day was made up of gaining the tough 2 to 3 yards that helps the offense maintain rhythm. He didn't score a touchdown but his presence was felt in the ground game while receiving a healthy dose of carries.
2015 Week 16 vs PHI (17 / 49 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris found no room to run against an Eagles defense that plays the run well. Alfred is a straight ahead, one cut runner so he often found himself being stopped before he could get going. If he was an improvisational type runner then maybe he could have made some things happen but nonetheless it was a quiet night. He ran hard and received 17 carries but his longest run went for 8 yards and many of the others had little impact.
2015 Week 17 vs DAL (19 / 100 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had one of his more productive games of the year as he topped 100 yards with 19 carries. He was used primarily as a clock killer in a conservative game plan. Alfred ran with power and clearly has fresh legs based on the fact his workload has been so volatile from week to week. He failed to score a touchdown but his longest carry went for 23 yards as the Cowboys weren't interested in tackling this game. Alfred does deserve credit for displaying the hard nose running style we are accustomed to seeing. Alfred's workload is usually connected to game script and this game was in his favor based on the circumstances.
2014 Week 1 vs HOU (14 / 91 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had a quietly strong performance as the workhorse back for Washington. Morris worked the middle of the defense early for short gains before gashing the aggressive Texans defense later in the game on strong zone runs. Morris showed good patience waiting for holes to develop and planting his foot to turn the play upfield. He almost made a critical mistake off a nice zone run that brought Washington down to the one yard line, losing the ball in the end zone, but he was ruled down before being stripped. On the run Morris barreled down the right side of the line but was forced to maneuver around a locked up Clowney pushing his man upfield. He darted up a hole near the right sideline and charged his way to the one yard line before finally being brought down. Unfortunately, Morris was then vultured by his FB Darell Young. Morris was robbed of another potential score when Griffin botched a handoff inside the ten yard line that was fumbled and recovered by the Texans. Morris was used heavily in the second half while Washington trailed and it appears that the Redskins will likely lean on their running game until the coaching staff can get RG3 and the passing game on track.
2014 Week 2 vs JAX (22 / 85 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris didn't find much room to run early on the game, patiently banging his way for one and two yard gains. But the punishing back eventually pounded the Jaguars defense into submission as the understated and reliable engine of the Redskins offense. Morris's patience testing the Jaguars front seven quickly bore fruit when he was able to break loose late in the first quarter for an 18 yard cutback draw up a wide open lane. Morris scored his first of two rushing TDs early in the second quarter from the one yard line, powering his way in behind his talented fullback Darrel Young. Morris's second touchdown of the day came off a monstrous collision with LB Dakota Watson at the one yard line. Watson met Morris at the goal line and the RB was barely able to hold on to the ball as he was jarred sideways into the endzone for the score. Morris almost had a third touchdown in the third quarter, taking a handoff from Cousins and pounding his way to the one yard line. Morris could have had an even bigger day when he ripped off a 23 yard run to get Washington inside the 10 yard line. Morris made two great cutbacks on the play, starting left and cutting back right at the second level to get behind the over pursuing middle linebacker. However, the run was called back due to a holding penalty. Morris received the lion's share of carries in the redzone, but is still spelled in the hurry up offense and on obvious passing downs for the capable Roy Helu.
2014 Week 3 vs PHI (23 / 77 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had a quiet afternoon for Washington, rushing for a modest 77 yards with a full complement of carries, but it seemed clear that Gruden's gameplan was to test Philadelphia's generous secondary with Kirk Cousins's arm. The Eagles geared up early to stop the run and didn't give any large rushing lanes to Washington's bellcow back. Many of Washington's running plays tested the Eagles right side, checking for open lane gaps on zone stretch plays, but the Eagles stayed disciplined and didn't give Morris any cutbacks. Morris gave Washington fans a scare in the second quarter after limping off the field with an apparent knee injury, but he returned shortly after and didn't seem to be overly affected by it. It may be a slight cause for concern with a short week upcoming for Washington. It is important to note that In a very pass-heavy game script, Morris was the only RB to receive more than one carry, which should put any concerns that he would lose reps to the more pass-friendly Roy Helu Jr. to rest. Morris's longest run of the day (12 yards) pulled Washington to the 3 yard line and the bruising back was one tackle break away from scoring. Morris had opportunities in the red zone, but Washington's preferred plan was to spread the Eagles defense near the goal line and attempt short passes. Morris gave way to Roy Helu on a late TD run at the one yard line when Washington was running a hurry up.
2014 Week 4 vs NYG (12 / 63 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Morris ran well and saw his first passing game work of the season in the blowout loss against the Giants. Most of his rushing work came in the first half as Washington fell behind by three touchdowns in the third quarter. On Morris' touchdown tote, a well-blocked stretch play paved the way for a rare long-range score. That play pulled Washington to within 24-14 early in the second half, their brief glimmer of momentum in the game. As a receiver, Morris was generally ignored by the Giants coverage. On one occasion, Morris had 15-20 yards of open field in the flat prior to encountering a defender. While never considered an even average receiver, a few targets per week would help insulate Morris' production floor from game flow oscillations.
2014 Week 5 vs SEA (13 / 29 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was bottled up against Seattle's impenetrable front seven, finishing with by far his lowest yardage total through five weeks. Morris didn't have any holes to run through on first downs and Washington was behind for the entire game, forcing Washington the throw the ball early and often. Morris looked sluggish behind the line, unable to find any creases created by the zone run scheme. Morris almost lost a fumble on the opening drive but his FB was able to fall on the ball to prevent the turnover. His longest run of the game came on an 11 yard scamper in the second quarter where he still showed his ability to shed tacklers for extra yards. Morris did not see his usage in the passing game increase as it did the week before, as he saw only one target out of the backfield. Morris's terrible box score was clearly a product of an overmatched offensive line and not due to any weakness in Morris's game.
