Thibodeaux, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft, said during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" in June that the quarterback he was "most looking forward to sacking is Lamar Jackson." Six games into his rookie year, he got his wish ... at just the right time.
Thibodeaux raced around the edge and knocked the ball out of Jackson's hands in the final seconds of the Giants' come-from-behind 24-20 win over the Ravens. The fumble was recovered by teammate Leonard Williams and was essentially a game-clincher.
Afterward, Thibodeaux was like a kid who had just met -- and beat -- his idol.
"I told him I always planned ... I asked him, 'If I get a sack on you, can I get your jersey?'" Thibodeaux said. "He said he's going to send it to me. I'm still going to hold him to it.
"Yeah, it's a blessing man. Just being on that big stage and being able to win a game."
The actual play was all effort. Thibodeaux looked to be getting pushed past the elusive Jackson but stuck out his right hand and slapped the wrist of the scrambling quarterback. The ball popped loose. The rest was a blur.
This was Thibodeaux's fourth career game. He missed the first two games of the season because of a knee injury.
"I mean, you know, you've just got to get him," Thibodeaux said. "Lamar is tricky, shifty, so the one thing we teach is getting that rip at the end, making sure you finish. So that time I had emphasis on my finish and 'one for the good guys.'"
The Giants, in his eyes, are of course the good guys. Thibodeaux was still on another level after the game, whooping and dancing in the locker room during his postgame news conference while teammates chanted his name. It was first sack cloud nine.
It brought him to tears.
"It's a blessing. It was the greatest moment," he said. "I really sat out there and cried just because the emotion I felt that now, I'm in the NFL. Now that you can really contribute and this is what they pay me to be here for, so the fact that I was able to get it done is a great feeling."
No, really, tears.
"Yeah, I really cried," he said.
Well, maybe this is normal.
"You know, yeah," he said, "cool guys cry."