This afternoon’s 23-13 victory over Jacksonville secured a 2-0 standing for the Denver Broncos, and it tasted sweet - especially coming out of a perfect preseason.
“Perfect” isn’t the word I’d use to describe Patrick Surtain II’s entrance tonight, but boy was it a special one. Despite a PI call against him, he managed a beautiful interception and shook up an offense that had been testing him up to that point.
Patrick Surtain II with his first NFL interception pic.twitter.com/9hoWtlGTVr— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 19, 2021
“Not many corners can make that play,” Head coach Vic Fangio said about the interception, noting that most only manage a breakup.
Surtain, affectionately known as PS2, started this afternoon’s game in the wake of Ronald Darby’s hamstring injury. He is one of two rookies this year to manage an interception within his first two games. The other player is New Orleans CB Paulson Adebo (38-3 win vs. Green Bay).
QB Teddy Bridgewater had his own praise to give. “It was impressive for him to really come down in bounds with it,” he said, “Made it look like he was a receiver or something.”
He went on, “Pat did a great job coming down with the pick stopping their drive. They might have got a penalty on that drive and had a little momentum; but Pat put an end to it.”
“I was off and sort of read the quarterback,” Surtain explained about the mental process involved in that pick, “I opened up and made the play, a 50/50 ball. And we needed it.”
It was the second interception today for Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, who was picked off by safety Kareem Jackson earlier.
Ahead of the game, Surtain had been treating this week like any other as far as preparation goes, and he said he felt pretty comfortable during the game.
“They ran some double moves early on that that I could fix, just fix my eyes on some of the plays,” He recalled, “But other than that, I think we prepared throughout the week. I prepared well. Showed it in the game.”
Surtain anticipated that the Jaguars offense would single him out and give him a trying time on the field, because of his newness in the league. “Going out there, my first start...I was expecting that going into the game,” he admitted, “I just had to make up for it.”
That mental preparation and discipline would aid the rookie in making four tackles, two of them solo. And he said it was a “tremendous” feeling to contribute to this win.
“It means a great thing, just going out there, doing what I need to do for the team, making plays out there,” he stated.
Denver’s first-round pick has not disappointed so far, and he’s just getting started. I’m expecting and looking forward to great things from PS2 in the coming season(s) but, for now, I’m celebrating today’s win.