After totaling 5.5 sacks his first two seasons with the Jets, outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins has already totaled six sacks with a quarter of the season to go. Always thought to be more of the stout edge capable of turning ball carriers back inside, the 6’3”, 259-pound Jenkins has quietly grown as a pass rusher.
“I feel like I’ve done better than I have in the last two years. Still, one sack I left out there on the board against [Blake] Bortles,” Jenkins said of an attempt back in Week 4. I” wasn’t able to wrap him up too well. I took him down, but he got the ball out. That’s because I said going into this offseason that I never wanted to miss another sack. I feel like I’ve done better but still not there yet.”
Not only does Jenkins lead the Green & White in sacks, but he also paces the defense with 18 QB hits. Under the tutelage of NFL Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, Jenkins has kept his motor up while becoming more of a cerebral rusher.
“I’m starting to set up moves. I might sacrifice one rush to know a rush later on in the game is going to work based on what I did earlier in the game,” he said. “I might go bull, bull, bull and then the next couple of rushes do a stutter to set things up, twist things up. The last couple of years I might do different moves, but I wouldn’t set them off of one another.”
With a strong finish to the season, Jenkins could make a push towards a double-digit sack total. He will get a crack this weekend at Bills rookie QB Josh Allen, who has been sacked 23 times in eight game appearances his rookie campaign. Allen possesses a monster arm, but he has rushed for 234 yards over the past two games.
“Somebody will rush too high or not have good rush lanes and he will break out for another 30, 40 yards,” Jenkins said. “And he’s not going down, he’s not sliding. He’s trying to run everybody over.”
Jenkins, who has collected two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 43 tackles and six tackles for loss, was hard on himself after committing an illegal use of hands penalty on the Titans’ game-winning drive last Sunday. He has moved on though and has set his sights on another big challenge ahead.
“I was thinking about Cam Newton because he has the size and the speed. I saw Allen hit Kiko Alonso with a move last week,” Jenkins said. “He came out, did a little shake and spun him around and totally threw him out of the way. He’s trying to embarrass guys. If he’s not trying to run you over, he can do a quick little jab and take off.”