On Sunday, the New York Jets face off against the Seattle Seahawks in a game with major playoff implications for both teams. In the end, this game will be decided by a number of matchups between the Jets offense and Seattle defense, and vice versa.
However, one matchup that has somewhat flown under the radar from a discussion perspective is that between rookie cornerbacks Sauce Gardner from the Jets and Tariq Woolen from the Seahawks. While these two players will likely never line up on the field at the same time, the comparison of the two has been consistent throughout this season and will likely continue on Sunday.
The reason for the consistent comparisons between these two rookies is because each player is making a case for not just the title of best rookie corner but for the title of the best corner in the sport in 2022.
Here’s a breakdown via Next Gen Stats pic.twitter.com/BhLTFp3kuz— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 28, 2022
In line with these kinds of dominant statistical profile, each player is a strong contender for defensive rookie of the year. At this time, Sauce Gardner is currently the odds on favorite with two weeks remaining in the season, but an argument can be made for Woolen, such as the one made below.
It’s sort of wild these are the latest Defensive Rookie of the Year odds. Tariq Woolen and Sauce Gardner ware having very comparable seasons and Tariq been more productive on the ball despite being thrown at less frequently. https://t.co/ClirfLA9gZ pic.twitter.com/iwebXG9ifs— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 28, 2022
But what do you think? Is Sauce better than Woolen? If so, what are the Next Gen stats missing in their evaluations?