Derwin James: Chargers "Needed" Win In Pittsburgh

James picked off Big Ben to bring the Chargers one step closer to their first double-digit-win season since 2009

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
December 07, 2018 - 9:50 am

USA Today Images


Derwin James was a first-round pick in the NFL Draft in April, and it’s easy to see why. The former Florida State All-American has three interceptions as a rookie, including a crucial pick against Ben Roethlisberger in the Chargers’ 33-30 win over the Steelers last Sunday.

“It’s a great feeing, especially for me being a rookie in this league,” James said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Growing up, you watch those guys. They become your idols growing up. Just to be able to make plays and play against them is really exciting. It makes the game that much more exciting. I’m just happy to be an NFL player.”

The Chargers (9-3) have won eight of nine since their 1-2 start, but the win at Heinz Field was special. While it’s nice beating the Raiders and Cardinals, beating the Steelers – who are vying for a division title and playoff bye – was on another level.

“For me, it was one of the biggest wins of the season,” James said. “I feel like it was one that we really needed. Against a great team in Pittsburgh, in their place – it did a lot for our team getting that W.”

In addition to three picks, James has 81 combined tackles, including 56 solo, to go with 3.5 sacks and 12 passes defended. 

“The speed is a lot different,” James said, when comparing the college and pro games. “The speed and the quarterbacks – because there’s some great quarterbacks out there. On this level, you can’t just get away with doing certain stuff every week. You got to change it up. So the speed and the quarterbacks are a lot different in college.”

The Chargers can win their tenth game of the season this Sunday against Cincinnati (5-7). They haven’t won double-digit games since 2009.