2014 Week 6 vs ARI (13 / 41 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris continues to struggle behind Washington's offensive line and poor game scripts. Morris finished with his second lowest yardage total of the season and carried the ball just 13 times or fewer for the third week in a row. Morris did have one reception for 14 yards on three targets, but dropped an easy swing pass early in the first quarter. With a long run of only 9 yards, Morris was held to his second lowest YPC on the year (3.15). A volume runner, Morris was never able to find a rhythm in the game and looked tentative running behind his line -- a theme that has developed over the past few weeks with Washington struggling to keep drives going. Morris continues to give way to Roy Helu Jr. on passing downs and in hurry up mode, and looks to be seriously impacted by early deficits for Washington and Gruden's propensity to abandon the run early.
2014 Week 7 vs TEN (18 / 54 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had another mediocre day running the football. Morris never threatened to score and was held to 3.0 yards per carry running behind his poor offensive line. Morris still was given a healthy workload of 18 carries, but was not able create any plays, mostly getting what was blocked for him and routinely getting hit behind the LOS. His longest run of the day went for 14 yards, sprung on the left side by a beautiful block from his fullback. Morris still ran hard and ground out tough yards for Washington. Morris briefly left the game with an ankle injury but returned on the next possession.
2014 Week 8 vs DAL (18 / 73 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was again unable to find any room to run in the early going, gaining just three yards on three carries in the first quarter as the Washington offense sputtered behind shoddy line play. Morris gave way to both Silas Redd and Roy Helu late in the first half due to his own ineffectiveness. Washington finally was able to scheme Morris into the open field in the second half. Morris took a stretch play to right for 29 yards and popped off a few more strong runs before taking a shotgun handoff inside the five in to the end zone for his first TD since week four. Morris's second half saw him return as the engine that keeps the offense going, getting consistent tough yardage and keeping Washington in manageable down and distance. Aside from his long run, Morris still struggled to get over three yards per carry, and his upside looks capped as long as RG3 remains out.
2014 Week 9 vs MIN (19 / 92 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris and the Washington run game are rolling again. Morris had his best game of the season, scoring two TDs and garnering three targets in the passing game that he turned into 17 yards. Morris dropped one pass in the flat that could have padded his stat line even more, but the ball bounced off his hands. Morris's success on the ground was buoyed by the return of RG3, who threatened the Minnesota defense with the Read Option. The offense kept the Vikings from selling out against stopping Morris and opened up some truck-sized holes for him to burst through. His 14 yard TD run in the early second quarter came off a shotgun handoff and Morris was able to get around a well-blocked edge and burst upfield untouched into the end zone. Morris scored a second TD in the fourth quarter from two yards out to put Washington up 26-21. The drive was fueled by a huge 56 yard reception to DeSean Jackson. This was Morris's first multi-TD game of the year.
2014 Week 11 vs TB (20 / 96 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had an impressive performance despite the struggles of the rest of his team. Morris was a beast running inside and showed exceptional effort keeping plays alive when it looked like he was going to be stopped for short gains. Morris wowed the home crowd on a run that was bottled up on the left side for a five yard loss, but the burly back fended off multiple defenders before cutting back across field for a big first down gain into the red zone. His effort was in vain, however, as Griffin took back to back terrible sacks to kill the promising drive. Morris even contributed in the passing game, catching two passes, including a dynamic tackle-breaking 24 yard catch and run with Washington in hurry-up mode before the end of the first half that set up Helu's 30 yard receiving TD. Despite Morris's great performance, he was unable to keep his streak of TDs going and never got the opportunity to carry the ball in the red zone at all in the game.
2014 Week 12 vs SF (21 / 125 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris appears to be the only player on Washington benefiting from the return of RG3. Morris now has 6 tds in games that Griffin has played in, and his 125 yards on the ground was his highest output of the season. Morris was impressive throughout the game, ripping off chunk yardage on multiple runs and shedding tacklers with his elite power. Morris scored Washington's lone TD of the game from half a yard out, but his run that set the score up was perhaps his most impressive of the day. Morris took a pitch left from the 13 yard line and slipped a sure tackle before turning upfield and carrying three players another few yards before getting taken down at the one yard line. Morris was almost vultured by his FB on back-to-back handoffs before finally punching the ball in on third down.
2014 Week 13 vs IND (17 / 67 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris no longer benefits from the running game boost that RG3 provided and predictably failed to match his recent gaudy production. Still running hard, Morris didn't have the usual large holes to run through from the read option and the Colts defense played much closer to the line of scrimmage with the weaker armed Colt McCoy under center. Morris almost lost a fumble in the first quarter, but the play was ruled dead before the snap due to a false start penalty. Morris also had a nice touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty in the second quarter. Roy Helu scored on the next play. Morris had two carries inside the one yard line that he was unable to convert. Morris was not utilized late in the game with Washington falling behind and forced to throw on every down.
2014 Week 14 vs STL (8 / 6 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was never able to find room behind an overpowered offensive line that repeatedly allowed him to get hit in the backfield. With Washington trailing early, Morris was not given many opportunities to run. His eight attempts and six yards rushing were by far his fewest of the season. Morris was targeted in the passing game more than usual, but was only able to haul in one of them. He also took a nasty shot on an incomplete pass late in the fourth quarter and was held out for the rest of an already lost game.
2014 Week 15 vs NYG (14 / 49 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had an uncharacteristically poor performance running the ball taking handoffs from QB Robert Griffin III, a partnership that has historically yielded favorable results. Morris looked good in the first half but the holes closed up in the second and Morris was stopped behind the line of scrimmage on almost every carry. Morris lost touches to both Silas Redd and Chris Thompson as Washington fell behind and needed to pass.
