NY Jets Midseason Studs and Duds: Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams lead the way

Sauce Gardner, NY Jets
Sauce Gardner, NY Jets / Elsa/GettyImages

The NY Jets have shocked the NFL world so far this season. But before the Jets resume play this week against the New England Patriots, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of the best and worst performers to this point.

Let's take a look at the Jets' biggest studs and duds through the first 10 weeks of the season.

Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets - STUD

The biggest stars of this season so far have to be the cornerbacks. Sauce Gardner has played phenomenally as a rookie, D.J. Reed has been a home run free-agent signing, and Michael Carter II has excelled in the slot. 

But it can not be underestimated how well Gardner has played and how vital he has been to the success of the Jets this season. To be able to get a lockdown corner with the swagger and confidence that he plays with has not only transformed the defense but the culture of the entire team.

Sauce Gardner currently has the third-highest Pro Football Focus grade for all cornerbacks in the NFL at 86.1

Quinnen Williams, DL, NY Jets - STUD

Quinnen Williams is finally having the true breakout season that Jets fans have been waiting for. Williams has been dominant on the defensive line all season long and was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October.

Quinnen Williams has seven sacks and 17 quarterback hits on the season and this is part of a defense where, for better or worse, the Jets have a very heavy rotation on the defensive line. He is playing like one of, if not the best, defensive tackles in all of football. 

It is going to have to be a priority to get a long-term extension with him done at some point soon, because with both Gardner and Williams, the Jets' defense will be very good for a long time.

Quinnen Williams currently has the third-highest grade for a defensive lineman from PFF with a 90.4 grade.

Running game, NY Jets - STUD

This spot would have gone to Breece Hall, but even after his unfortunate injury, the Jets' running game has still looked strong and was a big reason why they were able to take down the mighty Buffalo Bills. 

Hall was on pace to have a monster season for the Jets and it seemed like he was just getting going. In seven games, Hall had 681 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. He looked like a superstar in the making. 

After the injury, the Jets traded for James Robinson and have used a good mixture of him and Michael Carter. Although neither of them has the same explosiveness that Hall offers, they have still been an effective duo in his absence, even with a makeshift offensive line. 

The Jets' running game has carried the offense this season and will look to be even more dominant next year when they have all three of Breece Hall, James Robinson, and Michael Carter. 

Zach Wilson QB, NY Jets - DUD

After missing the first few weeks of the season, Zach Wilson has come back and the Jets have been successful with only one loss when he is the starting quarterback.

As mentioned above the defense and running game have been amazing so far this season, so Wilson has not been asked to do all that much. 

In six starts, Wilson has thrown for 1,202 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. Simply put, if Wilson can make a couple of big throws a game and not turn the ball over, the Jets have a good chance to win.

It is still early, but you want more than that from a quarterback selected second overall. Wilson will have to show improvement in the second half of the season or else general manager Joe Douglas will have to reconsider the future of the quarterback position. The Jets cannot let this talented roster go to waste.

Elijah Moore, WR, NY Jets - DUD

Elijah Moore had some high expectations coming into the season and has not nearly lived up to them so far. Moore only has 203 receiving yards and has not caught a touchdown yet this season. 

Over the first three weeks of the year, with Joe Flacco at quarterback, Moore had 139 receiving yards, but since Zach Wilson has come back, he has not been targeted nearly as much.

After a public trade request and the subsequent missing of a game, many fans turned on Moore. With all of the good that the Jets have had this season, the second-year receiver going from a fan favorite to a villain figure is not a good development.

Head coach Robert Saleh has said that they will try to get him more snaps in the slot as that is where he excelled in college so we will see if he can be a bigger part of the offense in the second half of the season. 


The Jets have exceeded expectations this season. They are finally winning games and changing their public perception. A lot of their draft picks and free-agent signings have played well and this is one of the most talented rosters the Jets have had in years.

The one question that has yet to be answered is the quarterback. If Wilson can be the guy the Jets drafted him to be, the team could go from playoff to real contenders in a short time. 

Next. 3 NY Jets players who need to get healthy over the bye week. dark

The Jets will look to get their revenge against the Patriots in Week 11.