Taking on the division-leading New England Patriots at home in Week 12, the New York Jets once again struggled, losing 27-13, but safety Jamal Adams continued to be a bright spot in another losing season.
Prior to the start of the game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, the Jets, who now sit at 3-8 following the loss, were not expected to beat their divisional rival. In fact, they weren’t even expected to compete, although they did – during the first half at least.
Entering halftime, the game was all tied up at 10. Offensively, veteran quarterback Josh McCown was performing far better than he had last week against the Buffalo Bills, which marked his first appearance in a regular season game this year. Also, the offensive line was seemingly holding up and the defense had been containing Tom Brady and the Patriots’ dangerous offense.
Like many times in the past, however, much of that changed in the second half, as the Jets once again crumbled over the last 30 minutes of play. The offense lost its spark, only putting three more points on the board, while the defense could no longer hold up, allowing the Patriots to tack on 17 more points of their own.
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In addition, the coaching staff, specifically head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, yet again made some questionable decisions, much to the disapproval of Jets fans on social media.
And while these recurring issues certainly need to be addressed, there has also been another recurring theme that needs to be highlighted: Jamal Adams continues to shine despite his team consistently struggling.
After being drafted out of LSU by the Jets with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the 23-year-old safety quickly made an immediate impact. Explosive in personality and play style, Adams plays with a swagger and fire often unmatched by those around him.
And while that fire and his passion were evident last season, Adams has only picked it up throughout 2018 thus far. Heading into Week 12, Adams ranked second on the Jets with 67 tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, one interception, and two forced fumbles.
And what impressed most about Adams this week is that he rose to the occasion. Taking on not only the best team in his division but likely one of the best offenses he’ll face all season, Adams performed incredibly well.
Early in the first quarter, Adams made his presence felt by delivering a huge hit on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, breaking up a pass and forcing New England to punt. Then later in the half, he prevented what could have been a touchdown on back-to-back plays by locking down Gronkowski in the red zone.
He did miss one costly tackle that led to a touchdown, but aside from that, he was on point, finishing with 10 tackles on the day. Adams was all over the field and vocal in the process, playing with a type of energy that should be resembled by all of his teammates.
Already having a stellar season, Adams continued to perform at a high level against the Patriots, which is why he currently leads all safeties in the NFL’s Pro Bowl fan voting. What’s becoming abundantly clear, however, is that Adams isn’t only a Pro Bowler, but a player that the rebuilding Jets should look to keep and build around for years to come.