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.
“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.
“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.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a passer rating of 39.6 on his six targets against Jackson.