Seahawks safety Jamal Adams made sure his first game against his former team was a memorable one.
Pushing Jets quarterback Sam Darnold out of bounds after scrambling out of the pocket, Adams was credited with the sack. That gives the safety 8.5 sacks on the season, the new single-season record for most sacks by a defensive back.
Adrian Wilson of the Arizona Cardinals held the record since 2005 when he had eight sacks in 16 games played. Adams did it in nine.
Not only did Adams have a special day on Sunday—finishing with the sack, five tackles and a pass deflection—but his team took care of business against a lowly opponent. The Seahawks absolutely obliterated the Jets, scoring 40 unanswered points in a 40-3 win.
Entering play on Sunday, Adams had 7.5 sacks through his first eight games played in 2020. The former first-rounder has had a sack in all but two games this year, racking up 13 quarterback hits (tied for his career high).
In 2019, his third and final season with the Jets, Adams had the most sacks among all defensive backs with 6.5. That was the best of his career, but still short of the record.
"I said I was going to do it last year when I failed," Adams told reporters in a Zoom call this week ahead of Sunday's showdown with New York. "I always told myself, whenever I put my mind to something, I'm gonna get it done. That's just how I'm wired."
New York traded the All-Pro safety to the Seahawks this offseason, getting a package in return that included two first-round picks from the Seahawks.
The fallout between Adams and the Jets is rooted in a dispute over contractual negotiations. The safety, already established as one of the best defensive backs in football through his first three seasons in the league, wanted to receive the respect he felt he deserved in the form of an extension. New York never progressed toward any sort of agreement that Adams deemed appropriate.
Asked earlier in the week if it would mean more to set the record against the team that drafted him (including the contentious relationship behind the scenes), Adams admitted he'd be lying if he said it wouldn't feel "sweet."
"We're playing against the jets and that is my former team. Would it be sweet, yes of course but at the end of the day, I'm going out there to continue to do my job, continue to make plays for the team and ultimately come out victorious. that's what we're shooting for."