ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Defensive end Malik Jackson has seen his share of playing time increase dramatically in his second NFL season – and Jackson's rugged play on the defense line has caught the eye of Greg A. Bedard of Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback website.
Jackson was given the Monday Morning QB Unsung Interior Rusher Award by Bedard for his performance against the Eagles in Week 4.
Bedard identified Jackson's relentless push off the line as playing a key factor in enabling the pressure that the Broncos were able to apply on Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throughout the game.
Bedard credited Jackson's "blend of strength and speed" with enabling a key fourth quarter sack of Vick by teammates Wesley Woodyard and Derek Wolfe.
In one section of the article, Bedard considered Jackson's efficiency on the line this season, placing Jackson in the same group with the Lions' Ndamukong Suh and the Texans' J.J. Watt:
The Broncos' final sack of Michael Vick on Sunday, with 11:21 left in the game, showed how Jackson is using the nice blend of strength and speed in his 6-5, 293-pound body to make things happen for teammates.
Jackson ran a game inside with Knighton crossing the center. Jackson looped quickly and got leverage on Eagles left tackle Jason Peters. That made Vick pull the ball down, and linebacker Wesley Woodyard and Wolfe converged for the sack.
"Basically T-Knight hit it first and got the center out of the way and I wrapped around him," Jackson said. "He did a phenomenal job. I rushed up and then Wolfe was on the edge, spun inside and was right there for a pretty sack with Woodyard."
Jackson's inside/outside versatility has made him an invaluable Swiss Army knife along the Broncos' front all season. He's been a constant producer, to the point that his half sack, 12 hurries, two hits, sack assist and drawn hold has him—surprisingly—tied with Ndamukong Suh for second on our season totals for interior rushers behind Houston's J.J Watt now that snap counts have been factored in with bye weeks starting (see below for the full interior rusher season rankings).
Jackson has registered 4 tackles to go with his half sack on the season. To read Bedard's breakdown of Jackson's play in its entirety, click here.