The last three times J.C. Jackson has crossed paths with the New York Jets, he has also crossed paths with the football.
The New England Patriots cornerback intercepted a pair of passes at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, bringing his total against the AFC East rival to four since last November when quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Sam Darnold were under center.
“You make plays and your teammates feed off you,” Jackson said in his press conference following New England’s 25-6 win over New York. “That’s what defense is all about. Like, don’t wait on nobody to make plays. Just go out there and set the tone and hopefully your teammates feed off that.”
No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson would be picked off four times in his initial meeting with the Patriots. Safeties Adrian Phillips and Devin McCourty also had a hand as the Brigham Young product finished Sunday 19-of-33 passing for 210 yards with no touchdowns.
“I mean, Wilson’s got a strong arm,” Jackson told reporters. “He can really zip the ball in and put it anywhere. Deep ball, intermediate — the guy’s pretty good.”
In the first quarter, Jackson tipped and collected his first interception of the game against veteran wide receiver Corey Davis over the middle of the field. In the second quarter, he collected his second along the right sideline against rookie wideout Elijah Moore.
“I just want to thank like my coaches. I mean, I was just where I was supposed to be,” Jackson said of the former play. “My coaches and those guys up front, I give those guys the credit. I was just in the right position at the right time and made the play.”
Undrafted by way of Maryland, Riverside and Florida in 2018, Jackson stands with more interceptions than any member of his rookie class. Last campaign, his nine ranked second in the league behind Miami Dolphins first-team All-Pro Xavien Howard.
Along the way arrived a stretch of five consecutive games with a pick for the 25-year-old, setting a franchise record.
“I was just in the right position to make plays, man,” Jackson would add on Sunday. “That’s what I do.”