After hauling in four catches for 86 yards against the Houston Texans Week 1, Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul carried over his strong play to Sunday's 41-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField.
Starting with a 19-yard reception on a first quarter scoring drive and ending with a 2-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, Paul recorded career highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (99) to go with the touchdown.
Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 1 game with the Houston Texans.
"I am happy for this opportunity to play," Paul said. "But, it's just important that I stay humble and keep doing what I have been doing, which is working hard and grinding it out through practice, and [tight ends] coach Wes Phillips knows it."
After nearly recording a touchdown early in the second quarter, Paul struck gold on the first play of the fourth quarter when quarterback Kirk Cousins found him at the side of the end zone.
Starting the play with his hand in the dirt, Paul was motioned out wide where he made a leaping grab over Jaguars safety Chris Prosinski.
After the game, Paul said he knew the audible was going to lead to a favorable matchup.
"We knew based off of what they used to do, that they would pop out a player," Paul said. "They would put one on me, so it would sort of be a mismatch out there and they did that, and they did exactly what we thought they would."
Evading pressure, Cousins said his trust in Paul's ability made his decision to throw to him and his teammates that much easier.
"I'm just throwing to the open guy and going where my read takes me," Cousins said after the game. "[Wide receiver] Ryan Grant and Niles Paul are certainly talented players, and we're really excited to have them, and I feel confident having them on the field."
While his first reception of the game came from quarterback Robert Griffin III, Paul's final seven receptions were from the arm of Cousins.
With both Cousins and Paul normally practicing with the second-team, the fourth-year tight end said the chemistry they've built over the years was put on display Sunday.
"We got a lot of work in during training camp, because we run with the twos," he said. "And I'm comfortable with him, I was comfortable with Robert, I'm comfortable with Colt (McCoy) -- we just go with all of them."