The NY Jets have one of the most difficult schedules in the league, but that just means there will be plenty of high-octane matchups in 2022.
Per the Jets' schedule, New York will play the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 and Week 18 and face a certain disrespectful wideout in the process: Tyreek Hill.
The Jets and the Dolphins were famously the top two teams in the running to acquire Hill this offseason, but according to Hill, the Jets never even entered his mind during the trade talks.
When asked how close he was to picking the Jets, Hill responded with, "Who?" and thus a bitter rivalry was born.
On NFL Network's "Total Access," former wide receiver James Jones named the Tyreek Hill/Sauce Gardner matchup a must-watch battle that will put Gardner to the test.
"Sauce Gardner! Tie your cleats up tight, loosen them hamstrings up really good, because you are going to have to see this man right here Tyreek Hill. We all know he’s fast but he is in and out of his breaks, he is explosive out of his cuts — listen son, a lot of film study, you better get ready for this one — but I’m excited to see you go battle and get after this one right here, and have a chance to get your hands on Tyreek Hill."- James Jones
NY Jets' Sauce Gardner could make a huge first impression against Tyreek Hill
Is Tyreek Hill one of the most undeniably dangerous threats of recent football history? Absolutely. Gardner really only has one edge in this matchup, and that's being the underdog.
This is Hill's battle to lose, after all. The former Kansas City stud has racked up 1,200-plus receiving yards in each of his last two seasons, flourishing alongside the arm of the great Patrick Mahomes.
Paired with Tua Tagovailoa, Hill may not find quite as much success in the passing game, but he's still a verifiable weapon with lethal speed, sure hands, and an inflated ego to boot.
Gardner will have his work cut out for him in defending the uber-talented wideout, but he also may have a few tricks up his sleeve. As the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Gardner is projected to be an immediate starter in the defense and possesses the versatility and coverage skills to make a tremendous impact in Year 1.
It certainly helps that Gardner will be surrounded by much stronger supporting pieces (compared to last year) in D.J. Reed and Jordan Whitehead — given Robert Saleh's defensive expertise, too, Gardner could very well hold his own against Hill in 2022.
Rub your hands together for one very delectable matchup, Jets fans. This AFC East rivalry won't disappoint.