In week 1 the New York Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills. Because of that, it’s really easy to remember all the great performances by New York Jets players. However, other weeks they’ll lose and there will still be great performances then too. With that in mind, every week I’ll highlight the top 5 players from the New York Jets last game on both offense and defense as rated by ProFootballFocus (PFF). This article will cover the defense’s best performances from Week 1.
Safety Jordan Whitehead
- Overall PFF grade of 91.8 on 68 snaps
- 18 snaps of run defense (grade of 63.4)
- 1 snaps as a pass rusher (grade of 59.1)
- 49 snaps in coverage (grade of 90.0)
- Tackling grade of 80.7
Whitehead had the game of his life on Monday night, highlighted by his three interceptions and the $250,000 bonus that earned him. It seems pretty unlikely that Whitehead will keep up that pace, but if he can sustain a high level of coverage then this Jets defense is primed to take a significant leap in 2023.
Interior defensive lineman Quinnen Williams
- Overall PFF grade of 90.2 on 52 snaps
- 12 snaps of run defense (grade of 91.5)
- 40 snaps as a pass rusher (grade of 66.4)
- Tackling grade of 71.0
The Jets made Quinnen Williams one of the highest paid defensive lineman this offseason and he immediately returned the favor by turning in a star performance in the first game of the season.
Linebacker Quincy Williams
- Overall PFF grade of 89.3 on 69 snaps
- 18 snaps of run defense (grade of 77.3)
- 3 snaps as a pass rusher (grade of 55.5)
- 48 snaps in coverage (grade of 86.7)
- Tackling grade of 82.9
Quincy is the second of the Williams brothers who the Jets rewarded with a big contract who immediately showed why the Jets paid him what they did. From my perspective watching the game, this was by far the best performance I’ve seen from Quincy Williams, especially in coverage. If Quincy Williams and Whitehead can both sustain their performance then the Jets defense might indeed be able to live up the 1985 Bears comparisons that came from cornerback D.J. Reed.
Edge rusher Bryce Huff
- Overall PFF grade of 76.1 on 23 snaps
- 1 snap of run defense (grade of 60.0)
- 22 snaps as a pass rusher (grade of 71.5)
- Tackling grade of 71.4
Bryce Huff continues to do what Bryce Huff does best: rush the passer. While he’s clearly in a limited role, that skillset is valuable, and he does it well. Nice to see last year’s breakout player pick up right where he left off.
Cornerback D.J. Reed
- Overall PFF grade of 73.6 on 69 snaps
- 18 snaps of run defense (grade of 54.1)
- 1 snap as a pass rusher (grade of 75.1)
- 50 snaps in coverage (grade of 73.9)
- Tackling grade of 64.1
While Sauce Gardner gets the most attention of the Jets cornerbacks, D.J. Reed is a very talented player in his own right. Reed would likely be a #1 corner on several teams and Monday night was a reminder of how lucky the Jets are to have him.
An additional honorable mention goes to linebacker Jamien Sherwood, who had a PFF grade of 85.5. He wasn’t listed because he only played 4 snaps so it didn’t feel representative of much.
Who was the Jets best defensive player on Monday night?