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Defensive Lineman Quinnen Williams and the Legacy Game

Can Quinnen Williams dominate against the Dolphins?

NFL: Houston Texans at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams has been the rare draft pick who not only meets expectations but exceeds them. Taken with the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Quinnen Williams played well enough leading up to this season that the New York Jets rewarded him with one of the largest contracts for a defensive lineman in NFL history at 4 years, $96 million. In exchange for that large contract, Quinnen has rewarded the Jets with a PFF grade of 90.5 in this season to date, which ranks 2nd among all interior defensive lineman. This would be Quinnen’s second 90+ grade season in a row, positioning him as one of the league’s best defensive linemen.

Despite how good Quinnen is, does anyone have a signature game for Quinnen? You know, the one that you reference with your friends as you wax on about how good Quinnen Williams is? The one that makes the case that the player is dominant better than any statistic could in the eyes of many?

For me, the answer is no. And, if I had to guess why, it’s because the Jets have so rarely provided the opportunity via their general struggles. Quinnen has great games. I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise. They just haven’t coincided with great Jets games. And that combination of individual great game and team great game, that combination is where performances get remembered the most.

Enter the upcoming Jets game against the Miami Dolphins. The Jets are on the ropes as far as playoff likelihood goes. A loss to the Dolphins and there are a number of ways in which their playoff hopes actually zero out. The season would essentially be over. By definition, that makes Sunday a literal “must win game” for the Jets.

And that makes this Sunday ripe for a legacy game for Quinnen. The type of performance that fans discuss for years to come. The all-time greats? They have those performances, and all-time great is the hope when you sign a guy to the type of contract Quinnen has.

Thankfully, for Quinnen and his legacy game hopes, this game is tailor-made for him to dominate. Why do I say that? Because the Miami Dolphins unfortunately lost their starting center Connor Williams for the season last week. While the Dolphins have not announced who will start in his place, the end result will be the same regardless: Quinnen Williams will be lining up against a backup center.

If Quinnen is as good as Jets fans hope he can be, that’s the kind of matchup that Quinnen has to take advantage of, especially with playoff hopes on the line.

And if Quinnen can do just that? Well then maybe the Jets can pull off an upset victory en route to an unlikely playoff push.