When the schedule came out for the 2023 NFL season, many fans in Chiefs Kingdom circled games they were looking forward to, and one of the hottest games was the upcoming Week 4 matchup. That's when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to take on the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football.
Initially, there were a lot of compelling storylines, including the first-ever head-to-head meeting of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. As we now know, Rodgers went down after only four snaps in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills, and Mahomes will now square off with struggling second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
The other storyline revolves around the ferocious defense of the New York Jets against the high-flying offense of the Kansas City Chiefs. This narrative will be the talk of the week because the Jets' defense is elite, with an aggressive defensive line led by Quinnen Williams and a talented secondary headlined by 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner—who, let's not forget, called out Chiefs Kingdom and, in particular, Matt Nagy when asked about who he was looking forward to facing in 2023.
Gardner's Challenge on New Heights
In April 2023, Gardner was a guest on the hit podcast New Heights with Travis and Jason Kelce. While on the show, Gardner was asked about which team he is most looking forward to playing in 2023. Gardner did not mince words with his response, and he replied with the Kansas City Chiefs offense led by reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Gardner would later double down and call out offensive coordinator Matt Nagy because Gardner said, "The OC is the guy that schemes the wide receivers to exploit the defense." Both of these comments stemmed from Gardner stating his goal was to win the league MVP in 2023, which has never been won by a defensive back. Now that the showdown between the Chiefs and Jets is here, it is time for Gardner to put his money where his mouth is.
Chiefs and Jets heading into Week 4
The Jets' defense has played exceptionally well through the season's first three weeks. Still, the Zach Wilson-led offense cannot stay on the field, which puts the defense into a problematic situation, being forced to be on the field for a lopsided amount compared to the offense. This will not change in Week 4 against the impressive young Chiefs defense, a unit that humiliated the struggling Chicago Bears in Week 3.
Gardner and the Jets' defense will have their hands complete with the surging offense of the Chiefs, who hung 41 points on the Bears. In that offensive masterclass taught by professors Andy Reid and Mahomes, eleven separate Chiefs caught passes, which made predicting the go-to receiver borderline impossible.
The Chiefs will have their hands full with Gardner and the Jets defense, but the defensive rookie of the year will have a lot of chances to back up his challenge in Week 4 because the Chiefs offense will be on the field a lot. You can also be sure Matt Nagy will scheme up the Chiefs receivers to make Gardner eat his words.
What do you think Chiefs Kingdom? Do you think Gardner will step up and thwart a Chiefs victory on Sunday Night? Or will the Chiefs offensive assault expose Gardner on the biggest stage? Let us know in the comments below.