Sauce Gardner, NY Jets, Stats, Broncos
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Getty Images

Many players had a hand in the New York Jets’ standout defensive performance

The New York Jets’ defense took care of business in Denver. They made sure the Broncos’ offense remained as ugly and stagnant as it has been all year, holding Denver to 9 points despite getting little help from Zach Wilson and the offense.

This was a team effort. Every unit contributed to the performance.

Here are some of the top contributors to New York’s defensive dominance.

CB Sauce Garder and CB D.J. Reed

Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed were easily the Jets’ two best defensive players. New York’s cornerback duo broke up one pass after the next in a shutdown performance.

Gardner and Reed each recorded three passes defended for a combined total of six. Many of those passes were deep down the field, including a breakup by Gardner on a potential game-tying touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Gardner is now tied with the Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs for the NFL lead with 11 passes defended this season.

Oftentimes, it felt like the Jets’ coverage bailed out the pass-rush for its inability to get home quickly. The coverage was consistently tight, allowing the pass-rush get home even on plays where they did not get into the backfield all that fast.

Gardner was credited with allowing 4 catches on 10 targets for 16 yards (1.6 yards per target). Reed allowed 5 catches on 9 targets for 50 yards (5.6 yards per target).

It is remarkable how well Gardner has been playing recently. Over his last two games, Gardner has yielded 24 yards on 16 targets (1.5 yards per target). None of those 16 targets resulted in a first down or touchdown. Teams keep trying him and they keep paying for it.

Jets X-Factor Membership

DT Quinnen Williams

Few are talking about how good Quinnen Williams was in this game – which is a sign of how far he has come. This was another fantastic outing from Williams, but we just expect it at this point.

Williams led the Jets with five total pressures, including a crucial quarterback hit that teed up an interception for Lamarcus Joyner. He also had four tackles in the run game, each one stopping the runner shy of the first down marker. To top it all off, he had a pass deflection.

The Jets still aren’t letting Williams play a star-caliber percentage of the snaps. He played just 62% of the defensive snaps in this one, his second-lowest percentage of the year. Granted, the Jets’ defense was on the field a lot, so Williams tied his season-high with 49 snaps despite the dip in his percentage.

LB C.J. Mosley

C.J. Mosley was active and dependable in this game. He made eight tackles and was not credited with a single missed tackle.

Mosley was also solid in coverage, allowing just 1 catch for 4 yards on 2 targets.

S Jordan Whitehead

After a reckless start to the season, Jordan Whitehead has become much more consistent over the past few weeks.

Whitehead made four tackles against Denver with zero missed tackles. In coverage, he only allowed 1 catch for 4 yards across 4 targets.

D-linemen Bryce Huff, Jacob Martin, and Nathan Shepherd

It was a ho-hum game for the Jets’ starting pass-rushers outside of Williams. Carl Lawson (2 pressures on 37 pass-rush snaps), Sheldon Rankins (2 on 23), and John Franklin-Myers (1 on 27) had their moments but were not super consistent.

However, the Jets got some fantastic pass-rushing efficiency out of their rotational guys.

Bryce Huff contributed three pressures on only 19 pass-rush snaps (15.8% pressure rate), including a half-sack shared with Lawson. Additionally, Huff had a third-down stop in which he chased down Brett Rypien on a scramble and halted him one yard shy of the marker.

Jacob Martin collected three pressures on 12 pass-rush snaps (25.0%). Nathan Shepherd tossed in two pressures on 14 pass-rush snaps (14.3%).

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Sarah
Sarah
1 month ago

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Last edited 1 month ago by Sarah
Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

Please don’t let Breece be put for the season as gang Green is saying is possible.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago

They will have to keep doing it, the offense is down to WR = Rookie, Berrios, Bench Player, Bench Player, RB = MC, bench player, bench player. The OL, yet another shuffling. E. Moore out to lunch. Davis banged up. In one fell swoop the offensive playmaking ability just reverted back to last season. The D is going to have to be as good every week to continue winning or at least staying in games.

Jets71
Jets71
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I agree with Ben, I think the situation can be salvaged, IF Moore truly feels he was wrong and makes things right with the team. That being said, he hasn’t done much this season to instill confidence vs top defenses like NE and Buff.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 month ago
Reply to  Jets71

That top Defense in NE just gave up 250 rushing yds to Chicago. Looked like Justin Fields breakout game.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

I hope Moore does come back this week. I also hope the Jets Switch his and Wilson’s Roles like you mentioned before Mike. The Patriots seemed to struggle with Crossing routes, Screens, Play action, Boots and Designed QB runs when they played the Bears on MNF. If Moore comes back and plays the slot against the Pats. He should be Zach’s first read on short routes designed to get YAC. This could be what the Offense needs to get back on track.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago

These CBs have been incredible. Sauce is the best player on the field every week and Reed sure looks like a #1 CB. Moseley has been tremendous and so has Q. They got the defense right and have coached them up well.

DapperJet
DapperJet
1 month ago

It’s just good to see that this defense is for real. Everyone is playing well