The story has been examined, discussed, analyzed and told ad nauseum countless times over the past couple months
After an injury-plagued rookie season that saw him post just 11 receptions for 95 yards in only 10 games, Mike Williams has silenced the critics with big play after big play.
However, with so much focus on his improvement year over year, it’s likely people don’t realize just how special his season has been.
It’s time to stop comparing 2017 Mike Williams to 2018 Mike Williams and appreciate just how terrific the big-play machine has been.
Williams hauled in two touchdown catches and added one on the ground, spurring the Chargers to a stirring 29-28 comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs. As a result, he now ranks fourth in the NFL in total touchdowns for a wideout trailing only Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams, who all have 12.
Even more impressive, the second-year wideout’s huge game gave him 10 touchdowns on the year, becoming the first Chargers wide receiver since Tony Martin in 1996 (14) to have double-digit TDs.
In fact, his 10 total TDs are the 10th most by a wideout in Chargers history…and there are still two more games to go.
“There’s never been any doubt in this locker room about Mike, but I think that the whole world knows now why he was picked No. 7,” Philip Rivers said after the game. “He’s got (10) touchdowns and he pretty much, in his own way, (even though) all the receivers contributed, took over the football game. I mean, he scored on a reverse, he caught the other two touchdowns, he caught the two-point conversion, he caught big third down conversions (and) he was (gaining yards off) run after catch. (We) hadn’t seen him do as much of that because he hadn’t been in those situations.… Mike Williams (was) on fire.”
He certainly was as the wideout set career-highs across the board in receptions (seven), receiving yards (76) and touchdowns (three). Williams’ 19-yard carry in the third quarter marked his first career rushing score, making him only the third wide receiver in team history and first since Tim Dwight in 2002, who also did it vs. the Chiefs, to post a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game.
Antonio Gates has authored his fair share of standout games, and witnessed countless others up close, but he couldn’t help but gush over Williams’ huge day.
“I can’t say enough about him,” he said. “He’s thrived. Obviously, he’s still got some things that he can still grow at, but to watch him go out and perform like that on the big stage tonight (was impressive). Obviously, Keenan (Allen) went down, and he was able to step in huge. It says a lot about our team. More so than anything, just the depth of our team and when guys’ numbers are called, (they’re) willing to step in and be able to make the plays we need to win. He did (an) unbelievable job to help us win this game.”
“He stepped up big,” added Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “Mike has been playing well all year. We only have one football. You can’t get the ball to everyone like we would like all the time, but Mike has been playing well all season. He just stepped up and made the plays that we know he can make.”
While it was a performance that will long be remembered, Mike Williams insisted it was just business as usual.
He simply did what he does best…and that’s using his 6-4, 220-pound frame to make big plays.
“It’s just being a big, physical receiver,” he said. “That’s the main thing, just being a big physical receiver. Those are the plays I used to make in college. Those are the plays I’m used to making. Just go make a play.”
View the best moments of Mike Williams game winning night with the Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs.