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Jamal Adams bullied his way into the backfield, ripped the ball out of the hands of the Giants quarterback and raced in the other direction for a game-changing touchdown.
That was last season, when the Giants were more hapless than Adams’ Jets. Thirteen months later, everything is different.
Adams is likely headed to the playoffs, but that path got a little rockier Sunday when the Giants won their fourth straight to remain in first place in the NFC East, at the expense of Adams’ Seahawks. From across the line of scrimmage, it’s obvious why the Giants are not the same team now as they were then — even with stars Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley sidelined.
“Mentality and confidence,” Adams said after the Giants’ 17-12 victory.
Adams had a game-high 11 tackles and is now the NFL’s leader among defensive backs with 7.5 sacks in eight starts. He was all over the field — playing just as well as he did in the New York rivalry game last season — and yet the result was different because the Giants ran the ball down the throat of the Seahawks for 190 yards, even when the play calls were no surprise.
Quarterback Colt McCoy and running back Alfred Morris weren’t on the Giants for the 34-27 loss to the Jets on Nov. 10, 2019. And nobody expected them to play key parts in the Giants’ upset Sunday. It’s certainly possible neither will have a role if Giants-Seahawks is an NFC wild-card rematch next month.
“This stings,” Adams said. “I’m pissed off. Obviously, coming from where I came from, [losing to] a New York team just hits a little different for me. But it’s not about me. We’re going to bounce back, we’re going to figure it out, we’re going to correct our mistakes, but it definitely stings.”
The Seahawks have the perfect get-right game next week against … you guessed it … the 0-12 Jets. With their first win all but sealed, the Jets secondary allowed a 46-yard touchdown with five seconds remaining Sunday to lose to the Raiders, 31-28.
Asked if he saw the way that game ended and for his first thoughts looking ahead to facing his former team, Adams didn’t toss any more kerosene on the fire he started in the offseason to force a trade because he was unhappy with slow-moving contract extension negotiations.
“I’m not worried about that, man,” Adams said. “I’m worried about fixing these mistakes and getting better. We’ll see them next Sunday.”
Given the Jets’ luck so far, it is no surprise Adams is playing at his highest level of an injury-plagued season just in time for the clash.
“I told people at the beginning of the year that I was going to figure it out,” Adams said. “They counted me out. They called me everything in the book. They said I wasn’t successful. They called me ‘Blitz Boy.’ That doesn’t matter to me. I’m focused on the marathon. I know what I bring to the table. I’m about doing everything possible to help the team win.”