Jets' Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams ready for challenge against strong Vikings offense

Nov 6, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) celebrates his interception with teammates during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.
Nov 6, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) celebrates his interception with teammates during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets travel to Minnesota for their Week 13 matchup and will look to find a way to stop the high-powered Vikings offense that includes star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook.

It may be a daunting task, as the Vikings have gone 9-2 so far this season, but head coach Robert Saleh believes his team is ready for the challenge.

"It's going to be fun," Saleh said. "Ahmad, Sauce [Gardner] is the ultimate strainer. Him and DJ [Reed], they strain and they play very, very, very hard. Not to say they haven't played anyone that plays hard. I'll put our guys up against anybody. Those guys are frickin' good. And it's going to be a great challenge, but like I said, it's a challenge I think our guys are excited for."

Gardner acknowledged how good Jefferson has been this season (81 receptions, 1,232 yards and five touchdowns), and said Wednesday that he looks forward to going up against one of the best offenses and receivers in the league.

"He's a pretty good receiver," Gardner said. "He runs good routes. His film speaks for itself."

Gardner added: "Definitely, these are the types of games that I love. I love going against the best, so I'm looking forward to it and I know our guys in the secondary are looking forward to it too."

The rookie corner was asked if he expects to travel on the field to defend Jefferson one-on-one, instead of sticking to his side of the field in zone defense, and said they haven't decided on how to guard the top WR in the NFL but he'd be willing to try to stop him in man coverage.

"I might travel, I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing yet," Gardner said.

"Of course I would [like to travel]," he added.

While Gardner will be focused on the Vikings passing game, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is prepared to do what it takes to slow down Cook in the backfield. The three-time Pro Bowler has played in all 11 games this year and has run for 841 yards and six touchdowns.

"He can see it man, he's got super juice bro, he's super fast," Williams said. "He can see the scheme coming to play when he gets the ball in his hands from the zone schemes and the downhill running to stop the cuts -- all the different things you want to see in a running back."

Williams understands how big of an opportunity this game is for the team as they inch closer to the playoffs, and he hopes they can "show the world" that the Jets are for real.

"They got a very good running back man, very good offense, offensive line, quarterback, two dominant receivers and different things like that," Williams said. "They're 9-2 and they're 9-2 for a reason. Good defense, good offensive scheme and different things like that. This is a big challenge man, but it's a great opportunity for us to show the world, show what we feel like we believe is a good defense and a good offense that we're going in the right direction to the playoffs."