EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jamaal Williams is closing in on Detroit Lions history, but the running back wants no part of it — yet.
Williams ran for three touchdowns in Sunday’s 31-18 win over the New York Giants, giving him an NFL-leading 12 touchdowns this season.
His 12 TDs are the most by a Lions running back ever in the first 10 games of a season and four short of Barry Sanders’ team record (16) set in 1991.
“Don’t tell me none of this,” Williams said in the locker room Sunday. “I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want none of it. I don’t want to hear none of this.”
Williams scored touchdowns on three straight Lions possessions in the second and third quarters Sunday to help erase a three-point deficit late in the first half and give the Lions a 24-6 lead.
He scored on a 4-yard run three plays after Aidan Hutchinson picked off a Daniel Jones pass in the second quarter, added a 1-yard run just before halftime and scored on another 1-yard run on the opening possession of the second half.
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“His production speaks for itself and everything that you see and know about him is exactly who he is,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “He’s all heart. He’s emotion, he’s heart and he just is a steady, productive, hard-running, hard-working, smart football player. He’s just, there again, if you just listed your most consistent players, most dependable, consistent players he would definitely be at the top of that list.”
Williams, who signed with the Lions as a free agent last spring to complement D’Andre Swift in the backfield, has taken over as the team’s lead back this season as Swift has battled injuries.
He had 17 carries for 64 yards Sunday and has career-highs in carries (159), rushing yards (668) and touchdowns with seven games to go in the season.
Williams said it would be special to finish as the NFL leader in touchdowns — he’s one ahead of the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb — but he’ll worry more about that once the year is done.
“The job’s not done,” he said. “I wouldn’t be happy until like the end of the season and then they was like, ‘Hey, you’re leading in touchdowns.’ But it’s great. I appreciate it and I’m grateful for it but most of all that goes back to my linemen, it goes back to my receivers and everybody doing their job to help me be successful while running the ball and getting touchdowns.”