The numbers against Janoris Jenkins so far this season are scary. It’s problematic in that the New York Giants cornerback is supposed to be their best and most accomplished defensive player.
Not that there is much competition.
But what is defensive coordinator James Bettcher supposed to do if his best player on a talent-bereft unit can’t cover anyone? He’s in even bigger trouble than anticipated.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
That is where Bettcher and the Giants stand entering Sunday’s matchup with the Washington Redskins (1 p.m. ET, Fox). They haven’t even been able to count on their top cornerback to limit opposing receivers each of the past two weeks.
Imagine this: Jenkins is ranked 108th out of 111 cornerbacks with at least 45 snaps played this season with a 31.0 grade against the pass, according to Pro Football Focus. He has allowed 14 first downs and nine passes that have gained 15-plus yards, most in the NFL in both categories. His three touchdowns allowed is the second most of any cornerback.
The Giants don’t see that, though. That’s why Jenkins has stunningly remained in New York even as the rest of the 2016 free-agent class was exiled. Even through these recent struggles, the Giants’ confidence in him hasn’t wavered.
“Honestly, I don’t have concern,” Bettcher said. “I don’t have concern about any of our players, as long as they are working the process. I think Jack is doing that. I think he is coming to practice — I saw it today — he’s diving to knock balls away. He’s competing. He’s working on fundamentals and techniques in individual [drills]. He’s all-in on fixing what he needs to fix.”cheap nfl nike jersey
“I mean, when you got time and get no pressure, I can’t cover nobody for 10 seconds. Who can cover anybody for 10 seconds?” Jenkins said after the Buffalo game. “Go look at within the first five seconds of the route. He’s not open. If he scrambles and there is no pressure, what do you want me to do? I can’t cover this side and that side. Come on, bro. We have to play football around here.”
The Bucs didn’t need 10 seconds on Sunday. Almost all of Evans’ damage came in one-on-one coverage against Jenkins, who also struggled the prior week as the Bills completed seven passes on seven targets for 75 yards when Jenkins was the nearest defender.
The Giants insist they’re not going to shy away from using Jenkins against No. 1 receivers moving forward. He’s still by far the best of what they have right now. Rookie DeAndre Baker is one of the few cornerbacks graded lower (28.2 overall) than Jenkins this season, even though he played better Sunday against the Bucs.
So whether it’s Adam Thielen, Amari Cooper or Larry Fitzgerald in future weeks, expect Jenkins to follow.
“Sure.” He’s out there and he’s going to compete,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s going to be involved [against top receivers] when we play zone and when we play man. We expect that when he’s out there, he is going to play at a high level, which he’s done for a long time.”