FOXBORO -- Sauce Gardner is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and after matching up against the high-powered offenses of the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys the first two weeks of the season, he now has a bit of a soft landing this Sunday against the New England Patriots.
While Mac Jones is having a pretty solid start to the season on paper, the New England offense as a whole hasn't been able to do much in terms of scoring. Bill O'Brien's return as offensive coordinator was supposed to fix an offense that was a disaster in 2022, but a litany of injuries along the offensive line has New England's offense fairly stagnant when it comes to putting points on the board or making big plays.
It's all been kind of basic, and other teams have taken note.
"They don't really have a complex offense. It's pretty simple for the quarterback to get," Gardner -- the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year -- said of the Patriots. "The gap scheme, everything is really simple."
Now before you sharpen any thumb tacks for the bulletin board, Gardner made it clear that his comments were not slight to what the Patriots do. Because in his eyes, they do what they do quite well.
"But they excel at it. What they try to do is get other people to mess up and make mistakes," he said. "They just do everything right."
We're sure that first part of his comment will be taken out of context in New England and used as bulletin board material, but the second part was extremely complimentary of an offense that has scored just five touchdowns over two games. It also feels a lot like all of those times when Bill Belichick heaped praise on New England's upcoming opponent, despite it being fairly clear that the team in question wasn't very good.
The Patriots have won 14 straight over the Jets, so it's easy to understand why Jets players are playing it nice ahead of Sunday's game. Likewise, Mac Jones had nothing but great things to say about Gardner and the Jets' defense as a whole on Wednesday.
"He's a great player, obviously had a great rookie year. He's going to make a lot of progress," Jones said of Gardner. "He looks great out there, him and D.J. [Reed]. So, tough group to go against.
"I've been impressed with what I've seen on film, definitely long, athletic guys across the defense. So, powerful up front, linebackers play with a lot of range. C.J. [Mosley]'s amazing. He's a great player, always has been in this league," continued Jones. "Definitely, he's the bell cow, but you can tell they all have their own unique things they can do. So, definitely one of the – probably the most impressive team I've seen on film."
Tune in to Patriots-Jets on WBZ-TV -- the television home of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins Wednesday night with Patriots 1st Down at 9:30 p.m. on TV38, and continues Friday with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV. We have everything you need come Sunday, starting at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, the Pats and the Jets will kick off at 1 p.m., and we'll have full reaction and analysis of the game on Patriots 5th Quarter after the game -- all on WBZ-TV!
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