Sunday's home opener marked the first time Jets fans got to see safety Jamal Adams at MetLife Stadium and the rookie showed he belongs on Broadway.
"I definitely want to keep that energy when I"m on the field," Adams said. "Set the tone. The fans feed off of us as much as we feed off of them. When we got excited, we started making plays."
In the first half, Adams racked up his first professional sack, a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pass defended as well. He set that tone for the run defense on Jay Ajayi's first carry, briefly sending the talented running back to the sideline after upending him for a 2-yard loss.
"He had some good plays," said head coach Todd Bowles of Adams. "He's an exciting player, he did a lot of things the right way. He brings a lot of emotion with him and (got) the team behind him, and he got us into it."
Later in the first quarter, a threat of an Adams pressure forced T Ja'Waun James into a false start. Then in the second quarter, the No. 6 overall selection in last April's Draft displayed his versatility on back-to-back plays.
Top Photos from the Home Opener Against the AFC East Division Rival Dolphins
In coverage, Adams raced to the sideline with a leaping effort and got his hands on a long Jay Cutler toss intended for WR DeVante Parker. Then on third-and-8, Adams flashed his rush skills and got to Cutler for his first NFL sack.
"I had a tremendous push by the D-line," Adams said of the sack. "It forced him out and I made a play."
The Jets frequently used a three-safety package Sunday, featuring Adams, fellow impressive rookie Marcus Maye and veteran Terrence Brooks. Acquired in a trade from Philadelphia, Brooks picked up his second career INT as the Green & White snuffed out a fake punt in the third stanza.
Mistakes were few and far between, but the exuberant rookie was flagged for taunting after he and CB Buster Skrine celebrated the latter's sack in the fourth quarter. Brooks came up with his second INT to end a late scoring threat and keep the shutout alive until the game's final play.
Adams and Maye were two of the defense's bright spots in Weeks 1-2, but the entire unit was on point against the Dolphins. It was a dominant all-around performance and the 6'1", 213-pound Adams looks to be more than ready for his leading role.
"He's a vet, he played great today," said DL Leonard Williams of Adams. "He was making plays all over the field. He was making plays in the back and he was coming down like a linebacker. He was getting sacks even. It's great to have a player like that on your side."