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Terps in the NFL: J.C. Jackson ties NFL lead in takeaways this season

Here’s how former Terps performed in Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season.

NFL: NOV 28 Titans at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New England Patriots star cornerback J.C. Jackson has been unstoppable this season and put together one of his strongest all-around performances on Sunday against Tennessee.

Jackson had two total tackles and added his first forced fumble, an interception and a pass deflection. This season, Jackson now has seven interceptions, 16 pass deflections, and a forced fumble. He has forced eight turnovers, which is tied for the league lead with Dallas’ Trevon Diggs (eight interceptions). With the seven interceptions this season, Jackson is the first player since Richard Sherman (2012-13) to record at least seven interceptions in consecutive seasons.

In the third quarter of a one-possession game on Sunday, Jackson chased down Tennessee running back D’Onta Foreman and punched the ball loose, forcing his first fumble of the season.

Later in the contest in the fourth quarter, after a pass was tipped by cornerback Devin McCourty, Jackson intercepted the deflected pass in the end zone basically sealing the win for New England.

Throughout his career, Jackson has been an interception machine. Since coming into the league in 2018, he leads the entire NFL in picks with 24. He is currently second in picks this season behind Diggs and first in the NFL in pass deflections. The Super Bowl champion has recorded six pass deflections in the last four games.

The pace at which Jackson is recording takeaways is ridiculous. He has 24 interceptions in 57 career games and seven picks this season in 12 games. Opponents have thrown the ball at the receiver that Jackson was covering just 12 times in the last four games, according to a CBS graphic during the broadcast of the game Sunday. Out of those 12 passes, only two have been caught and four have been intercepted by Jackson.

Jackson will face Stefon Diggs and the Buffalo Bills next week before the Patriots have their bye in Week 14.

Other performers

  • Buffalo Bills star wide receiver Stefon Diggs feasted on Thanksgiving against New Orleans. Diggs, who has been performing much better over the last month, recorded a game-high seven receptions and 74 receiving yards with a touchdown. He was targeted nine times in the 31-6 win over the Saints. Diggs has now caught four touchdowns in the last three games and has started to hit his stride. He used his elite route-running ability to create open space for the touchdown on Thursday. The sixth-year receiver now sits tied for seventh in the NFL this season in receptions (67) and receiving touchdowns (7), eighth in targets (101), and ninth in receiving yards (847). Diggs celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday.
  • Carolina Panthers star wide receiver D.J. Moore had one of his best games of the season on Sunday with four receptions for 103 yards. He was targeted 10 times but only hauled in four catches. It marked the third time this season that Moore recorded at least 100 receiving yards in a game and it was the first time since he had 113 yards in Week 4. His longest catch on Sunday went for 64 yards. Moore now stands fifth in the NFL in targets (112), eighth in the NFL in receiving yards (854), and 11th in receptions (66).
  • Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. once again totaled five tackles in a contest. Sunday marked the seventh consecutive game where Carter has recorded at least five tackles. He continues to have the best season of his career and has started in every game this season for Carolina. The Panthers will have their bye week next week.
  • Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue once again had a successful performance, this time on Thanksgiving against Dallas in an overtime victory. Ngakoue had two tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits on Dak Prescott. Ngakoue now has eight total sacks this season and has totaled one in each of the last two games. He is tied for 11th in total sacks in the NFL in 2021. He has been one of the best in the NFL this season at getting to the opposing team’s quarterback and disrupting the passing game.
  • Raiders defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson totaled two tackles on Thursday as he made his 11th start of the season. Jefferson is having one of the best seasons of his career and has started in every game for Las Vegas in 2021. The Raiders will host Washington next Sunday.
  • Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage Jr. was excellent in coverage again on Sunday and only recorded two tackles because of how few times he was targeted. Savage once again played in 100% of the Packers’ defensive snaps, which he has now done in six straight games and 10 times this season. Savage and the Packers will have their bye week next week after a massive win over the Rams on Sunday.
  • New York Jets running back Ty Johnson had more of an opportunity on the ground this week with starter Michael Carter’s injury. Johnson totaled six attempts for 42 rushing yards and surprisingly did not have a reception and was targeted just once through the air. He has made more of an impact in the receiving game for the Jets this season but was used on the ground more in the 21-14 win over Houston.
  • Second-year running back Anthony McFarland Jr. totaled his most production in a single game this season on Sunday for Pittsburgh. He had two carries for two rushing yards, one catch for 11 yards and three kick returns for a total of 73 return yards. He averaged 24.3 yards per return in the loss. McFarland played in 12 offensive snaps — touching the ball three times — and eight special teams snaps. After being a healthy scratch in each of the past two games, McFarland produced in Week 12.
  • Los Angeles Rams’ second-year defender Antoine Brooks Jr. totaled a season-high two tackles on Sunday against Green Bay. He played in 64% of the Rams’ special teams snaps against the Packers and was key in stopping returns.
  • Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Woods appeared on the defensive side of the football for the first time this week, on Thanksgiving. He played in four defensive snaps but did not record a stat. He has mainly played on special teams for Detroit this year and appeared in almost 70% of the snaps on that side of the ball on Thursday. Woods is looking to become more of a threat defensively for the Lions.
  • Offensive lineman Michael Dunn appeared on the offensive side of the football for the first time this season for Cleveland on Sunday. He took three offensive snaps and three snaps on special teams for the Browns on Sunday Night Football in Baltimore.
  • Linebacker Keandre Jones remained on the practice squad for the Cincinnati Bengals this week. The Bengals dominated Pittsburgh this week, 41-10.
  • Sean Davis remained on the New England Patriots’ practice squad this week. New England crushed Tennessee, 36-13 on Sunday.
  • Running back Trey Edmunds remained on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad this week.
  • Offensive lineman Derwin Gray stayed on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad this week.
  • Tight end Tyler Mabry was waived by the Seattle Seahawks prior to last week and was signed to their practice squad this week. Seattle fell to Washington in the Monday Night Football game.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Byron Cowart was designated to return by New England on October 20. The Patriots had three weeks from then to activate him off the PUP or leave him there for the season.
  • Rams rookie running back Jake Funk has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week Six. Funk returned to College Park to support his former teammates and the rest of the Terrapins in their final home game of the 2021 season on Nov. 20.