When the New York Giants were without cornerback Adoree’ Jackson this season, their defense fell apart. Jackson injured his knee returning a punt against the Detroit Lions in Week 11 and we didn’t see him on the field for the remainder of the season. Unsurprisingly, the Giants’ drop-off in performance came with Jackson sidelined.
To close out the season, New York went 2-4-1 but won just enough to clinch a Wild Card spot in the NFC. Adoree’ Jackson wasn’t the only member of the secondary who was sidelined for a chunk of the season, as starting safety Xavier McKinney also missed a significant amount of time.
Without them back in the lineup, the Giants’ defense began to look more like they did to start the season. Having Adoree’ Jackson in the lineup enables Wink Martindale to play the aggressive, blitzing scheme that he deploys as he knows one side of the field will be locked down in man coverage.
In the postseason, Adoree’ Jackson faced his stiffest competition yet going up against Justin Jefferson. Jefferson had an incredible 2022 season as he was on pace to make history before being stifled in Weeks 17 and 18 by the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Despite that, he still led the league with 128 receptions for 1,809 yards while catching eight touchdowns.
To say Adoree’ Jackson was going to have his hands full would be an understatement. In the early going, it looked like it would be a long afternoon for the standout corner as Jefferson hauled in four receptions for 30 yards on the first drive alone. Somewhat surprisingly, after that, he was shut down.
Jefferson caught only three more passes for 17 yards for the remainder of the game. For the most part, Adoree’ Jackson shadowed him and he deserves a lot of credit for slowing down arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. According to Field Yates of ESPN, Jackson lined up against Jefferson on 85 percent of his routes ran and he allowed only six receptions for 37 yards.
That was a masterful performance by Adoree’ Jackson, as slowing Jefferson down was one of the keys to victory for the Giants. He was able to accomplish his goal this time, but his job is far from done.
Next week Jackson will be tasked with slowing down another prolific passing offense in the Philadelphia Eagles that has A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith at wide receiver. A repeat performance from Adoree’ Jackson would put the Giants in a good position to pull off another upset.