The Adams Family
In the days leading up to the Jets-Giants contest, Jamal Adams said, "Hell yeah, it means something to me. Every game, but especially this one." The third-year safety, whose father, George, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 1985, grew up a fan of the Jets' crosstown rivals. But on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, Adams drove Big Blue crazy from the opening whistle as the Green & White moved to 2-7 with a 34-27 victory.
"He's definitely going to be happy when I get home," Adams said.
Adams put on a show, amassing nine tackles and two strip-sacks of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, one of which he took the house for a 25-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Adams made his presence felt at the onset, recording a rare feat on the visitors' first possession, racking up his first strip-sack of Jones and then finishing the play with a tackle of Saquon Barkley. Moments before halftime, Adams made another momentum-changing play by leaping over DL Steve McLendon and helping a Jets caravan stop Jones for no gain on a fourth-down sneak.
"I told him I was going to go over," Adams said. "I knew it was going to be a sneak because of his height and he's strong."
Coming out of the locker room with his hair on fire, Adams recorded his second strip-sack of Jones. The 6'1", 213-pounder ran through a Barkley block attempt on his way to Jones before ripping the ball out of the Duke product's hands. His 25-yard dash resulted in his second touchdown of the season.
"I said I was going to make a big play and get a turnover for us and flip the game," said Adams of his conversation with Adam Gase on the sideline prior to the TD.
"He may talk a lot, but if he keeps doing that, I can deal with it," said OLB Jordan Jenkins, who also finished with two sacks.
Jones (24-of-37-293-4TD) had his share of moments against a secondary that has been decimated by injuries at cornerback, but he was sacked six times in all. The Jets rush defense was nothing short of stellar while holding Barkley, one of the NFL's top playmakers, to 1 yard on 13 carries.
"That was our focus," Adams said. "He's a great football player, obviously one of the best backs in the league and I have a ton of respect and love for him. Holding him to one yard on 13 carries, that's big."
Found an Answer
For the third consecutive game, the Jets scored a touchdown on their opening possession. After using his arm to get in the end zone on scoring tosses to TE Ryan Griffin and Jamison Crowder in Jacksonville and Miami, respectively, Sam Darnold called his own number on a 2-yard keeper to get the Jets on the scoreboard first. He was perfect on the march, completing all seven of his balls for 63 yards. But he used his legs to end the possession, employing a run fake to Le'Veon Bell to get Markus Golden to move upfield and create a running late.
Week 10 was different for the Jets as they were able to build on their lead with another touchdown on their second drive — a 23-yard connection from Darnold to Crowder. It marked the first time the Jets had scored touchdowns on their first two drives in a game since 2014 (at Green Bay) and the first time at home since 2009 (vs. Tennessee).
And while the offense went quiet in the middle of the game, they showed resolve late. Darnold's 24-yard scamper jump-started things, leading to Sam Ficken's 53-yad field goal to cut the deficit to 27-24. His 25-yarder to Crowder ended the third quarter and he got 33 yards on a Giants' DPI to start the fourth, setting up Bell's 1-yard game-winner.
"Those guys fought back and ended up taking the lead," said Bell, who finished with 34 yards on 18 carries plus 34 yards on four receptions. "We fought back and ended up winning the game. That's just football, guys have to be resilient and continue to push and strive. Today we were able to do that a little better."
Darnold had a clean stat sheet, connecting on 19-of-30 for 230 yards with the one score.
"I felt like there was a calmness," head coach Adam Gase said of Darnold. "I feel like he was really on it as far as seeing the game today… I felt today he was seeing everything good. He made the right decisions and he controlled the huddle and controlled the line of scrimmage. He was great on the sideline communicating."
See Best Images from the Matchup Against the Giants
Finish in the Fourth
In control with a 14-0 lead, the Jets helped the Giants creep back in the game. Early in the second stanza, cornerback Nate Hairston was called for a third-down pass-interference infraction and New York's NFC representative took advantage. McLendon was called for two offside penalites inside the red zone before Jones cut the lead in half with a 5-yard pass to Darius Slayton.
On the Jets' ensuing offensive possession, Darnold overshot speedster Vyncint Smith on a well-timed flea flicker. The Giants got the ball back and were assisted by another Hairston hold before the corner slipped on a fourth-down pass that resulted in Slayton's second score of the afternoon from 39 yards out.
Then after Adams and the defense stopped Barkley for no gain on a fourth-and-1 in plus territory, the Jets went three-and-out and Ficken sailed a 54-yard field goal wide left.
But the Jets showed mettle down the stretch as rookie Bless Austin, who replaced Hairston in the lineup, forced a fumble on the game's final play and sprinted across the field to celebrate the victory.
"It was good complementary football tonight. It was a great feeling getting that shutout in the fourth quarter," Jenkins said.