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Giants’ Janoris Jenkins on pick-6: Trying to be a difference-maker

Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, right, intercepts a pass

Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, right, intercepts a pass intended for Redskins running back Byron Marshall before sprinting away on a 53-yard touchdown return during the Giants' 20-10 loss Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Landover. Md. Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

Only one player on the Giants’ active roster has more career touchdowns than cornerback Janoris Jenkins, which says as much about the state of the team’s offense as it does about his prowess for capitalizing on takeaways.

Jenkins has nine career touchdowns. The only current Giant with more is Shane Vereen, who has 19.

Jenkins was the only Giant to reach the end zone in Thursday night’s 20-10 loss to Washington, returning a third-quarter interception 53 yards.

Seven of Jenkins’ nine touchdowns have come off interceptions, tying him with Aqib Talib for the most in the NFL since 2012. He also has returned a fumble and a blocked field goal for touchdowns.

“Just trying to get into the end zone any way possible and keep playing,” Jenkins said of his mindset. “Understanding I’m a difference-maker with the ball in my hands and when I’m on the field. Just believe and keep going. Everybody’s got to keep playing.”

Jenkins’ latest effort may have been costly. He hurt his left ankle while covering the final yard of his return Thursday night and wore a protective boot in the locker room after the game.

That injury also came into play when he was covering Josh Doctson in the corner of the end zone on Washington’s go-ahead touchdown. “He didn’t beat me,” Jenkins said. “I just couldn’t explode out of my break.”

Jenkins has had two key interceptions in the past two games. His pick against the Chiefs set up a fourth-quarter field goal that helped send the game into overtime, and the Giants eventually won. When the Giants trailed Washington 10-3 and the touchdown deficit seemed insurmountable Thursday night, he picked off the pass and returned it.

With the Giants struggling on offense — they gained 47 yards in the second half, six fewer than the pick-6 covered — Jenkins knows it’s up to other areas to provide points.

“We know to win the game, we have to put up points,” he said, referring to the entire team. “It’s all about doing what you have to do on the defensive end, defensive side of the ball, and just maintaining that.”

Career regular-season TDs among active Giants

Shane Vereen 19

Janoris Jenkins 9

Sterling Shepard 9

Geno Smith 7

Eli Manning 6

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 6

Orleans Darkwa 6

Evan Engram 5

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