Chris Johnson wasn’t happy about surrendering the 11-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Pierre Garcon that helped the Washington Redskins tie the Ravens and then win, 31-28, in overtime last Sunday.
At the same time, however, the cornerback said he had no regrets about trying to jump what he thought was an in route by Garcon.
“As a vet, I gave up a play that I didn’t want to give up. It stuck with me for a couple days,” Johnson said Wednesday. “But as a corner, you have to be aggressive, but you might give up a play. I’ve been playing like this for nine years, and I don’t want to ever take away my instincts and aggression to be a complacent corner. So that’s how I looked at it.”
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On that specific play, Johnson – who has been the fifth defensive back in the team’s nickel package – said he understood the circumstances of the third-down situation from the Ravens’ 11-yard line with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter and played the percentages.
“I’m looking at third-and-5, a rookie quarterback that hadn’t played all game, and they had to convert that,” Johnson recalled. “So I knew the play. So I jumped it. [Cousins] wanted to throw it, and if the edge would have been up the field, he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the pocket. So when he scrambled, Garcon kind of diverted his route. I should’ve ran back to my man and made that play. When I saw him throw the ball, I knew I couldn’t get there. I thought I was going to be able to jump it and knock it down. I did everything I could do on the play. It was just a good play by the rookie quarterback.”
Johnson factored into an earlier play on that drive. On third-and-6 from Washington’s 40, Johnson appeared to break up Cousins’ pass to Garcon. But Johnson was flagged for pass interference, which gave the Redskins a fresh set of downs.
Johnson said Washington was the beneficiary of some hometown cooking by the official.
“To me, that’s more of a homer call,” Johnson said. “Normally, the field judge would call that. The sideline judge called it because he was on the sideline where the team was, and when they went into disarray, it’s like a forced call. He had to call that. But I looked at the play, and as a corner, you have the right to go for the ball, too. That’s what I was trying to do, and it was just a bad call.”