The Redskins had a lot of stuff to remember in 2017.
Now that the season has come to a close, the Redskins Blog will select its favorite things from Redskins fans, players, coaches and team personnel over the last 12 months.
We’ll continue with our five favorite interceptions of the year.
1. The Pick-Six
For Ryan Kerrigan, the only thing better than snagging a pick-six, is snagging a pick-six in a win. The Redskins couldn’t achieve the latter in the season opener against the Eagles but that didn’t make Kerrigan’s interception against quarterback Carson Wentz any less impressive. “You catch the ball, you kind of realize you’re in the open by the crowd’s reaction because they’re cheering, they know you’re going to score,” Kerrigan said. “At that point it’s just pure joy.” Kerrigan finished the run into the end zone with his signature flex pose and got the group of teammates around him to do the same.
2. The Aborted Almost Miracle
Technically, this play is aborted and doesn’t really exist. But what a play. Swearinger makes an incredible interception right at the goal line and immediately has the presence to keep running, knowing that a return would mean two points for the Redskins. As he sees quarterback Russell Wilson cutting him off, he makes a cut back to other side, notices Josh Norman and laterals the football. Norman take a couple hits after nearly stumbling and then somehow pitches the ball back to Swearinger before he’s finally tackled 15 yards from the end zone. “I just jumped when I knew it was coming, tried to get it in the end zone to get two points,” Swearinger said. “We fell short, but I think it was one of best plays I’ve had in the league. It was a good one.”
3. The Hollywood Clincher
The Redskins sealed their first victory of the season thanks to this Mason Foster interception. It’s important to note that Foster played most of the second half with a separated shoulder, making his instinctual decision to undercut Cooper Kupp’s route and pick off Jared Goff all the more impressive. Foster knew the pass was coming after a similarly designed play earlier in the game, breaking out of his zone coverage and surprising the Rams. It was a statement win against a rising Los Angeles team led by former offensive coordinator Sean McVay.
4. The Malcolm Butler
The Redskins put on quite the defensive display in Seattle, thanks in part to cornerback Jonathan Allen. At the end of the first quarter, he pulled off a Malcolm Butler-esque interception, cutting off wide receiver Doug Baldwin and returning it around 30 yards into Seahawks territory. Fuller’s interception was another indication of the big step he took in his sophomore year, with this play in particular highlighting his confidence and aggressiveness to make a play over the middle.
5. The Sunday Night Star
Nobody really knew what the Redskins had in Montae Nicholson until this moment. After missing a good portion of training camp due to injury and dealing with some more lingering ones into the regular season, Nicholson’s leaping interception of Derek Carr was impressive in and of itself, and thrilling for those waiting to see what this fourth-round draft pick could be capable of in the years to come. Nicholson was sidelined for the final stretch of games with a concussion suffered against the Saints, but his athleticism here, on just the second play of the game, kick-started Washington’s dominant performance on Sunday Night Football and introduced everyone to Nicholson’s capabilities.