Turning Point Play #2: DJ’s Pick Six

From Arrowhead Stadium

The way Derrick Johnson figured things he was in debt one interception return for a touchdown.

Last Sunday in Houston, when the Chiefs really needed a break, with a bunch of family members making the trip over from Waco to see him play, Johnson had a chance at an interception that likely would have turned into six points. It’s the type of big play that has been expected from D.J. since he was the team’s 2005 No. 1 draft choice.

But he dropped the ball. He reached up to grab the pass thrown by Texans QB Matt Schaub and it banged off his hands and fell to the ground.

“Oh I really wanted to get one, just to get that one off my record,” Johnson said Sunday afternoon, after the Chiefs had wrapped up their 42-20 victory over Jacksonville.

He got the chance. Actually he had two chances, but he dropped the first one just like he did in Houston.

But then with just a bit more than five minutes to play in the third quarter and the game’s outcome still in doubt, Johnson made the play that sealed the game. Jaguars QB Todd Bouman faced a 2nd-and-8 play at the Jags 12-yard line. Bouman decided to throw in the middle short to TE Zach Potter.

“I was reading the quarterback’s eyes,” Johnson said. “He’d been making a couple plays on us earlier in the game. It was a good (defensive) call and it had me in the hole. That’s what I do best, when I can read the quarterback’s eyes and just jump the route.”

Especially when that quarterback hasn’t started a game in five years; that was the story of Bouman, who a week ago was at home with his family and David Garrard was the Jags starting QB.

“I thought he played pretty good overall,” said Johnson. “He did hurt us a couple times.”

But that wasn’t happening late in the third quarter, after grabbing the pass, Johnson took off for the end zone and roared in with the third pick-six of his career. Remember those first two came way back in January, in the final game of the 2009 season, when the D.J. took back a pair of interceptions for scores against the Broncos.

Overall, it was big day for the Chiefs defense, especially when it came to shutting down the Jacksonville running game. They allowed just 84 yards on 23 carries and Jags star RB Maurice Jones-Drew had just 47 rushing yards.

“It all starts with the run,” said Johnson. “We didn’t really know or care what quarterback they were going to have today. When you’re in this league, the quarterback is good. Our main focus was to stops the run and I think we did a pretty good job of it today.”

Winning in the NFL is always easier when the defense provides a touchdown to help out the offense. There was no doubt in Johnson’s mind that winning was vitally important to the Chiefs on Sunday.

“This is a big win for us, really big win for us,” he said. “We lost two hard games in a row. It’s hard to win in the league already, but for us to get back to a winning atmosphere quickly like we did, I think it’s going to propel us.”

2 Responses to “Turning Point Play #2: DJ’s Pick Six”

  • October 25, 2010  - Thomas says:

    DJ has indeed stepped up his game. He is the anchor to a terrific defense. It’s great seeing the Chiefs winning again.

  • October 26, 2010  - PAChiefsFan says:

    I am really happy for DJ. After the tough year he had last year he has really responded with a vengeance. Go Chiefs!

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