The New York Jets are enjoying some deserved R&R this week. Their bye comes midway through the season, providing the perfect opportunity to discuss the best and worst Jets players through the first half of the 2022 NFL season.

For the first time in years, the good vastly outweighs the bad so far this season. Typically, the Jets have been out of playoff contention long before reaching the halfway point in their schedule. Not so this season.

The resurgent Jets are 6-3, tied with the Miami Dolphins for second in the AFC East, right behind the first-place Buffalo Bills (6-2). If the season ended today, the Jets would be a wild card team in the playoffs. Just like their 20-17 upset win against the Bills last week, this is hard to fathom. The Jets have not been in the playoffs since the 2010 season.

The Jets believe in themselves but still have a difficult road to secure a playoff berth. Their remaining schedule features four games against teams that are 6-3 or better.

But that’s looking ahead. Let’s look back at the best and worst Jets players in the first half of the 2022 NFL season.

New York Jets best players in first half of 2022 season

Quinnen Williams

The Jets defense is ranked No. 1 in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. And Quinnen Williams has been its heart and soul, not to mention the team’s best player.

After several seasons failing to quite meet lofty expectations, the 24-year-old — yes, he’s only 24! — has emerged as one of the best defensive linemen in the game. He has been a dominant force on the interior of the Jets line, equally as effective blowing up the opposition’s run game and passing game.

Williams has a ridiculous 90.4 overall grade in nine games, per PFF. That ranks him third out of 122 defensive linemen. He leads the Jets with seven sacks, 35 quarterback pressures and 17 QB hits. He’s made 33 tackles, six for a loss, and has forced one fumble and recovered another (famously launching Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill on his return).

Quite simply, Quinnen Williams has been a monster on a scary good Jets defense.

Sauce Gardner

New York’s defense has been so good, we must stick with that side of the ball. And just how Williams has dominated along the line of scrimmage, Sauce Gardner has been dominant on the back end.

The rookie corner has lived up to the hype and then some. He has more than held his own against a bevy of elite receivers in the first half, including Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill. When Stefon Diggs beat him for a long gain on the Bills’ first offensive play last week, Gardner was unfazed and proceeded to be a game wrecker the rest of the way.

Gardner is among the NFL leaders with 13 passes defended, including several game-saving pass breakups. He has two interceptions and allowed one touchdown per PFF. He’s been targeted 46 times because quarterbacks do not want to test him. He’s allowed 189 yards on 20 receptions.

Pro Football Focus has him graded at 87.8 in pass coverage and 86.1 overall, third among 113 NFL corners.

His swagger has been transformative for a Jets defense that was at the bottom of the league just last season. When he paraded around Lambeau Field with the cheesehead atop his dome following New York’s Week 6 win, it was a sign that these are not the same old Jets.

Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall

OK, so we’re cheating a bit here. This would have been Breece Hall’s spot, but the running back is out for the season with a torn ACL. So, we’ll include fellow rookie Garrett Wilson.

Side Note: did you notice that of the four best players selected here, the eldest is 24? Just sayin’ that bodes well for now and the future.

Hall was the Jets lead back the first seven games, tops with 5.8 yards per carry, 463 yards on the ground and five TDs (four rushing, one receiving). He exploded for a 62-yard TD run against the Denver Broncos in Week 7 and a 79 yard catch and run in Week 5 against the Dolphins.

Wilson has emerged as the Jets top receiver. The first-year pro leads New York in receptions (42), targets (68) and receiving yards (521), and is second in touchdown catches (2). He had excellent rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco to start the season and is now Zach Wilson’s go-to. Like Hall, he’s a threat to make a huge play any time he touches the ball and has shown toughness in fighting for first downs and absorbing big hits.

New York Jets worst players in first half of 2022 season

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Elijah Moore

A second-round pick last season, Elijah Moore is an afterthought in the Jets offense. In eight games played, the wide receiver has 16 catches on 30 targets for 203 yards. He doesn’t have a touchdown and his longest reception is for 28 yards.

Not what you’d expect or want from one of your big-play threats.

Of course, there’s also his trade request, which came in the middle of a feel-good winning streak by the Jets. That led to him being inactive against the Broncos, though he was not traded at the deadline.

And there’s a clear lack of chemistry with Zach Wilson. In five games played with Wilson at QB, Moore has four catches on nine targets. He’s been targeted once in the past three games he’s played.

Laken Tomlinson

It’s not fair to say Laken Tomlinson has been bad. But he’s been a disappointment after the guard was one of New York’s top free agent signings in the offseason.

Tomlinson has a 45.1 grade per PFF in run blocking. His overall grade (51.2) is the worst in his eight NFL seasons and 62nd of 81 qualified guards in the league.

A Pro Bowler last season with the San Francisco 49ers, Tomlinson has gotten better after a subpar start. And he’s remained healthy amid a slew of injuries on the Jets offensive line. Those are building blocks for the second half.