The talented cornerback, affectionately known as Sauce, has been locking up talented playmakers through the first month of the season. On Sunday in Week 5, he will square off with arguably one of the best wide receivers in all of football.
Ahmad Gardner Is Ready for Tyreek Hill
This offseason the Jets were this close to trading for wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Instead, they will now be forced to play against him twice a year starting on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
When Sauce Gardner was asked about the upcoming matchup he exuded his vintage confidence:
“I went against guys that are fast, like Jameson Williams of Alabama. He was fast. I ain’t saying he’s Tyreek Hill fast, but I got certain things I like to do so I can handle guys like that.”
Sauce Gardner on matching up with Tyreek Hill’s speed: “I went against guys that are fast, like Jameson Williams of Alabama. He was fast. I ain’t saying he’s Tyreek Hill fast, but I got certain things I like to do so I can handle guys like that.” #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 5, 2022
Gardner’s eye-raising comments will certainly catch the attention of Hill who is looking to continue his dominant play so far.
The six-time Pro Bowler currently leads the NFL in receiving yards through the first four games with 477 yards. That is 71 more yards than the next closest guy on the list.
Hill won’t have his promising young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing him the ball in this one. He was ruled out earlier this week due to concussion protocols which means Teddy Bridgewater will be stepping up in his place.
Despite the apparent talent downgrade from Tua to Teddy, that shouldn’t really affect Hill’s impact on the game. Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel has been heralded for his offensive creativity and he will surely cook up some manufactured touches for his All-Pro talent.
Biggest Test of Season for DJ Reed, Sauce Gardner
The Jets’ dynamic duo of Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed will get their biggest test of the season in Week 5 versus the Dolphins.
On top of Hill, they will also square off against another speedster in Jaylen Waddle.
Both wideouts are featured inside the top-six in most receiving yards so far this season. The other thing that stands out is the explosive plays.
Hill is averaging 15.4 yards per catch and Waddle is at an unreal 18.1 yards per clip.
A miscommunication with either of these two could easily become a 75-yard touchdown against the Jets’ defense.
Gardner sounded off on facing players with speed and revealed that he has a secret sauce of sorts to handle those kinds of receivers. We’ll see if his play can cash the check that his mouth wrote this week.
Now last season head coach Robert Saleh stuck to his old philosophies of keeping cornerbacks on their respective sides. If a corner played on the left side, Saleh kept him there and vice-versa.
However, this season coach Saleh has been willing to be flexible. There have been countless times this season that he has allowed Sauce to shadow a team’s top weapon like Mark Andrews versus Baltimore or Ja’Marr Chase at times during the Bengals game.
I’d imagine we’ll see a bit of that in the Dolphins game. However, don’t be surprised if he double islands his corners (allows them to stay on sides). Not due to stubbornness, but actually a strong belief in both of their abilities to hold things down.
Quarterbacks when targeting the #Jets cornerbacks this year ..
DJ Reed: 18 targets, 8 completions, 73 yards, 0 TD, INT, PBU, 32.9 QB rating.
Sauce Gardner: 19 targets, 9 completions, 101 yards, TD, 0 INT, 4 PBU, 81.3 QB rating.
Both have been really, really good.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 3, 2022
This content was originally published here.