Jets star CB Sauce Gardner: Patriots ‘don’t really have a complex offense’

"It’s pretty simple for the quarterback to get. The gap scheme, everything is really simple."

Cornerback Sauce Gardner #1 of the New York Jets intercepts a pass from the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of the NFL game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Sauce Gardner is already one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Elsa / Getty Images

The Patriots’ offense has been a mixed bag so far this season — and that might be putting it lightly amid a frustrating 0-2 start.

Mac Jones is currently sixth in the NFL in passing yards (547), tied for fourth in passing touchdowns (four), and currently paces all QBs in both completions (66) and attempts (96).

But those encouraging returns through the air have yet to translate into wins, with a porous O-line, stagnant run game, and a lack of separation from receivers hindering the Patriots’ offense from any big-play capabilities or consistent play. 

Jets cornerback and reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Garnder is already one of the best in the game when it comes to shutting down high-powered offenses. 


But when asked Wednesday about what Bill O’Brien’s revamped offense can throw at teams, Gardner was candid about what he’s seen so far on the tape. 

“They don’t really have a complex offense,” Gardner told reporters Wednesday, per SNY. “It’s pretty simple for the quarterback to get. The gap scheme, everything is really simple.

Any talk of a simplified offensive game plan should strike fear into the heart of Patriots fans, especially after enduring 17 games of Matt Patricia’s unimaginative, cookie-cutter playbook in 2022.

But Gardner did spin his sentiment into some praise as he continued to talk about how New England executes in its revamped scheme.

“But they excel at it,” Gardner said of the Patriots. “What they try to do is get other people to mess up and make mistakes. They just do everything right.”

Even if O’Brien and the Patriots haven’t exactly dipped into their bag of tricks and dialed up plenty of RPOs (run-pass option) or other play-action calls so far through two weeks, some of that might also be a byproduct of the limited time Jones has been able to throw behind a banged-up offensive line.


In terms of cohesion, O’Brien’s offensive execution has at least been functional and streamlined, unlike a 2022 season where receivers were regularly colliding into one another.

Jones and the Patriots will look to right the ship on Sunday when they head down to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets in what is already a must-win game this early in the year.

The loss of Aaron Rodgers under center bodes well for New England’s chances of landing in the win column. But a talented Jets defense anchored by stars like Gardner, C.J. Mosley, and Quinnen Williams could give an already laboring Patriots offense even more issues in Week 3.

“Yeah, he’s a great player, obviously had a great rookie year,” Jones said of Gardner on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s going to make a lot of progress. 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. 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.”


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