EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There was no quit in Janoris Jenkins this time.
The Giants cornerback, who was severely criticized for his perceived lack of effort last Sunday in San Francisco, responded with one of his finest games of the season in New York's 12-9 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a huge interception with 2:07 remaining in regulation to set up the Giants' go-ahead field goal. He nearly added another 30 seconds later, but it was nullified on a questionable offensive pass interference call instead.
The focus was more on his effort, though, than his play. And his effort seemed to please his coach.
"I thought Janoris Jenkins played his tail off," head coach Ben McAdoo said. "He was all over the field, did a good job turning the ball back inside a few times, was playing physical. It was good to see him do that."
There was no guarantee the Giants would see him do that on Sunday after what happened to Jenkins the last two weeks. First, he was suspended for the Giants' loss to the L.A. Rams two weeks ago when he didn't return on time from the bye week or bother to call and explain why. Then, after his suspension was lifted, he gave a horrible performance -- and seemingly half-hearted effort -- in last week's loss to the 49ers.
Jenkins' response to the criticism was also cringe worthy. He defended his effort, excused his poor play and generally waved the entire episode off. It was worrisome enough, though, that both McAdoo and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo pulled the veteran aside last week for separate one-on-one chats. McAdoo also featured several of Jenkins' terrible plays against the 49ers in his now-infamous Wednesday team meeting when he made the whole team watch a series of terrible plays McAdoo had extracted from the film.
Jenkins seemed to respond, not that his defensive teammates were surprised.
"We know what kind of player he is," safety Landon Collins said. "This was the time for him to showcase that -- his talent, ability and passion for the game. A lot of people have been saying that he is giving up and not playing the way he usually plays. He's been hurt and nicked up -- everyone is. At the same time, we came out here and fought."
As for Jenkins, he seemed to think his play -- and his effort -- were really no big deal at all.
"I feel like I played all right," he said. "There is always room for improvement. … I just came out and played hard. From a team, we all played together. Offense, defense, special teams. [I] made sure I corrected my techniques and we got a victory."