2014 Week 16 vs PHI (21 / 83 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris had eight carries in the first half, including a strong 28 yard TD run where he broke multiple tackles on his way to the diving corner pylon score. His other seven first half carries only netted 14 yards as Morris was hit near the line of scrimmage on every tote. Morris was twice vultured from inside the one yard line by his fullback and could easily have finished the game with three scores. The running game improved slightly with Griffin behind center, but Washington's line often looked overmatched at the point of attack and failed to open holes for their power back. Still, Morris was able to grind out extra yards after contact to finish with a respectable 83 yards rushing.
2014 Week 17 vs DAL (12 / 43 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris was again a victim of poor game script, running hard in the first half but fizzling out as Washington quickly fell behind to a dominant Cowboys team. Morris ripped off a nice 22 yard run in the second quarter, displaying his trademark toughness and yards after contact, but was almost blanked in the second half, gaining just 10 yards on the ground. Morris never had a chance to carry the ball in the red zone, but was able to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing on the season for the the third straight year.
2013 Week 1 vs PHI (12 / 45 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Morris received the lion's share of carries in the Washington backfield, but a surprisingly stout Eagles run defense - buoyed by their constant blitzing - gave the sophomore halfback little running room. Washington being down 33-7 in the third quarter also forced Morris off the field for a sizable amount of the second half, as the Redskins had to run their two-minute offense. It was a forgettable season opener for Morris, who fumbled on his first carry of the game, and dropped a high pitch from Griffin in the Redskins' end zone for an Eagles safety. Redskins fans and fantasy owners alike searching for a silver lining should take solace in the fact that Morris did take it to the house for a five-yard score towards the end of the third quarter on a sleek, slow-developing cutback run. The holes and creases the Redskins offensive line provided Morris were fairly wide, and Morris had no trouble hitting them hard and bursting forward. As the game wore on and the Redskins trailed further and further from Philadelphia, Morris, as previously mentioned, simply did not see much of the field.
2013 Week 2 vs GB (13 / 107 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Down by thirty-one midway through the third quarter, the Redskins were by and large forced to abandon the run, but Morris still got his against Green Bay. Twice, the sophomore tailback ripped off runs of thirty-two yards, eclipsing the century mark for the first time this season. Morris ran with determination and patience, rarely pressing forward unless he saw a hole opening up through the line. His longer runs were a great showcase for his second level, as he shook off defenders to gain extra yardage. Morris also added two catches, much to the surprise of Redskins fans and fantasy owners, but they were of the checkdown-pass variety. Unfortunately, it stands to reason that if Washington continues to trail, Morris will not see as much of the field, ceding passing-down and hurry-up snaps to Roy Helu, Jr.
2013 Week 3 vs DET (15 / 73 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris continues to do well with the limited opportunities he is afforded, based on the porous nature of the Redskins defense. With Washington repeatedly down in each game of the season thus far - and the game against the Lions, while relatively close, was still no exception - Morris did not see much of the field with the Redskins in pass-heavy catch-up mode. When the Redskins called Morris' number, he was terrific, essentially as advertised through his short career. Averaging nearly five yards a carry, he ran patiently behind blockers, tough through the serviceable holes creating by the Redskins' zone-blocking scheme, and showcased a terrific wiggle for a man of his size. Morris did gallop to the end zone for Washington's lone offensive touchdown of the afternoon - a thirty-yard run to the right created by a terrific block from wide receiver Josh Morgan - where Morris displayed a fine second gear in his motor, sprinting ahead of the Lions defenders that managed to nearly catch up to him. Additionally, to his credit, Morris provided terrific pass protection for Robert Griffin III on a pass to Logan Paulsen. With the pocket collapsing on first-and-ten on the Redskins' second offensive series, Morris lit up a blitzing Lions' defensive lineman to keep his quarterback upright. This sort of effort on passing plays will help keep him in the game, at least early on, though if Morris does not manage to improve his hands on pass plays out of the backfield, Roy Helu will see more of the field, and Redskins fans and fantasy owners will see less of Morris.
2013 Week 4 vs OAK (16 / 71 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris carried the ball a season-high sixteen times (which is impressive given how the Redskins have trailed in every contest in 2013) against an unimposing Raiders run defense, and actually turned in one of his least impressive games of the young season. Before exiting the game with a rib injury - postgame reports indicated he would be avaialble for Washington's Week Six tilt against the Cowboys - Morris did a lot of pile-moving, single-digit runs. The infield and outfield at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum actually made for some tough sledding - many players left the field with an injury during the course of the game - and Morris could not seem to cut and run in the battered O.Co turf. Patient as ever behind blockers and courageous in the face of tackling linemen, Morris still ran with determination and skill, but the results were not there in the box score.
2013 Week 6 vs DAL (16 / 81 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris averaged five yards per carry against the Cowboys and showed no signs of the rib injury he suffered against the Raiders. However, the majority of Morris' yardage came on a forty-five yard touchdown gallop where he slipped through a tight hole created by the Redskins offensive line. Breaking two tackles, Morris breezed into the Cowboys's end zone for the Redskins' only touchdown on Sunday Night Football. Save the big touchdown run, Morris found himself bottled up many times by the Cowboys' patchwork defensive line, and looked rather ordinary - though still his defender-dragging self. What is worth mentioning from Morris' performance against Dallas was a critical drop on first-and-goal in the Cowboys' red zone. Robert Griffin III's touch pass richocheted off Morris' hands and hit the turf. It was his only target of the night. This drop probably contributed to Roy Helu, Jr. dominating the snap count out of the backfield in the fourth quarter on Sunday night.
2013 Week 7 vs CHI (19 / 95 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Redskins ran the ball an astounding forty-three times against the Bears, and Morris accounted for nearly half of Washington's rushing yards in Week Seven. While the Bears were unusually banged-up on defense, Chicago routinely sold out to stop Morris, tackling him at or behind the line of scrimmage on five of his nineteen carries. However, Morris also broke runs of ten-plus yards three times against Chicago, including a twenty-one yard tackle-dragging scamper. Morris' shorter gains deserve credit in this space. Chicago stacked the box in order to stop him, and often had him dead-to-rights, but Morris refused to submit on any carry. Faced with no holes to cut through, he carried defenders along to generate positive yardage. Morris's nineteen carries were a season high for the sophomore halfback, though it was a bit unusual to see Washington elect to use Helu to punch in scores twice inside the five-yard-line of the Bears. It should also be noted that Washington used Morris exclusively as a ball carrier against the Bears, a likely response to the swing pass Morris dropped in Week Six against the Cowboys - a probable scoring play. In any case, with Robert Griffin III getting very close to his 2012 form, Morris stands to benefit, and should crack the century mark again in the coming weeks.
