CJ Gardner-Johnson backs up trash talk and trolls Baker Mayfield with early interception

After Lions DB CJ Gardner-Johnson took a shot at Baker Mayfield this week, he backed it up with an early interception.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson took an inadvertent shot at Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield prior to his team's Wild Card matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. While discussing the Rams receiving corps, Gardner-Johnson praised this Bucs group, stating they'd be even better with consistent quarterback play.

“This group probably is one of the better groups we done faced all year, besides that Tampa group,” Gardner-Johnson said, per the Detroit Free-Press. “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.”

Mayfield didn't take kindly to Gardner-Johnson's insult. To Baker's credit, he's brought stability to the Buccaneers quarterback room. Prior to the start of the season, few pundits thought this Bucs team had a chance to win the NFC South, let alone a playoff game. Mayfield deserves praise for that. Rather than engaging in a war of words, Mayfield pointed out that Russell Gage hadn't played for the Bucs in quite some time.

“I don’t think he’s really watched film because he mentioned Russell Gage,” Mayfield said of Gardner-Johnson. “We love Russell but Russell hasn’t played a snap all year for us. He must be going off preseason stuff that the media was talking about. 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. He’s been an impactful guy on every team he’s been on. So he’s a good player, but yeah, he’s got to do a little bit more film study.”

CJ Gardner-Johnson backs up his Baker Mayfield trash talk

While the back and forth during the week was cute, the only way Mayfield could prove Gardner-Johnson wrong is on the field. Baker didn't get off to a great start, though, as he threw an interception to CJGJ. Gardner-Johnson, understanding the importance of the moment, got right in Mayfield's face after the pick.

There's still a lot of game left as of this writing, so perhaps Gardner-Johnson will regret adding even more motivation for Mayfield. For now, though, CJGJ has the upper hand.