Before Aug. 28, the day running back Brian Robinson was shot twice during an attempted armed robbery, the Washington Commanders envisioned how the rookie would run this season. He’d power their run game between the tackles, wear down defenses and lead a strong rushing attack.
They had to wait. He had to recover. He had to learn to run in the NFL while shaking off the mental and physical effects of being shot.
And now they’re seeing what they had hoped. It’s also no coincidence that the Commanders (7-5) have won six of seven games and currently own the final NFC playoff spot entering Sunday’s game at the 7-4 New York Giants.
Meanwhile, Robinson recorded his first 100-yard rushing day in Sunday’s 19-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
He rushed for 105 yards on 18 carries and caught two passes for 20 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown reception in which he ran over defensive back Darren Hall. Robinson left the stadium with a game ball, not to mention wearing an oversized Washington Commanders ballcap.
Washington’s commitment to the run game has powered its hot play. Antonio Gibson and Jonathan Williams have certainly contributed to that rushing success, but Robinson’s ascension helps take the offense to another level. The run game certainly will be emphasized again Sunday as the Giants’ defense ranks 23rd in rushing yards allowed and 30th in yards per carry.
But they’re committed regardless of the opponent, and it’s because of what they’re seeing from Robinson.
“He's running with more confidence,” coach Ron Rivera said. “He's starting to get a little bit better feel as to cutbacks and running with his vision. He went through an awful, traumatic situation, and he's really just kind of starting to show us what he's capable of.”