Mario Williams broke a record held by the legendary Bruce Smith last Sunday, racking up 4.5 sacks in a dramatic win over Carolina.
Williams will take aim at Jets quarterback Geno Smith this weekend, but one of Smith’s teammates is confident that the defensive end will not have such free reign to level his rookie signal caller.
“It’s the Panthers we’re talking about,” Jets linebacker Antwan Barnes told Newsday on Wednesday. “Obviously, he’s a first-round pick, they pay him so much money, so he’s got to go out there and do something. For our O-linemen, it’s the same. They go against us every day. They won’t be scared or intimidated by it.”
The Panthers’ O-line may not exactly be a brick wall, but the Jets are not in a position to brag. Smith has been brought down in the backfield nine times through the first two weeks of the season, twice more than Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
Williams has also tormented the Jets in the past, racking up 18 tackles and a pair of sacks across two career meetings. His Week 2 sack total against the Panthers marked both a career high and a new franchise record, surpassing the previous single-game mark of four shared by Smith and Cornelius Bennett.