WASHINGTON — Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger has been called many things, but “prophet” is likely a new accolade.
He earned it on Sunday.
After more than 600 defensive snaps this season–which leads Redskins defensive backs by a wide margin, Swearinger picked off Vikings quarterback and former Texans teammate Case Keenum twice, on back-to-back plays.
Several hours earlier, meeting with fans on the sidelines, Swearinger predicted his feat, despite the fact that he had no interceptions since signing in Washington as a free agent this offseason.
Talking to a group of boys, he promised he would snag two interceptions, in a conversation that was captured thanks to him being mic’d up:
“How are y’all doing? You doing alright?” he said, slapping hands with the kids. “Three picks? We’re gonna get four today. I’m gonna get you two.”
Swearinger’s faith in his teammates was a little misplaced–he was the only Redskin to log an interception on the day. But he also promised something he has never done in the NFL.
Swearinger is not a prototypical turnover machine. He had only six in his first 4.5 seasons in the NFL, including zero for two teams in 2015.
Unlike some players who get big plays in bunches, Swearinger has never logged multiple interceptions in the same month, much less in the same game. On Sunday, he did it on back-to-back plays.
As the tape above shows, Swearinger wasn’t perfect on the day. He whiffed on several tackles in key spots, especially running backs near the goal line. But as a free safety playing deep on the ball, Swearinger was in the perfect place at the perfect time and nearly cashed in for his first NFL touchdown.
With any luck, there will be a young fan who challenges him to score at least one touchdown on Sunday.