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New York Jets drama takes hold, Sauce Gardner clarifies social media activity

Vincent Frank
NFL: New York Jets at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets might find themselves at 6-4 on the season and in the midst of the NFL Playoff race.

But there’s developing drama surrounding the team following its ugly 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Led by embattled quarterback Zach Wilson, New York’s offense was an absolute dumpster fire in the game. It put up a total of nine completions with 10 punts in the game. Wilson tallied minus-21 net passing yards in the second half.

Despite the performance of stud rookie Sauce Gardner and New York’s defense, this anemic offensive showing was the difference. Despite what we saw from him on Sunday, Wilson refused to take responsibility for the loss in a post-game presser with reporters. In turn, this created some frustration on the part of his teammates in the locker room.

“Wilson’s stance at the postgame news conference wasn’t just to spurn the media. Sources inside the Jets’ losing locker room told SNY that Wilson was walking around after the game ‘like he isn’t the problem.’ It rubbed more than a few the wrong way, frustrating several others,” report on New York Jets locker room dynamic following Sunday’s loss.

It now looks like this has continued on social media. Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis posted something on social media pushing back against Wilson indicating that he doesn’t believe he let the defense down with his performance against the Patriots.

New York Jets cornerback and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite Sauce Gardner initially liked this tweet from his account. After receiving some responses from his followers, Gardner clarified his activity.

“I swear I didn’t mean to like this tweet. I only found out because yall started tagging me. We gon’ be straight,” Gardner wrote on Twitter.

He followed that up with another post a few minutes later.

If I liked it purposely, I just wouldn’t of said anything. I always mistakenly like tweets on here, but y’all made sure y’all caught this one. Y’all toxic on here.”

Whether he actually meant to like the tweet remains to be seen. What we do know is that there’s large-scale problems for these Jets after their offense put up an embarrassing performance coming out of the bye.

Related: New York Jets standing in Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings

Drama could derail New York Jets’ feel-good story

NFL: New York Jets at New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The backdrop here is the fact that New York is off to its best 10-game start since the 2010 season. We understand immaturity will come into play when talking about a second-year quarterback taking on a leadership role.

With that said, Wilson is holding this team back in a big way. In seven starts as a sophomore, he’s thrown four touchdowns with five interceptions. The Jets rank 22nd in scoring and have allowed the ninth-fewest points in the NFL.

Led by Gardner, they have yielded nine passing touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions. They also rank eighth in total defense after finishing 32nd a season ago.

It’s natural for players on this side of the ball to display frustration given the circumstances behind the scenes and Wilson’s off-field antics. Gardner could have very well been doing that without understanding his social media activity was public record.

Either way, there has to be some concern here that a split in the Jets’ locker room could threaten to derail what has been a promising season through 11 weeks. They have a chance to get it right against the Bears this coming week before a daunting two-game span against the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills. If that doesn’t happen, things could spiral out of control.