Getting his first few NFL carries on Sunday, Mack Brown ran for a spectacular 61-yard touchdown to secure the win over the Bears and end the day as the team's leading rusher.
With one minute and eight seconds left to play and the team up 13 points, the Redskins had all but sealed a victory over the Chicago Bears on Saturday afternoon. There was still time, however, for the offense to put an exclamation mark on what had been an impeccable performance.
With the game already out of reach for the Bears, the Redskins gave Mack Brown the opportunity to take over at running back.
Brown spent a portion of last season on the Redskins' practice squad and also began the 2016 season there. While signed to the active roster on Oct. 28, Brown had yet to have a carry in a regular season game prior to the Week 16 matchup with the Bears.
That certainly changed on Saturday.
After the Redskins recovered an onside kick, Brown was given the first two carries of the final offensive drive, going for three yards on each. But on his third attempt to run the ball, he broke free all the way to the end zone.
After patiently stepping to his left side to give the offensive line time to establish their blocks, Brown found a hole and took advantage. Following Brandon Scherff, Brown easily got the first down and then broke into a stride, dashing towards the left sideline with only one Bear defender close to catching him.
"[I'd] seen the guy coming the bad angle and all I kept saying was 'God, let me get to this end zone,'" Brown said of the moment. "And when I see him on the outside, I say 'I'm gone.' I knew I was going to score after like 20 yards in."
At the end of his 60-yard run, Tracy Porter did come close to bringing him down outside the end zone, but Brown made every effort to take it all the way.
"One guy was coming though, I don't know who that was, but like Usain Bolt's coming. He was flying," Brown said of Porter. "Last second I just tried to dive in, but my legs [were] too dead to even dive, so I kind of did like a little flop."
For someone who has gone through so much just to make it on the field for a regular season game, even a touchdown in a blowout affair was an incredibly special moment. He'd finish the day with a team-high 82 rushing yards along with a reception.
"Just being real with you, it's been a long road," Brown said. "Not playing at all really in college and the scout department just find me on the street. Being available last year on the practice squad as a blessing, but just as far as now it's really playing a real game and scoring a touchdown, it's like a dream come true. It's all God really cause I didn't even score a touchdown that long in college. Just thankful, man. I love being a Redskin."
Getting the opportunity to run behind the first-team offensive line was a luxury for Brown, who usually plays with the practice squad. Instead of giving the starting defense a taste of what to expect from the incoming opponent, all he had to do against the Bears was follow the Pro-Bowlers in front of him to the end zone.
Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' offense in their 2016 Week 16 matchup against the Chicago Bears Dec. 24, 2016, at Soldier Field.
"Most of the runs on scout team I might have to cut it back more or like don't go where I'm supposed to go, but running with these guys I'll be more patient cause I know the hole gonna be there," Brown said. "Give thanks to them guys, it was easy. It was easy running that last touchdown. Usually I might cut it back on scout team, but now I gotta just run where the ball got to go. That was big for me, just find right behind the line like that."
NFL RedZone clocked Brown at 21.6 miles per hour (mph) on the touchdown run, with the fastest ball carrier this season coming in just ahead at 22.40 mph.
This spectacular run was reminiscent of Brown's performance in the Redskins' fourth preseason game this season against the Buccaneers. In the game he rushed for 149 yards, including a very similar touchdown of 61 yards. Brown finished the preseason with an NFL-high 227 yards.
Brown was able to provide a similar performance as part of a rushing group Saturday that produced 208 yards and four touchdowns, including two from Cousins, compared to just 29 yards in the loss to the Panthers the Monday before. Brown also finished the game as the team's leading rusher with 82 yards on eight carries and the touchdown.
But no matter the records he may have come close to or the help he gave to absolutely secure the win, Brown is just appreciative of finally getting the opportunity he has been waiting for.
"You work so hard the whole season on scouts, just to even get on the field, just to touch it," Brown said. "I'm just thankful for that, just thankful. My first play I got a pass block in, so that took all my nerves out and I was ready to play after that."