Hunting season is in session for the Houston Texans defense and D.J. Swearinger, who had his first career sack midway through the first quarter of Sunday's 17-6 win over Washington.
"It was sort of an instinctive play," Swearinger said. "I was dropping back in coverage and as soon as I saw the boot, I thought I could take off and have time before he released the ball and I guess right."
Swearinger sacked Robert Griffin III for a loss of eight yards. The second-year safety broke up a pass intended for DeSean Jackson on the very next play to end the drive.
In the third quarter, Swearinger forced a fumble on fullback Darrel Young following a 48-yard gain. Safety Kendrick Lewis recovered to to give Houston possession at its 9-yard line. Swearinger said he was disappointed after the strip because of a miscommunication that left a man open.
"He wasn't supposed to catch that ball from the beginning," Swearinger said. "It was my bad on the coverage. We had to finish. I just thought I'd strip the ball out and I got it out. It was just a play of me finishing and I made the play."
Swearinger, who punctuated his plays with his signature "two spoons" celebration, also finished with six tackles, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.
"He's a passionate guy," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He loves football. He doesn't want to make a mistake. He wants to be good; he works extremely hard; he's always out at practice. Just like everyone else, there's probably a couple of plays he wishes he had back but I believe he's a much-improved player and he just needs to keep working and keep getting better and that's going to help our team."