Derwin James is a strong, violent man.
The Los Angeles Chargers safety added a little professional wrestling to Amazon Prime's first "Thursday Night Football" stream when faced with a fellow All-Pro, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, at the goal line.
Late in the third quarter, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped a collapsing pocket and scrambled to find Kelce at the Chargers' 10-yard line. Once the ball was in his hands, it was hard to see Kelce getting stopped short of the end zone, especially when he shook off two Chargers defenders after the catch.
Then James stepped in front of the end zone, picked up the 260-pound Kelce and slammed him down to the ground like a sack of potatoes:
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2022
The replay makes the play look even more brutal:
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) September 16, 2022
Fortunately for the Chiefs, the officials ruled Kelce lost control of the ball on contact with the ground, allowing them to avoid a costly red-zone fumble. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they would fail to score a touchdown on the next three plays, forcing them to settle for a game-tying field goal.
James' play ended up saving his team four points and brought out more than a few wrestling fans among the NFL's viewers:
DERWIN JAMES WITH A SPINEBUSTER
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 16, 2022
— Danny Armstrong (@DArmstrong44) September 16, 2022
Derwin is Hercules
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 16, 2022
Derwin James to Travis Kelce pic.twitter.com/17Xvr3AqZc
— Andrew Cooper (@CoopAFiasco) September 16, 2022
That was the end of the good, though, as a Justin Herbert pick-six on the ensuing drive put the game back in the Chiefs' hands. The Chargers flirted with a comeback, but ultimately fell short 27-24.
The 17th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, James has been one of the best safeties in the NFL basically since he stepped onto the field. He's previously had to miss nearly two seasons with a foot fracture and torn meniscus, but has received first-team All-Pro honors in his two healthy seasons.
Hitting one of the best tight ends in NFL history with a spinebuster is one way to further raise that profile.