2013 Week 8 vs DEN (17 / 93 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After Roy Helu, Jr. ran in three touchdowns against the Bears at home, Morris appeared in line for a big week facing the Broncos given that he was Washington's squeaky wheel on offense. Morris delivered another solid box score, a sixth-straight game of seventy-plus yards on the ground. The Redskins' offensive line gave Morris both gaping holes and narrow gaps, and Morris had no difficulties fitting through either. The second-year halfback was a load to tackle in the open field, and ran over defenders on an easy score from one yard out, in the third quarter, giving Washington a two-touchdown lead. Yet the Redskins sapped their star ball-carrier's value anyway, only giving Morris three carries after they led by seven in the third quarter. Morris got no touches after the Broncos tied the Redskins, and afte Denver took the lead, Roy Helu, Jr. dominated the snap count out of the backfield. With the Redskins repeatedly trailing due to a sputtering offense and Swiss cheese defense - and not giving Morris touches when games are close, apparently - Morris' value appears capped, for now, at fifteen-plus touches a game.
2013 Week 9 vs SD (25 / 121 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It took nine weeks and five quarters, but Alfred Morris finally eclipsed twenty carries, the century mark, and a touchdown in the same game. Feeding Morris early and often worked wonders for the Redskins, who never trailed by more than seven points at any point in the game. Morris, to his credit, was flat-out terrific, exhibiting levels of patience and vision that are far more important in a zone-blocking scheme than mere speed. The sophomore halfback waited what seemed like several seconds in the backfield on runs of nineteen and twenty-six yards, respectively, and allowed the line all the time in the world to get to its blocking assignments on a five-yard score in the second quarter. While fantasy owners likely bemoan fullback Darrel Young getting three touchdowns in the red zone, Morris was tackled short of the stripe on a goal-line carry, even after bouncing off one tackle. Young scored on the next snap. Morris's best games are likely not behind him this year, as the Redskins' upcoming schedule still has the Vikings, Eagles, Cowboys, Falcons, and the Giants twice, all teams susceptible to the powerful ground game.
2013 Week 10 vs MIN (26 / 139 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After failing to record twenty carries for the first nine weeks of the season, Morris broke twenty-five carries for the second week in a row. Morris ran all over a listless Vikings defense at home, shedding tackles at will, while averaging well over five yards per carry. The second-year tailback from Florida Atlantic ripped off four runs of ten-plus yards, including a twenty-six yard gallop to Minnesota's eight yard line, setting up a Robert Griffin III touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. Another one of these double-digit runs featured Morris bouncing off a whopping four would-be Viking tacklers. He would later bounce off three more tackles on a different nine-yard run. Certainly, credit is due to the Redskins' offensive line, which provided Morris the requisite holes to cut and through towards the Minnesota secondary. Much to the chagrin of fantasy owners, Morris got stopped short of the stripe at Minnesota's one yard-line, and it was Roy Helu, Jr. who got the red zone carry on Washington's last offensive series of the game. Morris is certainly one of the more consistent halfbacks in the NFL today, especially in a season wrought with injury and laughable underperformance by many veteran ball-carriers. However, he is also one of the NFL's more one-dimensional halfbacks, which does hurt his overall scoring chances.
2013 Week 11 vs PHI (22 / 93 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris notched his third-straight game of twenty-plus carries, but the Eagles defense held him to slightly over four yards per carry, his lowest since he faced Philadelphia on Opening Night. Nine of Morris' carries went for one yard or fewer, as the Eagles did their level best to limit one of the NFL's leading rushers from ripping off too many big gains. Only two of Morris' carries went for double digit yardage. Morris and the Redskins' offensive line were in sync, to be sure, working in tandem to create holes and power through them - the Eagles' defensive front were simply too effective at getting penetration. Curiously enough, Washington remained committed to the run even after falling into a deep hole, calling for Morris to carry the ball on six straight run plays late in the fourth quarter. However, as Redskins games seem to be scripted, Morris did not record a touch in the fourth quarter, with Washington down by twenty-four points.
2013 Week 12 vs SF (14 / 52 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris found almost no room to run facing the stingy Forty Niners, routinely getting tackled at or just in front of the line of scrimmage. San Francisco's defensive line manhandled the Redskins' offensive line, leaving Morris with no holes or cutback windows. The sophomore halfback ran as angry and, yes, patient as ever, waiting for the line to create opportunties - even creating gains of one or two yards out of nothing. He could only do so much against a relentless defensive front intent on stopping option football, which it did easily. Morris will have better games in 2013, but continues to be shackled by an offense that cannot use his talent when the defense causes the team to fall behind.
2013 Week 13 vs NYG (11 / 26 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Morris had his worst game of the season by far, gaining only twenty-six yards on the ground facing the visting Giants. New York tended to load the box and blitz Washington in order to take away Morris and force Griffin to throw. Morris simply had nowhere to run, and the absence of fullback Darrell Young due to injury was evident. The Redskins elected to use backup running back Evan Royster in certain running situations, with little success. The first few drives of the evening, the Redskins kept the Giants at bay by running a no-huddle offense and involving Morris in the passing game, a new development given the second-year player's difficulties catching the ball out of the backfield. Morris caught all three of his targets for a career-high twenty-seven receiving yards, as Robert Griffin III used him as a checkdown option. Morris scored easily from the New York one-yard line on the team's opening drive, but did not make an impact thereafter. The Redskins elected to pass a fair amount, and also ran a bevy of option plays that resulted in Morris not recording carries based on Griffin's read of the defense. As the Redskins' game script goes, Morris also saw less of the field as the Redskins began to trail in the second half. Morris' involvement in the passing game is encouraging for his future, but he remains one of the NFL's most context-dependent skill players.
