On Sunday against the New York Jets, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff did not attempt a single pass in the direction of rookie cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Goff dropped back to pass 38 times in the game but chose not to challenge the 2022 NFL Draft fourth overall pick. Since 2017, only three NFL cornerbacks had more coverage snaps in a game without a target, per NextGenStats.
For some, that may be considered a badge of honor. After all, by forcing Goff to avoid him all day, Gardner was obviously a key factor in holding Detroit’s two starting outside receivers—Josh Reynolds and DJ Chark—to just one catch and 18 yards. But speaking to the media on Monday, Gardner was not honored by the gesture. In fact, he was kind of pissed.
“Yesterday I wasn’t targeted, and I took that personally because I wanted to make a bigger and better impact on the game,” Gardner said.
This one meant a little more to Gardner because he is from Detroit. He won a high school state championship in Detroit. He was hoping to make an impact play to all of his friends watching from his hometown.
“You guys were asking me throughout the whole week if it was personal, and I was really saying it wasn’t, but the day before the game when I had people from my hometown calling me and stuff like that, that made it kind of staff,” Gardner said. “I was saying I was going to get my first pick-six against the Lions. I was going to do this, I was going to do that, but I didn’t get targeted, so I really didn’t get the opportunity.”
Eventually, Gardner did admit it was a badge of honor for Goff to have avoided him all game, but still wished he could’ve had the opportunity to make a bigger impact on the game.
You can watch the entire presser here.
- Taylor Decker has vented his frustrations in the past about the way some media and fans have treated him in the past (see: trade discussion). But after Sunday’s win, Decker sent a message of gratitude to the One Pride nation:
- James Houston got a little love on “Good Morning Football” on Tuesday:
- A couple of former Lions players are ready to show up if Detroit finishes its improbable playoff run:
- A bit of housekeeping: Tom Kennedy is back with the Lions. Kennedy has signed to Detroit’s practice squad after the team waived him on Saturday.