Anyone unaware of Antonio Gibson's burgeoning potential got a heaping helping along with their Thanksgiving turkey Thursday afternoon.
The Washington Football Team's rookie running back galloped all over the Dallas Cowboys in a 41-16 blowout win. Gibson rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries with three TDs. He added five catches for 21 yards, second-most for Washington on the day.
With a national audience tuning in for the annual Thanksgiving affair in Dallas, Gibson's star shined the brightest.
"Story of my life," Gibson said, via the Washington Post. "Every time the spotlight come on, it seems like God's always watching down on me. ... To be able to come out on national TV and do this is an amazing feeling."
The rookie has progressively improved, earning back-to-back weeks averaging 5.75 yards per carry or better. The 22-year-old was a combo receiver/ running back in college, known more for catching passes than running between the tackles.
Washington made him a third-round pick and viewed the Memphis product as a potential full-time RB. Thus far, Gibson is proving the club's evaluation prescient.
"He's still growing," coach Ron Rivera said. "The thing about him is he's got so much potential and ability."
Teammates are in awe of how fast Gibson has adapted to his position in the NFL.
"He's very special," receiver Terry McLaurin said. "I don't think he knows how good he can be."
Gibson became the only rookie since at least 1948 with three rushing TDs on Thanksgiving, per NFL Research. He also became the first rookie in Washington history to have a rush TD in five straight games, and the first rookie overall to do so since the Browns' Nick Chubb in 2018.
The Thanksgiving performance marked Gibson's first career three-TD day. He became the league's first rookie since Jordan Howard in 2016 to run for three touchdowns in a game, and the first Washington player with three rushing TDs since Rob Kelley in Week 11 of that same year.
Gibson's 11 rushing TDs this season pair him with Alfred Morris (13, in 2012) as the only rookies in franchise history with 10-plus rush TDs.
Thursday's breathtaking performance was capped by two long fourth-quarter TD runs, the first of which Gibson waved goodbye to the Cowboys' chances of a comeback.
As the weeks progress, Gibson is getting more and more comfortable in his position, and his production is proving he can be a foundational piece in Washington.
Thursday's win vaulted the Football Team into first place in the NFC East with five weeks to go. The slate gets tougher with the currently undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers on tap in Week 13, but spearheaded by Gibson, McLaurin and the steady hand of QB Alex Smith, Washington believes it can keep hold of the division lead.
"Our record isn't the best; our conference isn't the best; but we're still in it," Gibson said. "That gives us hope. If we can make the playoffs, why not?"