His Jets lost to the defending Super Bowl champs, 23-20, with the country/pop sensation Taylor Swift in attendance on Sunday night. The New York cornerback caught wind of one “Swiftie” post involving the Chiefs and gave it a new twist: Calling out the referees before taking it down.
What Sauce Gardner Posted Following SNF Game
The verbose cornerback found extra eyes on Sunday’s game, with Swift entering the “Chiefs Kingdom” through her romantic link to All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.
The NFL Instagram account brought up how the defending Super Bowl champs are now 2-0 as “Swifties,” which is the term used to describe the 12-time Grammy winner’s fan base.
However, the former top-five NFL Draft pick gave his take in response to the NFL post.
“Maybe if I was a Swiftie, the ref wouldn’t of threw the flag,” Gardner said on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Sauce Gardner on the NFL adding to their official bio: "Chiefs Are 2-0 As Swifties"
"Lmaoo maybe if I was a swiftie, the ref wouldn't of threw the flag."
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 2, 2023
For fans who watched the game between the Jets and Chiefs, they likely know which play Gardner is referring to. It’s the one where Gardner was flagged for defensive holding, sparking an outcry from the Jets’ fan base and head coach Robert Saleh. Saleh would later be flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for berating a referee.
Gardner Breaks Down Sequence in Question
Gardner may no longer have that response on his X timeline. However, he still gave his own take on what occurred during that play involving him and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
“Since we are commenting, let me say it from my perspective,” Gardner began. “For starters, this was around 5-7 yds from the LOS (line of scrimmage)…not 15.”
Gardner then illustrated what he saw when his arms extended out.
“I extended my arms and he made the choice to lean on me with all of his weight, which caused my hand to slide to the back of his pad; not his neck,” Gardner claimed.
Finally, Gardner denies that he held the Chiefs receiver.
“I did not grab him, I actually made a conscious effort to remove my right arm as you can see in the video,” Gardner claimed.
Valdes-Scantling, though, tried to use a maneuver to shed past Gardner, ultimately leading to the referee’s decision to call the penalty.
“He then tried to swim with his right hand and I pushed his arm down with my left hand,” Gardner said. “There y’all have it. It was not a holding or illegal contact. Ohh my fault, it was holding because he threw the flag.”
Part of Jets fans’ anger was directed at the timing of the flag. It was thrown about three seconds after the initial contact (and after a Patrick Mahomes pass was intercepted). Further, some felt the “no calls” earlier in the game made the Gardner penalty that much worse.
Since we are commenting, let me say it from my perspective😂 For starters, this was around 5-7 yds from the LOS… not 15. 2. I extended my arms and he made the choice to lean on me with all of his weight which caused my hand to slide to the back of his pad; not his neck😂 I did… https://t.co/tVbV6kfKTI pic.twitter.com/eA15AbfWTK
— SAUCE GARDNER (@iamSauceGardner) October 2, 2023
Gardner and the Jets will have a chance to rebound against a historically bad Denver Broncos defense in Week 5. Despite the loss, the play of quarterback Zach Wilson and the defense’s ability to create turnovers are reasons for optimism.