Successful undrafted free agents are a rare breed in the NFL. Narrow that list down to UFA with playoff success and you’re left with guys like Kurt Warner, Rod Smith, James Harrison and… Damien Williams?
Yes, the former Oklahoma running back has taken his opportunities these last two seasons and made the absolute most of them, especially in the playoffs. Thrusted into the starting running back position in 2018 after Kareem Hunt was kicked off the team, Williams responded by averaging 5.2 yards per carry and found the end zone 6 times over the final 5 games. Williams performance and lack of running back depth was enough for the Chiefs to give him a 2-year contract extension worth up to 8.1 million before the playoffs even started.
Williams was just getting warmed up.
What has made Williams truly special over these last two seasons is his performance in the playoffs. In 6 playoff games (5 with Chiefs, 1 with Dolphins) Williams has found the endzone at least once every game and has scored 11 total touchdowns. That ties Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis for the most touchdowns in a players first six playoff games. Again, DAMIEN WILLIAMS!!
He has a knack for scoring the biggest touchdowns in a game too, regular and postseason. In 2018 he scored the game-tying touchdown against the Ravens. In 2019 he broke a 91-yard run against the Vikings and then a 84-yard run against the Chargers. Two of his three touchdowns against the Patriots in the 2018 AFCCG were to put the Chiefs ahead and he scored the first touchdown in the Chiefs comeback against the Texans
Williams was so good in the Super Bowl, that he had a legitimate argument for Super Bowl MVP over the best player in the world, Patrick Mahomes. Williams had 104 rushing yards with a 6.1 yards per carry to go with 29 receiving yards and two scores. He scored the go-ahead and game-clinching touchdown in the Super Bowl, a drive in which he told the offensive line he wasn’t just going to get a first down, but that he was going to take it all the way. Clutchx100.
What he has been able to do in the postseason has been nothing short of spectacular. Pro Football Focus has even added a nickname next on Williams page, Playoff Damien. He can hurt teams in the run game, the pass game, and he’s shown to be a very good pass blocker as well. That alone is enough to keep Williams as the featured back. Add his playoff heroics and the Chiefs could do a lot worse at running back. The Chiefs know it too as they sat LeSean McCoy in the Super Bowl, knowing Williams was all they needed.
There are a lot of reasons the Chiefs won the Super Bowl this year; They have the best quarterback, the best tight end, the fastest receivers, a completely new defense and the second-best head coach. It would be very easy to forget about an undrafted free agent running back who wasn’t even supposed to be the featured running back. Luckily for us, Damien Williams has given us plenty of reasons to never forget him as he raced to immortality.