In a game that saw the NY Jets lose out on their playoff hopes, another discouraging element was the play of their rookie class compared to the impact that was made by the first-year players from Seattle.
Entering this game, there were many headlines surrounding the rookies for the Jets and the Seahawks including battles for Rookie of the Year awards on both sides of the ball.
On the first play of the game, Kenneth Walker set the tone for the team with an explosive 60-yard run gashing through the Jets' defense. It was a negative trend for the Jets that continued for the rest of the afternoon.
Walker finished with over 140 scrimmage yards, while rookies Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant helped to hold the Jets to 240 passing yards (much of which came in garbage time) and three turnovers in a game where New York could only muster six points.
While there were some positives from the Jets rookie class such as Garrett Wilson eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards and Sauce Gardner adding to his league lead in passes defended (20), the underwhelming team performance casted a shadow on any individual accolades.
Coming out of this game, Walker has taken the lead for Offensive Rookie of the Year over Garrett Wilson from a betting perspective. Meanwhile, Sauce Gardner seems to still be locked into Defensive Player of the Year despite a formidable run from Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.
The NY Jets relied on their rookie class too much in 2022
The Jets needing to rely so heavily on the play of their rookies week after week has finally caught up to them in a skid where the team has now dropped five games in a row.
The rookie class is one of the main elements that fans can hang their hat on when it comes to positives from the 2022 season. As long as health can hold up, the talent and even early production from this class have proved to be a core of this roster and will be leaned on heavily again next season.
It will now be up to the front office to surround young ascending pieces such as the ones from the 2022 NFL Draft with a blend of consistent play from veterans for the team to reach their potential.