4 nightmare scenarios for NY Jets in 2024

These four scenarios could derail the Jets' Super Bowl aspirations
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com /
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2. Quinnen Williams suffers an major injury

Although the NY Jets have an excellent linebacker duo and the best cornerback trio in the league, the defensive line is the lifeblood of the defense. Head coach Robert Saleh's scheme relies heavily on generating pressure with the four down-linemen as well as having those four penetrate and make plays in the backfield against the run.

Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is the engine that makes that all possible. While his sack numbers dipped from 12.0 in 2022 down to 5.5 in 2023, that doesn't come close to telling the whole story. Williams was double-teamed on a whopping 70% of his pass rush snaps.

Despite the near-constant double teams, Williams posted 53 QB hurries which was second in the league amongst defensive tackles. While a lot of his disruption didn't end in a sack being tallied in the box score next to his name, he's responsible for a lot of clean-up sacks that his teammates registered as a result of the pressure he created.

Simply put, Williams made the rest of the pass rush look that much better. Even on plays where a sack wasn't recorded, his pressure was often what forced errant throws and shutdown plays. It can not be understated just what a menace he is.

That pass rush that Williams is the catalyst for also makes life easier on the linebackers, corners, and safeties. These players now have to maintain coverage for less time and defend against fewer in-rhythm throws. While there are plenty of great players in these units in their own right, Williams truly makes everyone better.

As a run defender, he's equally impactful. He was Pro Football Focus's highest-graded interior defensive lineman with a grade of 90.4 last season. He tied for fourth overall in "Stops" with 35 which are plays defined as a failure for the offense, again per PFF.

Far and away, Williams is the best run-defender on the defensive line. After losing John Franklin-Myers, this becomes that much more important.

No other defensive tackle on the roster can come close to doing what WIlliams does. Javon Kinlaw has been injury prone and mostly disappointing in his career, but when he does flash it's been as a pass rusher only.

Leki Fotu is a big body who is supposed to clog running lanes, but he's been mediocre overall as a run defender and offers next to nothing as a pass rusher.

Finally, Solomon Thomas is a great locker room presence coming off his most productive season as a pro with 5.0 sacks last season. He's not much in the way of a run defender either and at this point in his career is not someone who can be relied upon to be the focal point of the defensive interior.

Simply put Quinnen Williams is one of the best and most important players on the team. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that he's the second-most important player on the roster after Aaron Rodgers. A long-term injury to him would be catastrophic and a true nightmare for the Jets.