It looked like the ball was in the air forever. Aldrick Robinson had to make up ground, but with no defenders within shouting distance, the Washington Redskins receiver just had to complete a little game of catch.
When he did, Robinson came down with a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter Sunday and showed what he can mean to Robert Griffin III and the offense. For a player whose opportunities are limited, it was a much-needed moment.
Two weeks ago, one ball was thrown to Robinson, and he dropped it. This time, he didn’t let the chance slip through his fingers.
“I knew I was getting the ball,” Robinson said. “He put it in a spot where I had to chase it, so I didn’t have to think about it that much.”
What Robinson had to do to for his only catch in the Redskins‘ 31-6 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles was exploit a breakdown in coverage. Griffin did most of the work by making Eagles safety Nate Allen leave his deep responsibility to cover tight end Niles Paul.
“Niles was wide open. When there’s open guys and you can stare a receiver down, they’re going to try to cover that open guy,” Griffin said. “And Aldrick’s extremely fast. If you make a misstep, he can get by you, and that’s what he was able to do.”
Robinson wasn’t surprised that Philadelphia’s secondary wasn’t on top of the coverage; the same thing happened in practice. But that didn’t make it any less meaningful of a play.
“It feels good,” he said, “but it feels better to win.”
He got up and felt the pain and hobbled to the sideline. Paulsen let the worry creep into his mind that it was a serious injury but came back into the game to catch a touchdown pass that sealed the victory.
On the touchdown, he needed a second effort to get into the end zone, and his hip didn’t seem to be a concern.
“I didn’t even know I scored until Josh Morgan came up to me and said, ‘Congratulations’ because I couldn’t see where I was on the field,” Paulsen said. “Very cool. I’m really happy about it, happy for the team and happy about the win.”
Afterward, Paulsen shook off his initial concern.
“Thankfully, I don’t think it’s very serious. I’m going to talk to the doctors tomorrow and stuff,” he said. “But I’m feeling very optimistic that it’s not anything bad.”