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Forgotten Man Tyrell Williams Comes Through in the Clutch

Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry will get most of the credit for carving up the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

However, the play of Tyrell Williams was equally important even if it went under the radar.

With the Chargers clinging to a 9-0 lead, the third-year wideout almost single-handedly put the game out of reach with a pair of clutch receptions late in the third quarter.

The first came on a 3rd-and-11 at the Bolts' 29-yard line.  Williams got loose underneath on a crossing route before turning on the jets for a 31-yard gain to the Dallas 40-yard line. 

"I got it and didn't see anybody, so I just put it into overdrive," he explained.  "I was trying to score to be honest with you. I was going as fast as I could."

While he didn't quite find the end zone, he did exactly that just three plays later.

Running a go-route, Rivers fired a perfectly-placed laser above the cornerback's head into Williams' outstretched arms in the near-right corner of the end zone.  Williams flung the ball high in celebration as he gave the Chargers a 16-0 lead with just under two minutes to play in the quarter.

"It was awesome," he said.  "To have my family there and to know everybody back home was watching, it was awesome.  I knew I had man coverage and was trying to win off the line. As soon as I looked back, Phil put it up and I made the play.  I was trying to hold off while I was running to make it seem (to the cornerback) that the ball wasn't coming.  And then at the last second I caught it.  It was the best feeling. Scoring a touchdown on Thanksgiving Day is awesome.  There are no words to explain it, honestly."

Still, after the game everyone wanted to talk about Allen, Henry and Rivers.

However, the quarterback was quick to point out how pivotal Williams was to getting the win.

"The touchdown, we'd been saying on the sidelines that some point in this game that we had to run a go-route," Rivers said. "We said it multiple times. We kind of did everything underneath and some corner routes and stuff, but everything we were stopping on the outside. Tyrell did a nice job of getting on top and did really nice job of coming down with the ball. It looked like the guy almost knocked it out, but Tyrell did a heck of a job bringing it in. That was good for Tyrell. He's been in and out, Mike (Williams) has been getting a lot more reps,– and so Tyrell's production has not been maybe what he hoped for it to be. But I talked about how unselfish our guys are and he's been great. I know that was big for him making those plays today."

It certainly was.

One year after a breakout sophomore campaign in which he had 69 catches for 1,590 yards and seven touchdowns, Williams has had fewer chances with the addition of Mike Williams and the return of Keenan Allen.  But while his numbers may not be what they were a year ago, Thursday proved how integral he remains to the team's passing attack.

While he may not get the targets he had a year ago, he proved he can make teams pay when they focus on other weapons.

"It opens everything up for me when people are keying on (Allen and Henry) and expecting them to get the ball," he said. "To come in and get open like that on third down and for the touchdown, it's nice."

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