Photo credit: Al Bello / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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Defensive touchdowns are a rare occurrence in the National Football League but when they happen it usually changes the whole outcome of the game. Every offense tries to get in the end zone but when you have a defense that can intercept a pass or scoop up a fumble and punch it in for six points it’s a huge momentum swing. There were six players in pro football that scored at least two defensive touchdowns in 2017 and what impact they ended having for their teams. Here are those players.
1. Jimmy Smith- The Baltimore Ravens had a pretty good defense and Jimmy Smith certainly did his part for John Harbaugh’s team. Jimmy Smith first picked up a fumble against the Oakland Raiders and took it all the way to the house. Baltimore won that game over Oakland 30-17. Then Smith intercepted a pass for a score against the Miami Dolphins in a 40-0 rout. With 3 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns it was definitely a good year for the 29 year old cornerback (Smith).
2. Telvin Smith- The second Smith two score two defensive touchdowns last season was the Jaguars stand out linebacker Telvin Smith. The former Florida State alum first picked off Ben Roethlisberger for a huge defensive TD. That helped the Jags knock off the Steelers 30-9. Smith’s second touchdown came on a fumble recovery against the Cleveland Browns. Jacksonville won that game 19-7. (Smith’s 2017 stat line 3INTs, 2 DEF TDs)
3. Reshad Jones- The Dolphins stand out safety made an impact on Adam Gase’s defensive by scoring on two fumble recoveries. First Jones picked up a loose ball against the Tennessee Titans (16-10 W). Then Jones got his hands another fumble against the New England Patriots. The Dolphins lost that game though 35-17. Jones finished the year with 2 INTS and 2 DEF TDS.
4. Eddie Jackson- Chicago Bears Safety Eddie Jackson made a name for himself with a huge performance against the Carolina Panthers. Jones intercepted a pass and took it 76 yards for a score. Then Jackson picked up a fumble and scored again. Chicago won that game 17-3 and Jackson ended up having 2 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns for the year.
5. Janoris Jenkins- The man known as Jackrabbit intercepted 3 passes and took 2 of them to the house in 2017. One of those interceptions came against the Broncos in 23-10 win. The other was against the Redskins in a 20-10 loss. New York will definitely need Jenkins to keep making big plays this upcoming season if the Giants want to turn their luck around. Janoris Jenkins will certainly do his part.
6. Justin Coleman- Both passes that Justin Coleman intercepted went for Seahawks touchdowns. The fourth year cornerback is going to be crucial in the absence of Richard Sherman. Coleman’s first TD came on a pick six against the Indianapolis Colts. The Seahawks won that game 46-16. Then Coleman struck again in a 21-12 victory over Dallas. Justin Coleman definitely brought some excitement to the Emerald City. The future is bright for 25 year old corner.
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