One of the few bright spots to emerge Sunday in the 29-14 loss the Cincinnati Bengals suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field was the play of cornerback William Jackson.
The 2016 first-round pick started in place of Adam Jones, who was inactive with a back injury, and finished with two passes defended against Pittsburgh Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown in addition to blanketing him across the back of the end zone on a third-and-goal play with the score tied 14-14 in the second quarter.
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“I saw him running and I was like ‘Oh, he’s going to run all the way across the field,’” Jackson said. “So I had to get on my horse and go get him.”
Jackson helped limit Brown to four catches — equalling his season-low — on 10 targets for 65 yards.
He was especially strong defending a couple of deep balls, which is one of the reasons the Bengals used their 2016 first-round pick on him.
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“I’ve got long arms, so I can ease off of them a little bit and knock it down,” said Jackson, who missed all of his rookie season with a chest injury.
“I wanted to show them I can compete with the best of them,” he added. “I expect to play well against anybody, not just Antonio. He’s just another receiver. No big deal.”
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According to Pro Football Focus, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a passer rating of 39.6 on his six targets against Jackson.
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