C.J. Gardner-Johnson backs up smack talk with interception of Baker Mayfield (video)

C.J. Gardner-Johnson called out Baker Mayfield a bit last week, and he backed it up with an early interception on Sunday.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't even a top-of-mind topic when the Detroit Lions were preparing to take on the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round. But in talking about Rams' wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua, defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson had the Buccaneers' receivers and quarterback on his mind.

"This group probably is one of the better groups we done faced all year, besides that Tampa group,” Gardner-Johnson said. “If you give that Tampa group a good quarterback, that’s a great group. Evans, Godwin, (Russell) Gage, that’s a great group. I played against them for real.”

As expected, after the Buccaneers beat the Eagles and prepared to play the Lions in the Divisional Round, Mayfield had a response to Gardner-Johnson.

"I don't think he’s really watched film, because he mentioned Russell Gage. We love Russell, but Russell hasn’t played a snap all year for us." Mayfield said.
"He must be going off the preseason stuff that the media was talking about," Mayfield said. "But he didn't play our first game, so I'm excited to see him. I think he’s a really good player, he has been for a while, and he’s been an impactful guy on every team he’s been on. So he’s a good player, but yeah, he’s gotta do a little bit more film study."

C.J. Gardner-Johnson backs up his smack talk with early INT of Baker Mayfield (video)

On a 3rd-and-long on Tampa Bay's first drive, with the crowd at Ford Field at a fever pitch, Mayfield made a high throw that deflected off the hands of wide receiver Mike Evans, into a shell coverage for the Lions.

Gardner-Johnson was in the right spot to catch the deflection.


At the end of the play in a happy accident, Mayfield happened to be on the sideline near where Gardner-Johnson went out of bounds.

Gardner-Johnson took the opportunity to flip Mayfield the ball and he clearly said something to Tampa Bay's signal caller. (0:15 mark of the video below).

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