Jamal Adams called his strip-sack touchdown.
The Jets’ emotional safety told coach Adam Gase on the sideline before it happened that he was going to force a turnover.
On the third play of the third quarter, Adams blitzed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, grabbed the ball out of the rookie’s hand and ran 25 yards for the touchdown.
“I told him I was going to make the turnover and it was going to be special,” Adams said after helping the Jets to a 34-27 victory on Sunday. “On the sideline when we came out, I said I was going make a big play and make a turnover for us and flip the game.”
“He’s elite,” Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland said. “I’ve seen Von Miller do that [a clutch strip-sack]. But to see a safety do that, that’s special.”
Linebacker Jordan Jenkins said he couldn’t believe it when he saw the replay on the video board at MetLife Stadium.
“After the play, I said, ‘Hey Jamal, you may talk a lot of trash and I may hate your school [LSU] and can’t stand you sometimes, but darn it, if you keep doing that, I could deal with you,’ ” Jenkins said with a huge smile.
It was one of several huge defensive plays that Adams made in this much-needed win. He led the Jets with nine tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
It came in a game that was “special” for Adams because he grew up a Giants fan. His father, George, was a running back for the Giants, and the safety played with extra juice in this game.
“Before the game he said, ‘Match my intensity,’ ” Copeland said. “He came out and delivered. There aren’t too many players who say something like that and deliver.”
Adams had another play that showed why he’s one of the best safeties in the game. On fourth-and-1, Jones tried to push forward for the first down. Adams came jumping over the pile and stopped him short.
Adams seemed to be in a far better place leading up to the game than he had been two weeks ago.
He was upset that Jets general manager Joe Douglas listened to calls about him before the Oct. 29 trade deadline, but the Jets were asking for a king’s ransom from the Cowboys. That’s how highly Douglas regards Adams and his meaning to the team.
After Adams refused to speak to Douglas and Gase for a week, they all cleared the air last week. Adams reiterated his desire to remain a Jet and someday lead them to the Super Bowl. Then he enjoyed perhaps his best game.
Adams believes this was just the beginning.
“Bro, people don’t understand,” he said. “This is nothing. I can tap into a whole ’nother level, man. I know what to expect from my play. When I just do it the right way, what I’m asked to do on the field by my coaches. This is nothing. This is just the start.
“Sky’s the limit. I never get complacent. I’m going to continue to work hard, continue to get better. This is just the start for me. This is nothing.”