On first down from the Washington 20, he took a handoff from Colt McCoy and headed up the middle. In the hole he planted, made a slight change of direction and quickly rolled into the second level. About 12 yards downfield a defensive back flew in to try to make the tackle but Jones made a move and dodged him. He kept heading north until he was brought down after a gain of 24 yards.
Jones finished the game leading the team in rushing with 52 yards on 10 carries. He blasted his way into the end zone from a yard out. His head coach was impressed.
“Matt Jones continues to hit the hole the way we want him to—hard,” Jay Gruden said after the game. “He gets through the second level, he’s a problem.”
At 6-2, 231 Jones can be a big problem. He is doing what Scot McCloughan hoped he would do when he drafted Jones out of Florida in the third round. There were plenty of skeptics among draft analysts when they turned in the card with his name on it as the 95th overall pick last May. The instant conventional wisdom was that the third round was way too high to take Jones, who wasn’t even the Gators’ full-time running back. After Thursday, many of them are singing a different tune, the story said. Jones has the ability to take over for Roy Helu as the team's third down back, but reports all summer say Jones is also a hard, physical runner. For now, Alfred Morris is expected to get a bulk of the work, but Jones is certainly getting noticed so far in camp.