If he's being honest, Taylor Decker didn't even know Jameson Williams was on the field. Apparently neither did the Vikings. By the time they found him, Williams was waltzing into the end zone after the first catch of his career on his first snap of the game in the Lions' most impressive win of the season Sunday at Ford Field.
Which was flat-out rocking. The stadium was so loud, in fact, that when Williams handed the touchdown ball to his father who was sitting in the first row, he couldn't even hear what his father said back. This is what these fans have been waiting for. And this is what Williams has been waiting to give them. He said he "was expecting" to score on his first touch.
"My motto is, when I touch the ball I’m trying to go to the crib, anytime, no matter what route," he said.
That's why Brad Holmes and the Lions traded up to draft Williams 12th overall last April. Had he not torn his ACL in the national championship at Alabama, he likely would have been the first receiver off the board. ("Uhh, yeah," he said when asked that very question on draft night.) He was undoubtedly the fastest receiver on the board, and that was all the Lions needed to know. Speed kills in the NFL.
Especially when it goes uncovered.
Williams won't catch an easier touchdown in the NFL. Jared Goff might not complete an easier 40-yard pass. After being shot out of a cannon at the line of scrimmage, Williams ran through the Vikings' defense and had all the time in the world to corral Goff's throw before skipping into the end zone. Asked if it ever makes him nervous to be so wide open, Williams smiled and said, "No, I never get nervous."
"I didn’t even know he was in the game, honestly," said Decker. "We’re trying to get the personnel from (offensive line coach) Hank Fraley. I mean, it just shows he can take the top off a defense, which is dangerous for us. And we got a couple guys like that."
From the moment Williams arrived in Detroit, he's felt the love from the fans. When he played a few snaps in his NFL debut last week in the Lions' win over the Jags, chants of "We Want Ja-mo!" rained down at Ford Field. Williams heard them. He could barely hear himself think when he entered the end zone on Sunday to stake the Lions to a 7-0 lead, so he opened his arms to the crowd to take it all in.
"It was just, 'I’m here, man.' You see I had the hands out," Williams said. "I’m here."
It was the lone catch of the game for Williams, who couldn't corral his other target on a swing pass from Goff. And it was all the Lions needed on a day they led the first-place Vikings from start to finish. They're still easing Williams back into action, expanding his workload a little more each week. If this is just the beginning, even bigger plays await.
"My first catch in the NFL, just something I was looking forward to for a long time," Williams said. "It was a long time coming."