The Giants need to make big plays against the Broncos on the road, and CB Janoris Jenkins provided them throughout the night in the team's first win of the season.
Entering Sunday night's contest, Jenkins had no interceptions on his stat sheet which was not expected at this point in the season. But that changed in the second quarter when he not only jumped a route picking off Broncos QB Trevor Siemian, but took it to the house for a 43-yard touchdown.
It was just the play the Giants needed to take a big, 17-3 lead heading into the first half. Jenkins noted Siemian likes to stare down his targets, and after waiting, he jumped on a route and came up big.
WATCH: TOUCHDOWN JACKRABBIT!!! Janoris Jenkins takes it home!!! pic.twitter.com/ptRF3Ji6zT- New York Giants (@Giants) October 16, 2017
"Basically he just threw it to the flat and I broke on the ball," Jenkins told The Post's Paul Schwartz. "We were talking about it on the sideline, that he likes to lock and just stare down his receiver. I told my coach how they were attacking us and he just told one time just sit on it and just take it. I think it was big. I think it gave us some momentum and kept everybody playing hard."
That wasn't the only turnover Jackrabbit forced on the Broncos. The fourth quarter had just started, and WR Demaryius Thomas caught a quick slant across the middle. Instead of going for the tackle, Jenkins noticed Thomas had the ball out in front of him and made a play on it. It forced a fumble that fellow CB Eli Apple recovered on Denver's 39-yard line.
"He had the ball in front of him, no ball security so I just went at the ball instead of trying to make the tackle," Jenkins said.
"I think it was just a great play by me."
Jenkins' last notable play may not have been a credited turnover for him, but for the team as he played a key role in stopping the Broncos from scoring on fourth-and-goal. With the ball inside the one-yard line, RB C.J. Anderson tried to force his way into the end zone to make it a 10-point ball game. However, Jenkins found him bouncing to the outside and made a play to keep him out of the end zone.
The rest of the team would clean up the play and forced the turnover on downs.
"I saw everybody block down and the running back tried to bounce," Jenkins explained. "Every day in practice when we do goal line I always tell my big guys, I'll be joking around, force it to me. It just so happened they forced it to me and I came up with the stop."
Jenkins finished the game with five tackles to go along with his pick-six and forced fumble. He has 18 tackles and six passes defended on the season.
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Now, that's the Jackrabbit Giants fans fell in love with last season. The self-proclaimed "Clamp God" has held receivers in check so far this season, but has yet to come up with a turnover. Well, a pick-six and a forced fumble definitely makes up for the lack of production in that area.
Jenkins' pick-six was vintage coverage from the veteran corner. He was draped all over Bennie Fowler III from the start, and as he mentioned before, Siemian likes to eye down who he wants to throw the ball too. It was a textbook break off the throw as Jenkins was fully committed to the ball, and it paid dividends.
But adding a forced fumble on the Broncos' best receiver in Thomas as well as lowering his shoulder on Anderson at the goal line just shows the hustle and grit that Jenkins provides this Giants defense. There is a reason Jerry Reese spent big bucks to pull the 28-year-old off the free agency block two offseasons ago: He is a playmaker whether it says it on the stat sheet or not.
Also, credit must be given to the rest of the Giants' secondary with Landon Collins securing the Giants first pick of the game, and Eli Apple locking down his receivers all game long to generate a 56.9 passer rating allowed, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Giants defense of last season finally broke out of hibernation last night, and Jenkins led the pack with game-changing plays.