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Chargers best games of 2018: Derwin James vs Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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The Chargers 2018 regular season and postseason games featured highlight performances from stars and contributors alike. Up next, Derwin James…

The Chargers were the beneficiaries of some outstanding performances from their players on offense, defense, and even special teams. As the 2019 season approaches, let’s take a look back at some of the most dominant appearances from some of these Chargers players. The last article covered another rookie, Michael Badgley, as he kicked his way to franchise history. This week, another former rookie the fans may have heard of before: Derwin James vs Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Stats:

  • Three total tackles
  • One interception
  • Three passes defended

In 2018, the Chargers featured a number of players who shined the most in prime time games. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Keenan Allen and Desmond King made key plays to bring the Chargers to a victory, but it was Derwin James who nearly by himself kept the team within striking distance.

It’s not a stat-stuffing performance, but James showed why he was an All-Pro in three different plays: An open-field tackle, an interception, and a big hit. On the open-field tackle, James drops the running back after a swing route:

#Chargers#Steelers: SS Derwin James. This looks like a clinic tape on how to play the swing route in Cover 3. Angle to the ball. And the strong finish on the tackle. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/LTyMx4Kklp

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) December 3, 2018

It’s not just the beautiful tackle, but the immediate recognition and reaction making this play special. James doesn’t just grab onto someone and hope they go down, he ensures they hit the turf to the best of his abilities.

The next play, arguably the “least impressive” but most beneficial play of the three, was the interception:

America, meet Derwin James.

(And RETWEET to give him your #ProBowlVote) pic.twitter.com/kPg7eNooNv

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 3, 2018

It’s a poor throw by Ben Roethlisberger. But some players, certainly the great ones, have a tendency to be around the ball and make a game-changing play. James is one of those players. Did you notice where the line of scrimmage was on this second play? It’s right where James dropped the running back on the play right before this one.

The final play came at the end of the second quarter. James comes flying out of frame to save a big catch by Antonio Brown, knocking him five yards to the right and out of bounds.

Next. Previewing the Chargers 2019 quarterbacks

No. 33 had games with more tackles, or more great hits, or more sacks, but this game featured everything James does so well.

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