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Terry McLaurin Adds Another Great Game To A Historic Rookie Season


The Philadelphia Eagles may have gotten the better of the Redskins in their return to FedExField with a 37-27 win, but they also realized a harsh reality: Terry McLaurin is going to be a problem for a long time.

Chalk it up as a coincidence, but the numbers don't lie: McLaurin's two best games of his young career have come against the Eagles. The first was in the season opener at Lincoln Financial Field when he caught five of his seven targets, including one that went for 69 yards to the end zone, for 125 yards.

Twelve games later, "Scary Terry" was at it again like a recurring nightmare for the Philadelphia secondary. On the Redskins' second possession of the game, McLaurin caught a 14-yard pass from former Ohio State teammate Dwayne Haskins Jr. and turned it into a 75-yard touchdown that gave his team the lead.

McLaurin went on to have his best game of the season with 130 yards on five catches, further cementing him as one of the best receivers the Redskins have had in recent memory. He's close to backing up that claim, too, but even with former Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer in attendance on Sunday, it's just a regular day.

"It's another day at the office," McLaurin said with a smile. "[The touchdown] was a play we saw this week. Dwayne did a great job of putting the ball in front of me. I just wanted to make a guy miss and use my God-given ability to run away from the guy."

Last Sunday's game pushed McLaurin to 833 receiving yards for the season, which is the third-most by a rookie in franchise history. He needs 167 yards -- an average of 83.5 yards in the next two games -- to be the first Redskins receiver since Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in 2016 to have a 1,000-yard season.

But McLaurin has already established his rookie season as one of the best ever for the burgundy and gold. He has the most games with at least 100 yards and a touchdown by a rookie (three), set a rookie record for the most games with at least 50 yards receiving (nine) and tied another for the most 100-yard games by a first-year player (three). currently projects him to have 58 catches on 98 targets for 952 yards and eight touchdowns.

"Terry is everything you could ask for in a young wide receiver," said interim head coach Bill Callahan. "I have the utmost respect for his game."

McLaurin is by far the team’s leader in receiving yards; the next player on the list is running back Chris Thompson, who has 37 catches for 360 yards in nine games. But as sensational as McLaurin has been, he has still had some rookie moments.

After accounting for 408 yards and three touchdowns in the first five games -- he was also the first player in NFL history to have at least five catches, 50 yards and a touchdown in each of his first three games -- he had less than 60 yards in five of the next seven games and didn't have a touchdown for almost two months.

It looks like McLaurin is back to his old way, though. He has two touchdowns and 187 yards the past two games -- almost as much as he had in the previous four combined (188).

Part of that is because he and the offense are starting to get on a roll. The Redskins have scored 83 points in the past month, which is their best stretch of the season. The other part has to do with Haskins and McLaurin using the chemistry they built at Ohio State.

"Me and Terry have a great relationship and we know where we're going to be during the play and he does a great job of getting open," Haskins said. "He's a dynamic player we want to involve early in the offense, and I think we did today."

Check out photos of the Washington Redskins during their regular season Week 15 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Haskins said McLaurin does not have the "diva" type of personality that is usually associated with wide receivers and has proven himself to be a player the team can rely upon. That includes doing more than just sprinting past secondaries and dancing in end zones. It means he works on the plays that aren't focused on him, sacrificing his own glory for the sake of the offense.

That was apparent on Sunday when he provided the key block that allowed running back Adrian Peterson to reverse the field and run in the 110th rushing touchdown on his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Walter Payton.

"Terry was just doing a great job on this block," Peterson said after the game. "That's what we talk about, finishing plays. I told him if I'm passing Walter Payton, I'm keeping that ball. I'm going to gift him that one."

In fact, if McLaurin had to choose between the touchdown or the block as the moment he was most proud of on Sunday, he would go with the latter.

"I knew he was going to bounce back. I just knew it," McLaurin said. "That's just my job. Run game, pass game, that's what I try to do."

McLaurin has been on a meteoric rise all year, but there has been plenty of growth between the two Eagles games to get where he is today. Haskins has seen it. He knows that McLaurin takes his development seriously and that he works hard to earn his reputation as a reliable player.

"[He's] a young guy, but he knows how to work," Haskins said. "Just watching him in college for three years and now having him on the same team with me motivates me because he knows what it takes. He really does a great job with bringing great leadership to the receiving room."

The offense has had its highs and lows throughout the year, but McLaurin has been a steady option from the start. He doesn't put too much stock into the individual numbers, though. He wants victories, and that is what concerns him the most in his first of many NFL seasons.

"It has to result in wins, obviously," McLaurin said when asked if Sunday's game was his most complete. "We have to finish games better, and that goes on everyone. …We have to continue to build on that moving forward."

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