Only the best players, usually the most established and famous, get to hear their names chanted in syncopated rhythm by an entire stadium in a nationally-televised game. But Alfred Morris, the Washington Redskins rookie running back who drives an ancient clunker with 125,000 miles on the odometer, got to hear his name transformed into “Al-fred Mo-rris,” time after time by a FedEx Field crowd of 82,845 as if it were “Rig-go, Rig-go” long ago or, these days, “De-rek Je-ter” up in Yankee Stadium.
On a night with an NFC East title as a trophy for victory, and elimination from the NFL playoffs as a booby prize for the loser, Morris had a game of power running, balanced determination, cut-back brilliance and sheer rugged endurance that will stand with the best of John Riggins, Larry Brown or any other running back in the Redskins canon.
His muscle was the core of this 28-18 Redskins victory Sunday night. In fact, after running for 200 yards on 33 carries, three of them for touchdowns of 17, 32 and one yard, it is Morris, the almost unknown sixth-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic, who owns the Redskins’ single-season rushing record.