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March 4, 2024

Mayfield Fires Back After Gardner-Johnson’s “Good Quarterback” Jab

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Jan 18, 2024

Detroit Lions safety CJ Gardner-Johnson ruffled some feathers this week when he took a shot at Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield. With the two teams set for a divisonal round playoff showdown on Sunday, tensions are already high.

Gardner-Johnson Belittles Mayfield’s Talent

In an interview on Tuesday, Gardner-Johnson was asked about facing the Buccaneers’ passing attack. He responded by taking aim at Mayfield:

“They have a very talented offense. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin when healthy, Julio Jones…they have all the pieces. They just need a quarterback. It’s dangerous if they had a real, good quarterback, but they don’t.”

It didn’t take long for Mayfield to catch wind of the comments. Never one to shy away from on-field banter, the veteran QB clapped back on Twitter later that day:

Baker Mayfield @bakermayfield
Someone needs to tell this dude to watch more film before he speaks… Regular season don’t matter come playoff time.

Mayfield clearly took offense to Gardner-Johnson’s assertion that he is not a “good quarterback.” The two teams did not face each other during the regular season, so Gardner-Johnson’s comments were likely based on perception rather than first-hand experience.

Playoff Pedigree on Display

Baker Mayfield is no stranger to playoff football. During his four years as the starter in Cleveland, he led the Browns to one playoff appearance. Last season with the Rams, Mayfield stepped in as the starter late in the year and helped guide Los Angeles to a Super Bowl title.

Gardner-Johnson and the Lions are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Their lack of recent postseason experience could prove costly against an accomplished veteran like Mayfield.

While Gardner-Johnson was correct that the regular season is over, Mayfield’s point about elevated play in January is also valid. He already has a Super Bowl ring to validate his ability to perform when it matters most.

Player Playoff Appearances Super Bowl Rings
Baker Mayfield 3 1
CJ Gardner-Johnson 0 0

No Shortage of Confidence

It’s clear that both Baker Mayfield and CJ Gardner-Johnson have plenty of self-assurance heading into this matchup. Gardner-Johnson showed no hesitation to critique Mayfield’s game, indicating his confidence that the Lions secondary can contain the Bucs passing attack.

Mayfield’s curt response and reminder about his past playoff success suggests he still feels he has much to prove regarding his standing among NFL quarterbacks.

While some may see Gardner-Johnson’s comments as simply trash talk to get under Mayfield’s skin, they could also provide extra motivation for the veteran QB.

Looking Ahead to Sunday

With just a few days left until the Buccaneers host the Lions on Sunday afternoon, this war of words adds another layer of intrigue. It remains to be seen whether Gardner-Johnson will stand by bold assessment of Mayfield’s talent.

Mayfield likely hopes to make the Lions pay dearly for their perceived lack of respect. He now has another chip on his shoulder as if he needed any extra motivation.

Tampa Bay was already considered the favorite at home against the upstart Lions. This bulletin board material will almost certainly find its way into the Bucs locker room as they prepare for battle with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

If Gardner-Johnson manages to back up his talk with a strong showing in coverage, it could propel Detroit to an epic upset. But if Mayfield comes out firing and shreds the Lions secondary, he will have sent a clear message regarding what he thinks of Gardner-Johnson’s evaluation.

No matter the outcome, the war of words between Mayfield and Gardner-Johnson spices up this playoff showdown. Their one-on-one matchup will go a long way in deciding Sunday’s game.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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