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Jamal Adams Named Defensive MVP in AFC Pro Bowl Win

Safety Leads Jets Contingent with Sack & Interception in NFL's All-Star Game in Orlando


Jamal Adams earned his first Pro Bowl selection in his second Jets season, as he insisted he would, and then he went on to have a highly visible week on and off the field in and around Orlando.

Then today Adams decorated his week with another honor. The strong safety starter in the NFL's annual all-star game was named Defensive MVP of the AFC's 26-7 victory over the NFC at Camping World Stadium.

Adams earned his MVP with an active game in the deep middle. He finished with two tackles, one sack and one interception. He also got his hands on a few passes in the early going, although he wasn't credited with pass defenses on those plays.

"In the beginning of the game, I couldn't catch. I dropped about two picks," Adams said during ESPN's postgame show when the Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player trophy was presented to him and Offensive MVP Patrick Mahomes, the QB for the AFC and the Kansas City Chiefs. "But we came out and played hard. To get so much support from the kids and the fans, that's what it's all about."

Adams' sack and pick came in a three-play span of the third quarter, on a pair of trick plays, and came at the expense of two passers he and the Jets faced during the 2018 regular season.

The sack came against Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky after he saved a nearly wild pitchback on a fleaflicker attempt, only to be mowed down by the blitzing Adams on third-and-2 from the AFC 44.

The NFC converted that fourth-and-13 on a fake-punt 22-yard run by Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott. But then the AFC turned to some more "trickeration" on a wide receiver pass from Minnesota's Adam Thielen intended across the field for New Orleans RB Alvin Kamara. But Adams was waiting for the looping throw and picked it off at the AFC 14.

Adams was joined by fellow Jets Jason Myers and Andre Roberts in providing good production for the winning side. That Adams pick not only stopped an NFC scoring threat but also started the AFC on a nine-play, 57-yard drive that culminated with Myers' second field goal of the game, from 47 yards out for a 20-0 lead.

Myers also converted a 31-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half and both of his extra point tries. He was wide left on a 58-yard try at the top of the third quarter, and the AFC went for a two-point conversion after its final TD with 19 seconds to play. He didn't get to prevent any NFC kickoff returns since the Pro Bowl's modified rules included no kickoffs and returns.

That, of course, took away half of Roberts' skills since he was second in the NFL with his 29.4-yard kickoff-return average in the regular season. But he was also No. 1 in the league with a 14.1-yard punt-return average and he contributed today with a 6-yard punt return late in the first quarter to start the AFC's second TD drive of the game, then a 7-yard return in the second quarter.

Adams continues in a multi-decade tradition of Jets all-stars winning top honors in the Pro Bowl. DE Mark Gastineau was named Player of the Game in the AFC's 22-14 win after the 1984 season for his four-sack, eight-tackle performance. And WR Keyshawn Johnson was named Co-Player of the Game (with then-New England CB Ty Law) for the AFC's 23-10 verdict after the 1998 season with seven receptions (on 13 targets) for 88 yards.

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