2013 Week 14 vs KC (12 / 31 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Pardon the seasonal pun, but Morris found extremely tough sledding facing the visiting Chiefs on a snowy Sunday at FedEx Field. Kansas City routinely broke through the Redskins' overwhelmed offensive line and got to Morris before he could plant his foot and cut downfield. The slippery conditions of the field were of no help to Morris, either. He sometimes slipped behind or just in front of the line of scrimmage. The third component of the trifecta keeping Morris from a good performance at home were the points the Chiefs kept adding to their score, which eventually prevented Morris from seeing the field. He did not record a carry in the fourth quarter. Morris' passing game involvement - a relevation against the Giants the week before - was nonexistent this week. He was not targeted. Washington boasted the league's best rushing attack through thirteen weeks, but it did not show against the Chiefs in Week Fourteen. Morris has a cakewalk schedule to end the season, but if the Redskins continue to trail, he will not see much of the field.
2013 Week 15 vs ATL (18 / 98 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
After a series of thoroughly disappointing performances, Morris trucked the Falcons in the Georgia Dome to the tune of well over five yards per carry. The Redskins' offensive line opened up terrific holes for Morris to pound through, and the return of fullback Darrell Young proved to have a positive impact on Morris' performance. In fact, it was Young who helped spring Morris on a thirty-seven yard gallop just short of the Falcons' red zone late in the second quarter. For all his decisive, practically clairvoyant runs in which he anticipated the defense or generated gains out of losses, Morris lost two fumbles against Atlanta - the first game in his young career he lost multiple fumbles. Early in the second quarter, he fumbled in Atlanta's red zone, though Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan fumbled on the next play from scrimmage, giving the Redskins the ball back. The second time Morris fumbled, he was also in the red zone - giving at least passable credence to the Redskins' oft-criticized decision to use change-of-pace running back Roy Helu in the red zone. Luckily for Morris, Atlanta generated zero points off of his turnovers.
2013 Week 16 vs DAL (24 / 88 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris was the prototypical bell cow for the Redskins in Week Sixteen. He carried the ball twenty-four times - Washington ran the ball twenty-eight - while getting one target through the air. Morris' per-carry numbers were not particularly gaudy, as he ran for fewer than four yards per carry, but he still delivered as the Redskins' most consistent offensive skill player of 2013. The gnarly FedEx Field turf, as well as a Cowboys defense that kept bringing pressure up front, were not particularly kind to Morris. Pressure from the defensive front seven of Dallas also kept the Redskins' offensive line from opening up sizable holes to Morris, but he still found room to run, only getting tackled for a loss three times. Morris did his best work in the red zone in the third quarter after the Redskins intercepted a Tony Romo pass to give themselves good field position. Morris ran for nine, six, and seven yards before encountered zero resistance on a four-yard touchdown run, his seventh score of the 2013 season. The proud 1991 Mazda 626 owner continued another season of steady, determined play with his mix of power running and field vision, getting six first down for the Redskins in their one-point loss.
2013 Week 17 vs NYG (16 / 62 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Morris had his worst outing of the season, by far, against the Giants back on the first of December. He finished with a much more respectable day, including catching two passes - and looking comfortable doing so - on the Redskins' first drive of the afternoon. Still, in the midst of a close game, the Redskins continued their puzzling usage of their young feature back. Morris only received two carries in the red zone, and one fourth-quarter carry, while Roy Helu, Jr. and Darrel Young both received the call to convert on fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter. Morris was not demolishing the Giants' front seven by any means, yet he hardly received any touches in a game where the Redskins found themselves down by eleven going into the fourth quarter. Perhaps Mike Shanahan and his staff intended to preserve Morris for seasons to come. Morris still ran hard later into the game, ripping off runs of fourteen and nineteen yards, respectively, despite getting little assistance from a offensive line that produced clear lanes earlier in the season. Morris will still be worthy of a second-round pick in fantasy drafts in 2014 as he figures to anchor the Washington offense, at least until the second half, when the Redskins trail and his touch count is reduced dramatically.
2012 Week 1 vs NO (28 / 96 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The primary beneficiary of the running back roulette gameplan Mike Shanahan chooses to employ, Morris made a big splash as the featured back for the Redskins. Showcasing a bruising, one-cut running style so revered by Shanahan, Morris muscled his way through the New Orleans defensive line for ninety-six yards on twenty-eight carries. Most of Morris's carries went for the proverbial three yards and a cloud of dust - and he plodded more often than not - but at times, Morris showed great second and even third effort in chewing up additional Superdome turf. Morris's biggest run came when he found his window closing and, bouncing off his fullback, found the edge and ran for an eighteen yard gain. Morris found paydirt twice in his debut, both times churning forward against a solid Saints run defense. The rookie from Florida Atlantic was not involved on passing downs - ceding those to Roy Helu, Jr. - but his skill at generating yards after contact was pivotal in the Redskins' ability to dominate time of possession in New Orleans. If he remains healthy, Morris could very well be the bell cow in Kyle Shanahan's offense, although mastering cold fusion is likely to be easier than guessing the Redskins' starting halfback week-to-week.
