It is a mistake he may never be able to forget. Surely it will go down as one of the most costly missed tackles in NFL history. New Orleans Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams is now one of the sole reasons Minnesota Vikings fans are celebrating what is being dubbed, “The Minnesota Miracle.” Sunday afternoon, the football world saw the young safety blatantly miss a tackle on Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and the rest was history – Diggs was off to the races, scoring the game-winning touchdown as time expired to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship next weekend.
Williams took a day to soak it all in, but finally broke the silence with a tweet on Monday.
I appreciate my friends, real fans, family, and team for everything they have done for me this season all of the support is highly appreciated!No the season didn’t end as planned but one thing for sure I won’t let one play define the type of MAN or PLAYER that I am or will be!💯
— Marcus Williams (@MarcusWilliams) January 15, 2018
Talk about being thrown into the fire and being unable to survive. Williams knew he cost his team the game. But, what’s not surprising to him, is the support he received afterwards from his teammates, coaches and the entire football world.
Marcus Williams had a spectacular rookie season, and could have a stellar career. He was trying to make the right decision and not interfere. As a competitor, I'm sure he's crushed. I invite Nola to be encouraging and supportive as well as we move on.
— Steve Gleason – "Live Impossible" (@SteveGleason) January 15, 2018
Yea it may hurt but one thing I know for sure my dawg play his heart out every game for the team man. He give 100% effort no matter if it's practice or the game. Can't deny his passion for the game! He gained a brother for sure. We'll be back! @babymagik32 pic.twitter.com/EPNOXwpI8V
— Marshon Lattimore (@shonrp2) January 15, 2018
— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) January 15, 2018
You had a great rookie season. Continue to ignore the noise and work like how you do. And watch the people talking bad become fans! @Babymagik32
— Anthony Denham Jr (@DENgoinHAM3) January 15, 2018
Dear @Saints Marcus Williams – my name is Amy and I spent almost 30 years in the NFL so I know how badly this hurts – this need not define you – go be your best and shine your brightest – I shall be rooting and cheering for you.
— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) January 15, 2018
First of all, in the game against the Vikings, Williams only allowed one reception and missed one tackle, per Pro Football Focus. It is easy to say that he cost his team the game with his only missed tackle all afternoon, but the truth of the matter is that he played a stellar game – which comes as no surprise. Williams had an incredible rookie season.
The second round pick from Utah recorded 73 tackles, four interceptions and seven passes defensed in his rookie campaign. In two games during the postseason, he posted nine tackles, one interception and three passes defensed. Beyond the box-score type stats, Williams was truly spectacular in 2017.
Again, per Pro Football Focus, Williams only missed five tackles out of 90 attempts all regular season which ranked as the sixth best rate among safeties in all of pro football – his last missed tackle coming all the way back in week 12. That’s right – he hadn’t missed a single tackle in two months. Forget missing tackles, though, as out of a total of 659 coverage snaps, he only gave up a measly six receptions – six! That was good for second in the entire NFL among safeties. Williams also failed to give up a single touchdown all season long – until the stunner by Diggs.
Sure, the Saints’ season came to an abrupt and crushing end. But, the job that Mickey Loomis and company have done in terms of turning around a team that couldn’t finish better than middle of the pack over the last few years is nothing short of applause-worthy. In 2017 alone, Loomis and everyone in their draft room hit home run after home run. Not only did they score Williams in the second round, but of course drafted Marshon Lattimore, the Ohio State product, in the first. They also snagged season-long starting tackle Ryan Ramczyk from Wisconsin and the electric Alvin Kamara out of Tennessee in the third.
With a season ending as such, Williams is sure to come back smarter, stronger and better than before in his second year. This was likely the most difficult moment of his career, but being surrounded by great coaching and a talented roster like the Saints have, he will have no problem bouncing back.