Jenkins and two former Saints are All-Time NFL Interception Returns Leaders

Kyle T. Mosley

Janoris "Jackrabbit" Jenkins proved he is one of the best "Pick-Six Interceptors" in NFL history on Sunday against the Buccaneers. The Saints won 34-23 in a strange game from start to finish in Tom Brady's Buccaneers' debut. Brees and Brady were not incredibly sharp in the entire contest. But Jenkins and his fellow Saints cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, were.

Janoris Jenkins intercepts Brady
Credit: Michael Hebert, Saints

After the game, Jenkins told reporters how he and Lattimore expected Brady to throw outside, thus setting up his 36-yard interception return. 

As an NFL cornerback, Jenkins has excellent instincts and technique. Jenkins is in his ninth season as a pro. During his tenure with the then St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, and now New Orleans Saints, he has 24 interceptions. The most significant accomplishment for Jenkins is the pick-sixes. Jenkins has run back one-third of his interceptions for touchdowns. That is a mind-boggling rate.  

Interceptions
Pick Six
Pick Six/Interceptions Rate
Passes Defended

24

8

33.33%

107

I remember hearing in the old days, announcers like Howard Cossell, Pat Summerall, or John Madden would say, "a player has a nose for the ball." Meaning he can sniff out when and where a quarterback will throw the football within the game. Players like Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, and all-time leader Rod Woodson were intuitive and smart enough to understand football's nuances. They had a feel for "the game within the game." Jenkins credited "anticipation" was one of the keys for his Brady interception. 

Player
# of Pick Sixes

ROD WOODSON

12

DARREN SHARPER (SAINTS)

11

CHARLES WOODSON

11

AQIB TALIB

10

KEN HOUSTON

9

DEION SANDERS

9

AENEAS WILLIAMS

9

ERIC ALLEN (SAINTS)

8

RONDE BARBER

8

JANORIS JENKINS (SAINTS)

8

CHARLES TILLMAN

8

Today, Jenkins is in the 8th spot on the all-time pick-six interceptions list with former New Orleans Saints players in cornerback Eric Allen (8) and safety Darren Sharper (11). Jackrabbit is four interceptions from tying Hall of Famer Rod Woodson at 12. He could be considered tied for 5th place with Allen, Ronde Barber, and Charles Tillman.

Jenkins and Lattimore are a formidable tandem at cornerback. This season, expect more opportunities for both players to notch interceptions with gunslingers like Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, and Kirk Cousins still on the schedule ahead. Can Jenkins create more Pick Sixes in the Black and Gold?

We shall see.

FYI NOTES

  • "Janoris Jenkins, for him to  do one of our defensive goals (of a pick-six was huge)." Demario Davis
  • "That's what he does. Yeah, he's eighth all-time in pick-sixes now so that's just what he does. He’s a ball hog that makes plays, goes and gets the balls in his hands-on gets to the end zone."  Marcus William on Janoris Jenkins
  • If Bucs QB Tom Brady throws another pick-six against the Panthers, he will tie Matt Schaub's dubious four consecutive games throwing a pick-six NFL record.
  • Charles Tillman played for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Ragin' Cajuns.

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