2012 Week 2 vs STL (16 / 89 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Finding himself in the good graces of Mike Shanahan after his solid performance against New Orleans, Alfred Morris acted as the early-down, feature back for the Redskins against the Rams. Taking sixteen carries for eighty-nine yards, Morris once again exhibited why he is the favored son in the Washington ground game. Carry after carry, Morris proved excellent at generating scarce yards after contact, plowing through the St. Louis run defense. While he is not necessarily a dynamic, three-down back, Morris is no simple plodder. Twice against the Rams, Morris got to the next level for runs in excess of twenty-five yards, something he was unable to do in his rookie debut. Morris's value also lies in his ability to help Robert Griffin III sell play-action and designed quarterback runs, as his presence draws in the defensive line, opening up plays for Washington's receivers or running lanes for Griffin. With another quality performance, Morris is a decent bet to continue his role as the feature back for the Redskins in the weeks to come.
2012 Week 3 vs CIN (17 / 78 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Once again, the rookie from Florida Atlantic University acted as the feature back for the Redskins. Morris toted the rock seventeen times for seventy-eight yards against the Bengals, once again showing off his ability to power through defensive linemen and generate yards after contact. On his first run of the game, Morris bounced to the outside, spun around, and exhibited great footwork on a fourteen yard carry, losing his helmet and still attempted to manufacture yards. He followed that up by taking a Robert Griffin III toss for twelve yards, showing another side to his game by patiently waiting in the backfield and letting his blockers get to their assignments. Morris's most impressive play, by far, came on Washington's second offensive possession of the third quarter. Taking an inside handoff, the rookie carried several defenders, literally, on his back, for a twelve yard gain and a first down. Morris did find paydirt, early in the third quarter with the Redskins down by fourteen. Spinning away from Cincinnati tackles, Morris waltzed into the end zone to cut the Bengals' lead to seven points. As long as he continues to show that he can thrive in the one-cut, bruising running style that is required in the zone-blocking scheme Kyle Shanahan employs, Morris will be the Redskins' feature back. It is worth noting that Morris did drop a pitch on an option play from Robert Griffin III, which the Bengals recovered. Additionally, when the Redskins were behind, Morris ceded snaps to Roy Helu, Jr. and Evan Royster, who, it appears, the Shanahans consider more qualified to help with pass protection and pass catching out of the backfield.
2012 Week 4 vs TB (21 / 113 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / -4 / 0 rec)
If there existed any uncertainty regarding who the benefactor of this season's Shanahanigans is, it is Alfred Morris. Mike Shanahan's diamond in the rough delivered the best game of his young career, pulverizing a Tampa Bay run defense that through three weeks limited rushers to forty-seven yards per game. Morris carried twenty-one times for one hundred and thirteen yards and ran angry and decisive on every single touch. Kyle Shanahan dialed up an uncommon run play a few times, in which Morris took a backward pitch from Griffin. In the first quarter, this play allowed Morris to exhibit his preternatural ability to hit the hole and run downhill. Later in the game, this play gave Morris the opportunity to show off his bruising, relentless way of churning his legs forward to gain the first down. The Florida Atlantic product is simply a difficult man for any defense to bring down. After all, color commentary from the afternoon's game revealed that Morris squat-thrusts a whopping six hundred and forty-five pounds. More often than not, Morris is able to carry multiple defenders on his back to move the sticks. The rookie finally had a highlight reel-caliber run against the stout Buccaneers' run defense, taking a second-quarter inside handoff to the house for a thirty-nine yard touchdown. No one would mistake Morris for a shifty, live-wire halfback like LeSean McCoy or the ghost of Chris Johnson, but Morris treated the Tampa Bay defense like he was in bullet time, shaking multiple tackles and changing gears for his most dominant, powerful run of the season thus far. As opposed to previous weeks, Morris played a few passing downs and received two targets - likely a result of the Redskins being depleted at running back at this stage of the season.
2012 Week 5 vs ATL (18 / 115 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)
It may seem tough to believe, given his success in the league so far, but Alfred Morris had the best game of his blossoming career at home against the Falcons. Carrying the ball on nearly every Redskins rushing attempt, Morris gained a career-high one hundred and fifteen yards against the Falcons. He also caught a swing pass from Robert Griffin III for twenty yards, indicating that he is developing nicely as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Game flow really kept Morris from doing too much - the Falcons dominated time of possession - but the rookie halfback did his usual thing against a questionable Falcons run defense. The Redskins' zone-blocking scheme provided Morris with gaping holes to run though, and Morris obliged, exhibiting tremendous field vision while cutting upfield. Like he has done all season, Morris ran north-to-south, angrily, into and over would-be tacklers. When Robert Griffin III went down in the fourth quarter due to injury, the Falcons proceeded to stack the box to prevent Morris from ripping off a big run. Given the uncertain timetable regarding Griffin's recovery, one must wonder if Morris will face tougher sledding in the weeks to come, as defenses will prepare to take the run away from the Redskins with Kirk Cousins under center.
2012 Week 6 vs MIN (16 / 47 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Morris, as expected against a super-tough run defense, had an underwhelming day on the ground. It was doubly tough since he was often hit well behind the line of scrimmage which made it incredibly hard for him to gain any ground. Morris will bounce back--nobody runs on the Vikings unless it's Robert Griffin III. Morris ran hard, but just found too many defenders in his space too often.
2012 Week 7 vs NYG (22 / 120 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris ran very well for the Redskins on Sunday, exploiting the Giants defense early in the game. Morris had a lot of inside runs in the first half and ran with a lot of power. Morris frequently got a lot of yards after contact, dragging Giants defenders forward as he picked up extra yards. Morris had success running up the middle against the Giants aswell as bouncing runs to the outside. Morris was very good at choosing the correct hole to exploit in the defense and powerfully exploding through it. He had excellent vision and punished the Giants when they got out of position. The Giants occasionally had very poor/no pursuit of Morris, allowing big plays and first downs to be easily picked up on the ground. In the second half however, it was a different story. The Redskins began to pass a lot more, Morris's workload was drastically reduced and the Giants stiffened up on the ground when asked. FB Young also got some carries instead of Morris. Morris also fumbled late in the game, simply having poor ball security and not having a secure hold on the football as a NYG defender ripped it out. Morris contributed little to the passing game also and a lot of the rushing yards on the day belonged to QB Griffin. Regardless, he is a tough runner that has a strong hold on the #1 RB spot in WAS. He did not get many goal line touches in this game, which prevented touchdowns but was explosive running the ball for most of the game.
