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Interception Return Merely Coincidence, Not Revenge, For Madieu Williams

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

LANDOVER, Md. – It didn’t matter that it was a Minnesota quarterback who threw the ball. All Madieu Williams cared was that he had it – and he had taken it to the end zone.


Williams, who played for the Vikings from 2008-10, returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Washington Redskins beat his former team 38-26 at FedEx Field on Sunday.

“I was telling Rex [Grossman, the quarterback] that it was business as usual for me,” Williams said. “It was nothing personal. I was there for three years and I enjoyed my stay. I just wanted to come out and play well for the guys in this locker room and play well enough to give us a chance to win.”

Williams downplayed the nature of the game earlier in the week, especially because he spent last season in San Francisco.

In all, the free safety finished with 12 tackled and deflected another pass in addition to the interception, which was the second he has returned for a touchdown in his career. The last was in 2004 when, as a rookie in Cincinnati, he scored on a 51-yard return.

The Redskins have now returned an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games for the first time since 1994, and the last time Washington had three interception returns for touchdown this season was in 1999.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said the pass was intended for Michael Jenkins. Instead, Ponder greatly overthrew his receiver, and Williams, on the left side of the field, had to run back all the way across it to find his blocks and make it to the end zone.

“I tried to take it down,” Ponder said. “The ball kind of just slipped out of my hands. It sailed trying to throw it to Jenkins seven yards in front of me. Fluke play, I think.”

Not for Williams.

“We have a strong group of character guys,” he said. “We hung together, we played together, and when things come together like that for us on Sunday, as a unit, we celebrate together.”