Whether one is a slave to analytics or relies on the good ol’ fashioned eye test, one thing remains clear: New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins did not have a good day in Sunday’s 31-21 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Jenkins was suspended the previous week, a 51-17 home woodshed whooping by the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Rams. It was believed that part of the reason the Rams were able to score seemingly at well was that Jackrabbit wasn’t there. Against the 49ers, Jenkins was there physically but his play left much to be desired.
Head coach Ben McAdoo cited a lack of consistent desire to finish among players. Although McAdoo didn’t single out any player by name in his weekly conference call, it was understood that Jenkins’ Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium was symbolic of the Giants’ defensive struggles all season.
Jenkins didn’t speak to the media after Sunday’s loss or after Wednesday’s practice. When he finally did talk Thursday, it is clear to see that Jenkins doesn’t agree with the notion that he didn’t want to finish every play.
“It’s football. Played to the best of my ability,” Jenkins said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. I just think it was lack of technique and just staying focused.”
Jenkins also pointed out the totality of his career as one of the NFL’s best corners.
“They (critics) question one game? Question the other 36. Question the other 36 games,” Jenkins said. “It be like that. Sometimes you don’t have the best game. Everybody knows that. One out of 36 games? I don’t care what they say.”
Jenkins’ effort was questioned on Marquise Goodwin’s 83-yard touchdown reception on third-and-8 and Garrett Celek’s 47-yard touchdown reception.
In both instances, Jenkins barely laid a hand on the receiver. He also allowed two big gains by Carlos Hyde and had some miscommunication issues with safety Landon Collins. This is a far cry from his Pro Bowl, All-Pro 2016 campaign.
Jenkins’ play against the 49ers led to a one-on-one meeting with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo earlier this week. The Giants played game film from Sunday at Wednesday’s team meeting in advance of preparation for this Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Jenkins’ miscues were on full display for the team and player to see.
It is not entirely Jenkins’ fault for the Giants’ meltdown against San Francisco. At the same time, the Giants expect better things from their $62.5 million cornerback. Jenkins, for his part, seems to be taking the criticism in stride.
“It’s always tough but as a pro you have to own up to it,” Jenkins said. “You have to understand that it is a part of football and move on.”