Let us just take a moment to bring our minds back to Monday Night Football, where the New York Jets looked like a complete juggernaut compared to the Detroit Lions. Ah, what a magical time it was. If you tuned into the game ten seconds late, you would have thought of this as the most perfect game in Jets history. There is no denying the resilience of Sam Darnold, whose first NFL pass scored six points… for the other team. Despite that, he played like a true veteran the rest of the way, bringing hope and some to all of Gang Green. But the unsung heroes are on the defensive side, led by second-year safety Jamal Adams.
From the start, when “New Jack City” was finally able to make their way onto the field after two straight drives by Darnold & Co, they shut down a former first overall pick in Matthew Stafford and left no gaps for any sort of run game. In the middle of that run defense was Adams, who looked like a man possessed on several tackles for losses, highlighted by a play on RB Legarrette Blount that went backwards seven yards after Adams read and executed a perfect blitz. Another highlight came when he was seemingly being blocked by WR Marvin Jones Jr, which ended in the safety trucking right through him and reaching Blount as he was hurdling towards the line of scrimmage. These kinds of plays, with Adams’ diversity as a run stopper at the forefront of it all, show exactly why the Jets drafted him sixth overall a year ago, and why I believe he has the tools necessary to become the best safety in football.
His fiery personality only makes him that much more exciting to watch on and off-the-field. Being a vocal leader in a very young locker room shows that Adams is all about playing football. He has never had any issues off the field, and he uses his demeanor to inspire a Jets defense that has been flying under-the-radar, despite only allowing one touchdown all of preseason and only one against a prominent Lions offense in week 1.
The main concern so far throughout his short career has been the lack of interceptions, which for a safety could be considered impeccable in order to be considered a top guy. Well, Adams finally got his first career interception on Monday, recording the fourth and final team interception of Stafford on the night. He was quick to promote the achievement on social media, as his zero interception rookie year was used against him by countless critics, and now he has that off his checklist.
Pick for the President!! First of many more to come, that's a promise!! pic.twitter.com/EXu7G9ugd4
— Jamal Adams (@TheAdamsEra) September 11, 2018
As a whole, Adams was all over the field against the Lions, which has become a staple of his, even lining up as a linebacker on certain plays. He displayed elite pass defending/breakup techniques which allowed for a dominant performance. On a near guaranteed touchdown catch by Lions WR T.J. Jones, Adams made a clutch play to pop the ball loose and prevent the score. On another play, Adams was able to “set a screen” on that same T.J. Jones, which allowed for newly-signed Trumaine Johnson to get an easy INT (which was quickly erased after Johnson fumbled after a blind-sid hit by Kenny Golladay).
There is no denying the vocal leadership that Jamal Adams brings to the Jets, but I see this being the year he really makes his mark on the field and becomes one of the more feared safeties in the league. With favorable upcoming matchups against the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor, and Blake Bortles, it may not take long for us to see a dominant performance from “New Jack City” like we saw on Monday night. In the center of it all should be the second-year man out of LSU, “The President” Jamal Adams.