2012 Week 8 vs PIT (13 / 59 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Right from the get-go, Morris was bottled up pretty effectively by the Pittsburgh defense. His first two carries came on the initial drive, and they were curious calls. Both plays had Morris attempting to get outside instead of utilizing his strengths as a one-cut, downhill runner. Morris was able to have some bright moments with a couple of 8+ yard runs. The team's inability to sustain drives (mainly due to dropped passes by the wide receivers) put them in a deficit, and both of those factors limited Morris' carries. Morris is still clearly the best back on this team, and while he leaves the field during no-huddle situations for Evan Royster, he's in no danger of losing his job. In fact, after a result like this, Washington will likely look to get him even more involved. 13 carries isn't enough to maintain offensive balance and remain in a competitive game.
2012 Week 9 vs CAR (13 / 76 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Despite being a more well-built back, Alfred Morris runs with great balance and can certainly make defenders miss with swift cuts in the hole. Morris demonstrated these qualities again against the Panthers. The Redskins' two TE sets allowed them to outflank the Panthers on the edge and resulted in several 10+ yard gains. Unfortunately for Morris, the game script meant he only carried the ball 13 times, but on another day he could easily have gone over the century mark. Morris' no nonsense, downhill style will continue to trouble defenses.
2012 Week 11 vs PHI (20 / 76 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Same as it ever was for the rookie from Florida Atlantic University. Morris carried twenty times for seventy-six yards on the ground for the Redskins against the Eagles. He also caught one pass for seven yards. These twenty-plus carries are practically old hat for the bruising rookie, as Morris continues to be one of the NFL's most dangerous men at generating yards after contact. His seventy-six yards on the ground are not mind-blowing, but what is was Morris' presence on third down. On the field for nine of Washington's eleven third-down snaps, Morris is at this point the Redskins' every-down running back, effectively Shanahan-proof at this point in the season. Setting his mediocre rushing total aside, Morris still ran with purpose. He was able to bounce to the outside on a nice fifteen yard gain, and also put together a twenty-yard tackle-dragging run right up the gut of the Philadelphia defense. He did not see much goal line work given the efficiency of the Washington offense, but he did take one red zone carry for five yards before the Eagles stopped him, short of the stripe.
2012 Week 12 vs DAL (24 / 113 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The rookie halfback's first game against the division rival Cowboys was business as usual. Morris shouldered every running back touch for the Redskins, carrying thirteen times for one hundred and thirteen yards and a score - the fourth time this season he registered over one hundred yards on the ground. Morris' touchdown was something of a goal-line plunge, as wide receiver Leonard Hankerson drew a pass interference flag in the end zone to set Washington up at the one-yard line of the Cowboys. We will beat a dead horse here, but Morris continues to look exactly the same, week-in and week-out - a diamond in the running back rough that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan found from the same quarry he's mined for years. Morris is locked in as the Redskins' lead back, even staying in on third downs ahead of backup Evan Royster. It seems that Shanahan is content to ride Morris until the wheels fall off, though, given Morris' physicality and youth, that does not figure to be any time soon.
2012 Week 13 vs NYG (22 / 124 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris led the NFL's number one rushing attack in a twenty-two carry, one hundred and twenty-four yard effort that gashed the New York front seven. The rookie from Florida Atlantic hit the hole hard on downhill runs up the middle and always found a way to bounce to the outside on stretch zone plays. The Redskins' offensive line provided Morris with some of the biggest holes they have all year and Morris obliged them, galloping through wide open spaces and into the Giants' secondary. When met by tackles, Morris often lowered his pads and dug in his cleats to upend Giant defenders and generate yards after contact. He continues to handle the overwhelming majority of the Redskins' backfield work, with fullback Darrel Young carrying the ball only twice. Morris ran over the Giants' defense at a clip of over five-and-a-half yards per carry, but his two key plays were a six-yard run in the Giants' red zone in the third quarter and another six-yard run in the New York red zone after the two minute warning. On a stretch zone run left, Morris gained six yards, but lost the football while he went down to the ground, with Giants linebacker Keith Rivers recovering the ball. New York drove down the field and set up a thirty-five yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to put the Giants up by six. Later, on third-and-three at the New York thirty-five, Morris ran the ball again for six yards, this time through the gut of the Giants' defense. The run came with roughly a minute to go, allowing the Redskins to kill the clock and give them a key victory over their divisional rival.
2012 Week 14 vs BAL (23 / 122 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Morris topped the century mark for the third straight week, leading the NFL's number one rushing attack with one hundred and twenty-two yards on twenty-three carries - a nearly identical stat line to his Week Thirteen performance against the Giants. He found the end zone easily on a one yard run up the gut, set up by a twenty-one yard reception by Joshua Morgan. Washington's zone-blocking scheme gave Morris ample room to run on a Ravens run defense that the rest of the NFL no longer fears. The rookie brought the home crowd to a fever pitch on the Redskins' first play from scrimmage, a twenty-nine yard run off the right tackle that showcased his sneaky speed. Morris ripped off another run of twenty-one yards on the next snap, but officials blew the play dead when wide receiver Pierre Garcon got called for offensive holding. Morris' runs thereafter were never particularly long. He did chew up seventeen-yard scamper off the left end in the second half - but the Redskins do not lean on him for his speed. The Redskins, rather, give the rock to Morris twenty-plus times in each game for his angry runs that smash through the defense and move the pile forward. Unfortunately, Morris did fumble for the second time in as many games, this time a second-quarter slip-up that Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger recovered, setting up a Joe Flacco touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta. Still, Morris is locked-in as a punishing option for the Redskins at halfback. The rookie's fit in Washington's running scheme is both a testament to his physical nature as well as Mike Shanahan's ability to pan for running back gold. It is worth noting that the Redskins continue to use Morris almost exclusively as a runner, and rely on Evan Royster in the hurry-up offense. Morris still dominates the touches out of the backfield, but the Shahanans do value Royster's skill set in certain situations.
