On Sunday the New York Jets will face the best quarterback they have played all season.
Aaron Rodgers is a four-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and a 10-time Pro Bowler to name just a few of his accolades. That will present a unique challenge for this defense and namely a talented rookie looking to make a name for himself.
Robert Saleh Issues Strong Warning to Jets Rookie Ahmad Gardner
While the Packers don’t have Davante Adams anymore, they do still have a future Pro Football Hall of Famer at quarterback.
“You can have a tight window with Aaron and he’s still going to find a way to get it in there. That’s the challenge. You can have coverage and think that you’re in a good spot whether you’re in zone, man, or whatever it is and Aaron is going to find the hole to get it too. So you have to completely be alert, don’t fall asleep on the down, don’t think that just because your body position will tell normal quarterbacks that this play is over he will find a way to make you pay. Just know that you’re (Sauce Gardner) a rookie and he’s probably going to try and test you. Play your best and see what happens.”
The Packers don’t have any big-name wide receivers.
Currently, their leading receiver is 32-year-old Randall Cobb with 249 receiving yards and he isn’t the player that he used to be.
Despite the lack of talent, it doesn’t matter when you have a quarterback as talented as Rodgers. He can make ordinary players look extraordinary with his ability to put balls in tight windows.
Sauce Gardner Is Better Than Anyone With the Jets Could Have Expected
The Jets made history in more ways than one when they selected Gardner with the No. 4 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.
He instantly became the highest-drafted defender in the Joe Douglas era. At the same time, Saleh annihilated any of the false myths that their system doesn’t value cornerbacks.
It was a smart investment and one that is paying off with tremendous returns.
Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic said that Sauce is playing like a Pro Bowler so far and you saw that on full display versus the Miami Dolphins:
- Allowed a 34.2 QBR
- Registered his first interception
- Blitz led to a safety
It is unusual for a player to make the transition from a Cincinnati collegiate football program to the NFL level. However, Sauce has made it look easy.
As a matter of fact, the entire Jets starting secondary deserves a standing ovation.
The safety group caught a ton of flak in the offseason yet through the first five games of the 2022 season they have produced undeniable results.
To put some of these stats in proper perspective, in 17 games last season the Jets only intercepted seven total passes.
Through just five games this season they have already accomplished that feat as a defense. That dramatic change has directly impacted their record and inspires hope for a promising future throughout the rest of this campaign.