What he saw instead had him salivating – a quarterback standing all alone in the end zone ready to pass and well within his sights.
“When you get in that position, you’re just praying, ‘Don’t throw it, don’t throw it,’ said Johnson. “When I was real close, ‘Don’t chuck it.’ Luckily, he held onto the ball.”
As a result, Johnson made arguable the most important play of the game, recording a strip-sack of Matt Cassel in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
“It was definitely a big play,” Johnson said. “Offense scoring was a big play. But, that one was kind of the nail in the coffin. Shaun went in scrapping for it. There was a big pile on the ball. It was kind of the nail in the coffin.”
The veteran linebacker and run-stuffing specialist has made a strong impact this season doing the dirty work, setting the edge and taking on double teams. But having the chance to make the play of the game was an opportunity he relished.
“You make a big play like that, it feels good,” he said. “I needed that. It feels real good. With all these rushers we have it’s tough to get on the field in passing situations like that. So when I get my opportunity I need to make them. I haven’t done that well in those situations so far this year, so it felt good.”