Derwin James fell to the LA Chargers with the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. James instantly made his mark in the NFL as he was one of the best safeties in the entire sport in his rookie season. James' versatility was unmatched throughout the league.
James suffered serious injuries in back-to-back seasons after his rookie year and there were concerns about his long-term health. However, James has had a mostly clean bill of health since 2020 and has picked up two more Pro Bowls and another All-Pro First Team.
Despite all of those accolades, Chargers fans are starting to turn on Derwin James during Monday Night Football. James committed two needless personal foul penalties in key spots that extended two Dallas drives. Thankfully, the second penalty did not result in more points for the Cowboys, as the defense was still able to keep them out of the endzone and hold them to a field goal.
Chargers fans are turning on Derwin James.
The post above is one of the PG posts about James as there are a lot of upset Chargers fans on social media. Words like liability are getting thrown around, which is never something that a player wants to be called.
The fact of the matter is that it has become a trend for James. If this was a one-off situation it would be one thing but every single game it feels like James commits some kind of needless personal foul that ends up hurting the team.
James has done this exact same thing in both Week 2 and Week 3. Both happened on third downs and gave the opposing team a new set of downs. In Week 2, James' penalty directly led to Tennessee scoring a touchdown when they otherwise would have punted. The Chargers lost that game in overtime.
James was ejected for a similar hit last season against the Indianapolis Colts. That was the time for James to learn his lesson, not four personal fouls later.
We can debate the validity of these calls until the end of time. Fans who like hard hits regardless of brain injuries are going to say that they are clean. That football is getting "soft" and James "plays the game the right way".
It doesn't matter whether or not fans think the hit is fair. NFL referees have made it very, very clear what constitutes a personal foul in 2023. To make the same mistake over, and over, and over again is asinine.