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Asante Samuel Jr. makes history in playoff debut

Chargers’ Asante Samuel is an interception machine against the Jaguars

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Asante Samuel, Jr. had a famous football name before he ever stepped on an NFL field. In his playoff debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night, the younger Samuel has made a name for himself.

Facing 2021 number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, the player drafted 46 selections later to the Los Angeles Chargers has been the far more dominant second-year pro: Three interceptions ... in the first half. Samuel is the first player in NFL history with three interceptions in his postseason debut.

Samuel is also the first player to intercept at least three passes in a playoff game since Vernon Perry picked off Hall of Fame Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts four times in 1979. With one more interception, Samuel would not only tie Perry’s record, he would also tie the total number of career interceptions that Samuel himself had going into the Wild Card round: Four.

Samuel’s three interceptions have already tied the Chargers’ career record for postseason interceptions. He did that with two more quarters left in his debut.

You already knew the name. Samuel’s dad is a former All-Pro Super Bowl winner and led the NFL in interceptions twice. Now it’s time to make the distinction: Junior is his own player. With Al Michaels on the call, it could be confusing.