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Hall Ties NFL, Franchise Mark With Four Interceptions


These are strange days for cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

This season, Hall has forced a fumble that he returned for a game-winning touchdown in Week 1, dealt with a pair of mini-controversies with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and endured a back injury that he played through for several weeks.

On Sunday in Chicago, the strangeness took an exhilarating turn.

Hall was able to put the season's ups and downs aside and turn in a career performance.

He intercepted Bears quarterback Jay Cutler four times – all in the second half – to tie an NFL record (with 19 other players) and a Redskins franchise record (with Sammy Baugh and Dan Sandifer).

One of his interceptions he returned 92 yards for a touchdown to give the Redskins a 17-14 lead. That would be the final score of the game.

It was truly a remarkable performance for the 27-year-old Hall, who is in his 7th season in the league.

Cutler kept testing Hall, and Hall kept taking advantage of his mistakes.

"Just going out there and playing football, you always feel like you've got a chance to make plays," Hall said. "We knew from watching [game film of] Jay Culter all week that we were going to get some opportunities. I didn't think they would come in bunches like that, but we'll take them."

Hall's first interception came early in the third quarter when he stepped in front of Cutler's short pass to wide receiver Devin Hester.

"With the first pick, [Cutler] had gotten me with a couple of hitches on the other side of the field, and I just told myself that when I read the 3-step drop, I was going to go and get it."

He got it.

The 92-yard interception return came with 1:53 left in the third quarter.

Hall stepped in front of a Cutler pass to wide receiver Johnny Knox along the right sideline. He made a remarkable one-handed grab and maintained balance.

Open field ahead.

Hall nimbly avoided Cutler chasing after him and picked up a block by fellow cornerback Carlos Rogers. He was untouched the entire distance to the end zone.

Early in the fourth quarter, Hall picked off a short pass to Knox deep in Bears territory.

The Redskins' offense was unable to take advantage, though, as kicker Graham Gano's 37-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. The game remained close.

With 2:24 left in the fourth quarter, with the Redskins clinging to the 17-14 lead, Cutler tested Hall a final time.

On 1st-and-10 at the 47-yard line, Cutler threw a deep sideline route to Knox. Hall leaped up in front of Knox for his fourth interception.

That pick would clinch the game for the Redskins.

Afterwards, Cutler took the blame for the four interceptions.

Hall gave the credit to Haslett and the Redskins' front seven.

"It was more so the play calling we were getting and the front," he said. "The front was out there getting after guys. It started with Albert [Haynesworth]. Brian Orakpo came out there to play football. Everybody was out there playing football.

"It was a total team effort. I might have come out with the picks, but those guys up front were definitely putting pressure and making [Cutler] throw that ball."

Meantime, it appears Hall and Haslett are developing a unique relationship.

After a Week 2 overtime loss to Houston, Hall all but demanded to line up against the opposing team's top wide receiver, whether Haslett's scheme called for it or not.

Then, last week, it was reported that Hall and Haslett had a heated exchange about pass coverage technique in a meeting.

Haslett later called it a "20-minute discussion" that is commonplace in the meeting rooms at Redskins Park. He made a point to praise Hall for playing with the sore back.

"I think DeAngelo is upbeat, ready to go," Haslett said. "He's a good football player. He's a ball hawk and we need him to at full speed health-wise and mentally because he is the kind of guy that can go out and make a lot of plays for you."

Hall made plays on Sunday.

Four of them, in fact.

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