The NY Jets' defense was among the NFL's best units in 2022. They allowed just 18.6 points per game, which ranked second in the NFL, and 311.1 yards per game, which ranked fourth.
In 2022, their defensive success was crucial every week due to their offensive struggles. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, there should be less pressure on the defense, but in order to compete with the likes of the Bills, Bengals, and Chiefs in the AFC, the defense must be able to hold up.
Here are the five most important players on the Jets defense.
1. Quinnen Williams, DT, NY Jets
The new highest-paid Jets player in franchise history is certainly one of the two most important players on the team's defense. The 2019 third-overall pick has improved each season but had a breakout year in 2022.
Williams was absolutely dominant, racking up 13 sacks and 52 total pressures, which ranked second and eighth among defensive tackles, respectively.
The only defensive tackle to record more sacks than Williams in 2022 was Chris Jones, who had 15 sacks in 915 total snaps. Williams recorded his 13 sacks in just 690 snaps. In fact, besides Williams, the other four defensive tackles to record 12 or more sacks in 2022 all did it while playing over 800 snaps.
It will be interesting to see if Williams' snap counts go up now that he got his extension or if the Jets stick to their heavy defensive line rotation. Williams' dominant interior pass-rush ability is vital to the Jets' defense, as they lack an elite-level edge rusher.