Jets CB Sauce Gardner’s festive cheese head spilled by Allen Lazard

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The surprising New York Jets enjoyed their 27-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers so much that they decided to participate in some local traditions on Sunday. They did a Lambeau Leap and celebrated the surprise by donning a head of cheese, much to the chagrin of a Packers player.

It was rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner who wore the cheesehead, a gift from an ecstatic Jets fan in the crowd. As he left the field and headed for the tunnel – the wrong tunnel, actually – Gardner was grabbed from behind, so to speak, by Allen Lazard. The Packers wide receiver knocked down Gardner’s (cheese) block, creating a moment that went viral on social media.

“I will definitely never forget that moment,” Gardner said, laughing at his locker. “It’s a tribute to the Jets fans. They put me on my head, the Jets fans. I just had to pick it up and run with it.”

Lazard took it well, complimenting Gardner on his acting and his nickname (“Sauce, that’s a cool name”) and insisting he wasn’t bothered by the rookie’s gesture.

“It’s just a bit of competitive spirit,” Lazard said. “Nothing too harmful in that aspect or anything. I’m sure he probably would have done the same thing if I was wearing a Jets hat or helmet while walking off their field, so it’s just competitiveness in me. No disrespect for him.”

The corny moment capped another convincing win for the Jets, who turned a 3-3 halftime score into a one-sided second half. The Jets have fired Aaron Rodgers four times and hit him nine times; they edged Green Bay 179 yards to 60; and they became the first team since 2018 to have a blocked field goal and a blocked punt in the same game – scoring on the latter.

Who could have imagined that? The Jets won their third straight and improved to 4-2 for the first time since 2015, winning convincingly for the second straight week. That sort of thing doesn’t usually happen to the Jets. In fact, it was only the second time in the last 20 years that they had won by at least 17 points in consecutive games.

The Jets became only the second team in the Super Bowl era to have a six-game winning record despite being an underdog in all six games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other was the Cleveland Browns in 2001.

“We think we can be as good as any team in this league,” New York defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, adding that the Jets are “showing the rest of this world that it’s not just a team that you can write off or a team that, ‘Oh, maybe they’ll be good in a few years.’ No, we come to win now.”

Once again, the Jets were led by rookie running back Breece Hall, who rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. He became only the second rookie in franchise history to record at least 100 yards from scrimmage in consecutive games. He scored on a misdirection play from 34 yards to give the Jets a 24-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

He decided to do a Lambeau Leap. When in Green Bay…

“We all talked about it before the game,” Hall said. “We were like, whoever one of us scores, we have to do the Lambeau Leap. Braxton [Berrios] got the first one, but I don’t think there were any Jets fans on the side where he scored.”

Berrios gave the Jets a 10-3 lead on a 20-yard backhand, a gimmicky play that seemed to snap the offense out of its slump. None of that was pretty, as the Jets finished with 99 net passing yards and converted just one of 11 third downs. They became the first team to win with just a third conversion and under 100 net passing yards.

But the Jets continued to grind, exhausting the favored Packers (3-3) despite a poor day from quarterback Zach Wilson (10 for 18, 110 yards).

New York coach Robert Saleh tried to play down the significance of the win, saying: “I’ll be honest: it doesn’t mean anything. Just like a loss wouldn’t have meant anything. I already have it. said, we have to start expecting stuff like that.”

As Jets cornerback DJ Reed said, “I think we’re just getting started. We’re 3-0 on the road. That says a lot about everybody buying… You definitely feel the confidence. Winning becomes normal. It’s expected, really.”

The New York defense took control of the game, especially defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who recorded two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. The Jets felt Rodgers was shaken throughout the game as he suffered six falls.

“He was definitely frustrated,” Rankins said. “That’s what we wanted to see. That’s our goal every week, to piss off every quarterback we line up against in a smart, dominant, violent way. I think we’re getting there.”

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