The NY Jets and winning Rookie of the Week: name a better duo challenge. Impossible.
The Jets celebrated their third Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week in a little over a month on Thursday as cornerback Sauce Gardner took home the celebratory title belt for the first time this season.
Gardner is the third different Jets player to win the award in 2022 after Garrett Wilson (Week 2) and Breece Hall (Week 4) achieved the honor. Mind you, there have only been five weeks this season. Three of the five winners have been Jets players.
The Jets' dominance over Rookie of the Week voting is nothing new. In fact, the organization has won eight of the last 20 Rookie of the Week awards dating back to the 2021 season.
Since the beginning of 2021, the Jets have had six different players win Rookie of the Week (Zach Wilson, Elijah Moore, Brandin Echols, Garrett Wilson Breece Hall, Sauce Gardner). No other NFL team has had more than one player win.
Sure, detractors will point to the fact that the award is voting-based and not exactly a scientific method of selection. While the Jets' rabid fanbase likely has something to do with it, this feat also speaks to the quality of the Jets' last two draft classes.
Sauce Gardner is the latest NY Jets player to win Rookie of the Week
The fourth overall pick in this year's draft, Gardner has hit the ground running as a rookie and exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. Perhaps his most impactful game came this past Sunday when he registered a safety on the very first play from scrimmage and recorded his first career interception a little later.
Gardner has allowed just 127 yards over his first five games and ranks top-10 among qualified cornerbacks in most coverage statistics including yards and catches allowed as well as targets.
He's one of only three players in the NFL with a pass defended in each of his five games this season. By pretty much every metric, Gardner has been one of the better cornerbacks in the league in 2022.
Gardner beat out fellow Jets rookie Breece Hall for the award this week. Hall finished with just shy of 200 scrimmage yards, but after winning the title in Week 4, Jets fans decided it was Gardner who deserved the praise this time.
Which Jets player will win Rookie of the Week next? Will we see a repeat performance from someone like Wilson, Hall, or Gardner? Perhaps Jermaine Johnson or Micheal Clemons get involved.
Either way, rest assured that if there's a Jets player on the ballot, they're likely going to win it. No one can slow down the unstoppable force that is Jets Twitter and the greater Jets fanbase.