“The end zone looked like it was far,” he said. “I looked on the screens a couple of times like, ‘Gosh.’ But I’m glad it worked out for us.”
It worked out on that play, an 88-yard touchdown that sparked the Washington Redskins‘ 40-32 season-opening victory against the New Orleans Saints. But the rest of the afternoon didn’t go as planned for Garcon, who didn’t appear on the field again after suffering a right foot injury.
The 26-year-old hurt his foot on the touchdown, which was the longest Redskins pass play since 1987. He still finished the game with the most receiving yards on the team with 109 because he was a popular target early on.
“I’m glad we’ve got Pierre on our football team, to say the least,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s a big-play guy. He wants the football, so we gave it to him early and he made a number of big plays.”
“I’m feeling good. Should be good to go next week,” he said. “We’ll get it checked on, I’ll be ready back for St. Louis.”
If Garcon is good to go next week at the level he was on the 88-yarder, the Rams could be in trouble. It was the kind of play the Redskins expected when they signed him in the offseason, turning a short catch into a crowd-killer just one play from scrimmage after the Saints took a 7-3 lead.
“It was a momentum shift. It was very important; it was a game-changer,” he said. “We really needed that. It came at a great time. We got lucky and caught them out of position. It was a great call by coach; coach was expecting it before the play, and it worked perfectly like we drew it up.”
Morgan was laid out after Garcon made the catch, but it was worth it.
“I told ‘P’ on his touchdown pass that he’s going to thank me when he watches the film,” Morgan said. “I got two people up out of there for him.”
Obviously, the Redskins are at their best in the passing game with Garcon healthy, as he proved in the first quarter. Yet the most satisfying part was that the Redskins‘ offense kept churning even without Garcon. Aldrick Robinson stepped in for Garcon and made four catches for 52 yards.