Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner recently made history by becoming the first pair of New York Jets teammates to appear in consecutive Pro Bowls since Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson made it from 2009 to 2011, and the two expressed their gratitude as they soak up the experience.
“It is a blessing to be out here with these guys,” Gardner said. “There are a lot of really great and elite players playing now and that played in the past. It is always a blessing to have this experience.”
“Year in and year out, you just work your tail off to win football games and do what you’ve got to do, so none of these accolades come to mind throughout the whole year because all you want to do is put your hard work in to help your team win football games. To be able to get recognized for my hard work is super dope,” added Williams.
Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner were the two brightest spots for the New York Jets in 2023
Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner were the main reasons why the New York Jets had the third-best regular-season defense in the NFL. In 2023, they allowed only 292.3 defensive yards per game while finishing second in pass defense, only conceding 168.3 yards per game.
Williams is certainly showing everyone why he deserves the four-year, $96 million extension that he signed with the Jets last July, as he had a career-high 62 total tackles (39 solo), 20 quarterback hits, 5.5 sacks, and one safety. The 26-year-old was also graded as the third-best overall interior line defender and No. 1 interior run defender against by the PFF.
Gardner, on the other hand, continues to get better. The 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year had 57 combined tackles (41 solo) two tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. He was given an 88.6 grade this season, which is 0.7 points higher than his rookie campaign.
Unfortunately for the New York Jets, Williams and Gardner’s efforts weren’t enough to take them back to the NFL playoffs, as they finished third in the AFC East with a 7-10 record. For the New York Jets to end their long postseason drought, Williams and Gardner’s teammates must follow their lead in 2024.