In Sunday’s 46-25 win over the Detroit Lions, the Tennessee Titans (10-4) were finally reminded that Adoree Jackson is not a myth and the hype is true. On top of being a real person, Titans fans were also reminded that Jackson is a pretty damn good cornerback.
— Titan Up Podcast (@TitanUpPod) December 20, 2020
Jackson has missed all 13 of the team’s games until Sunday due to a mysterious knee injury suffered prior to the season. His 2020 debut comes at just the right time for a Titans team that has now compiled 10 wins for the first time since 2008.
“It’s the first time I’ve missed an ample amount of games,” said Jackson after the win. “I’ve missed some games before but I was always able to get back out and compete. You go through adversity in life with experiences and emotions. I think that was one thing that hit me. I was able to overcome it and just stayed the course. I knew eventually that I was going to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
While it had to feel good to get back out on the gridiron for Jackson, it had to feel even better for the Titans, who have deservedly been labeled as one of the worst defensive units in the NFL.
However, Jackson now joins a secondary that seems to be elevating their play over the last two and a half games.
— Skinny Hardaway (@Skinny_Unscrptd) December 20, 2020
As a favor to the readers, the first half of the Browns game will not be discussed in this story.
The Titans’ secondary has the ability to right this sinking ship. Though they are the best unit on the defensive side of the ball, that is like referencing the strongest branch of a tree that has been weakened by a series of devastating lightning strikes.
Mike Vrabel says the #Titans wanted to target 20-30 snaps for Adoree Jackson and it was good to see him back out there contributing.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) December 21, 2020
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel made it clear that the team’s plan is to ease Jackson back into the rotation. And early returns proved to be positive after Sunday’s performance, when the 25-year-old cornerback logged 27 of the defense’s 65 snaps.
He was also asked to fill in at multiple spots in the back end of the NFL’s 29th-ranked pass defense.
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) December 21, 2020
In today’s NFL, cornerback is one of the most difficult positions to play in the NFL. The common trait that some of the game’s best corners have: confidence.
“I felt like I had it today,” Jackson stated in his postgame presser. “If I didn’t have any confidence I probably wouldn’t have been out there. That was one of the biggest things we’ve been talking about, just building confidence and working to get into the week.”
He said his past experience and muscle memory were also big factors in his success on Sunday. “At the end of the day, it’s just going out there playing and reacting. You can’t go out there and think. When you think, bad things will happen; or try to play timid, things may happen. I learned that at a young age. No matter what’s going on, just go hard and full speed all the time. That’s what I did out there today.”
#Titans' Adoree Jackson: Said he had full confidence in knee today. Can't play out there if you're tentative.
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) December 20, 2020
While Matthew Stafford was a tall task for any defense, Jackson and his mates in the secondary face a future Hall of Fame quarterback this week in Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. This Week 16 matchup will not only be a litmus test for Jackson, but for the Titans defense as a whole. The team takes on the Packers in the frozen tundra that is Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football.
Featured image courtesy of Andy Lions/Getty Images