2012 Week 15 vs CLE (27 / 87 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
If Alfred Morris lacks a nickname through fifteen weeks into the season, this publication suggests "Juggernaut," because Morris cannot be stopped, only slowed down. With Robert Griffin III sidelined due to a knee injury the previous week, Morris stepped up for a career-high twenty-nine touches, producing ninety-three yards from scrimmage. A stout Cleveland run defense kept Morris from doing too much on the ground, as he averaged under four yards per carry, but the rookie ran incredibly tough on every single carry. Morris sought contact on every carry, ramming his pads into Cleveland defenders and digging his cleats into the grass to push for the extra yard. The Redskins relied on Morris to move the chains and chew the clock, and so he did. Morris scored twice for the first time since the season's first game - once on a gritty, three-yard effort off the left tackle, and again on an eight-yard scamper in which the Browns offered almost no resistance. Amazingly, Morris seems unfazed by the tremendous workload the Shanahans thrust upon him, logging two hundred and eighty carries through fifteen weeks, good for third in the league. Despite being a rookie, Morris continues to perform at an incredibly high level as he leads the league's number one rushing attack.
2012 Week 16 vs PHI (22 / 91 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec)
Morris shouldered the load for the Redskins in Week Sixteen, toting the rock twenty-two times for ninety-one yards on the ground. While the rookie halfback did not crack the century mark - which he seems to reach with ease - Morris did find the end zone for the tenth time this season. On the fifth play of a third quarter drive, the Redskins called a stretch zone run to the right, and Morris breezed through the hole the line provided - with the Eagles barely giving chase - to put Washington up by ten points. While Morris did not rip off any huge runs - he does not have the closing speed of a home run hitter - he did show a lot of patience and vision in letting the Redskins offensive line create wide berths, which he rumbled through. While not known for his prowess in the passing game, Morris caught one pass from Robert Griffin III for a seventeen-yard gain.
2012 Week 17 vs DAL (33 / 200 / 3 rush, 2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Alfred Morris is obscure no longer. Spending the first sixteen weeks of the 2012 season as the "other" rookie starter on the Redskins, the bruising, physical halfback delivered the most impressive performance of his inaugural season, in the most important game of his inaugural season. Morris carried the football a staggering thirty-three times - Washington called a run on a whopping seventy percent of its plays - accounting for fifty-three percent of the Redskins' total offensive yardage. The rookie who, a mere year ago, was on a one-win Florida Atlantic team, ripped off runs of ten-plus yards or more on eight of his thirty-three carries. The Cowboys had no hope of stopping Morris and the Redskins' read-option tinged rushing attack. With all of Washington's plays looking eerily similar in design, Morris feasted on the big holes provided by the Redskins' zone-blocking scheme and the Cowboys' indecisiveness in containing the rookie halfback. Indeed, the holes that the Redskins' offensive line provided Morris were gaping, particularly on his first touchdown of the evening, a seventeen-yard run that began up the middle, and that Morris cut back and bounced outside to the left end. With the edge sealed, he galloped into the Dallas end zone to tie the game at seven in the second quarter. Morris's second touchdown was even more impressive, and further credit should go to Washington's underrated offensive line. Taking a pitch left, Morris hit a big hole off the left guard and slipped one tackle, afterwards racing towards the end zone for a touchdown from thirty-two yards out. The rookie showed spectacular closing speed on the run, speed for which Morris is not particularly known. Morris's third touchdown run of the evening was a one-yard halfback dive across the goal line. Morris fumbled the ball after he broke the plane, thus the play was immediately reviewed, but replay indicated that Morris easily scored before he lost control of the ball. When he did not find the end zone, Morris was lethal on every carry, and even after surpassing his single-game high of twenty-eight carries, seemed tireless. He ran with toughness and purpose every time he touched the ball, wasting few steps in gaining extra yards before and after contact. The Redskins afforded Morris sizeable holes to gallop through, and when the line was unable to move the Dallas defense, Morris slammed into the Cowboys' front seven, dug in his cleats, and pushed the pile forward. The rookie moved with a quickness that seemed unusual for a man weighing nearly two hundred and twenty pounds. Morris finished the season as the Redskins' single-season rushing yards leader, breaking a record previously held by Clinton Portis, and also finished his rookie season second in the league in rushing yards, rushing yards per game, and rushing touchdowns. On top of all these accolades, Morris was the first play to ever record two hundred yards rushing against the Dallas Cowboys. When the Redskins needed a victory, Morris delivered a command performance - especially noteworthy with a quarterback recovering from a significant injury. With an NFC East title in his back pocket, Morris can now turn his attention to the Seattle Seahawks, who will visit FedEx Field next weekend to take on his Redskins in a wild card matchup.
2012 Week 18 vs SEA (16 / 80 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The durable rookie anchored the Washington offense on a night in which quarterback play from the Redskins left a lot to be desired. He was instrumental in the Redskins' two first quarter touchdown drives, accumulating fifty of his eighty total rushing yards on those drives. Morris's sixteen carries were his lowest since the Redskins' early November loss to the Panthers. With Seattle's defense fully aware that Robert Griffin III was inhibited and an unlikely threat to run, the Seahawks schemed to stop Morris in his tracks after the first quarter. Griffin's injury and subsequent ineffectiveness were, truthfully, what kept Morris from a huge game. The Redskins' zone-running scheme offered huge holes for Morris, and he chewed up yardage on every carry. However, with Griffin ailing and the Redskins falling behind as the game went on, Morris' opportunities to shine became few and far between. The rookie's trademark toughness and blistering one-cut running style impressed, but given the game situation, Morris could not shoulder the same load that he did in Week Seventeen's NFC East showdown with the Cowboys.