Three consecutive games catching a touchdown pass isn’t necessarily a long streak in the NFL. But qualify that by limiting the field to only rookies, and then to only rookie tight ends, and the feat gets harder to do.
Yet Chris Herndon, continuing to grow into his role as a receiving and blocking threat from the TE position, did just that Sunday when he took Sam Darnold’s pass the final yard of a 16-yard connection inside the pylon and into the Soldier Field end zone against the Bears. It was Herndon’s third TD catch in three games and thus made him the first rookie tight end in Jets franchise history to accomplish that trifecta.
“I was actually surprised when I heard that news,” Herndon said this week as he prepared to return to Hard Rock Stadium, his home arena when he played for the University of Miami, this time in his first AFC East road game as a Jet against the Dolphins. “I just thank God for putting me in this position and just trusting him with my process and trusting my training.”
Herndon’s emergence isn’t only an offensive meeting room thing anymore. As LB Avery Williamson said, “I’m not watching the film, but I see him scoring touchdowns so he’s obviously doing something good.”
I asked Herndon if he wanted to hear the next distinction he would achieve if he scored Sunday. He declined, so don’t tell him that if he catches another TD this week against the ‘Fins, he would set the record for all Jets and Titans tight ends, not just rookies, with four consecutive games with a scoring grab. The Jets have had a number of solid TEs over the years, but these are the only six times in franchise history that a TE has had at least one TD catch in three straight games:
That Kicker Sounds Familiar
Cody Parkey put a field goal and three extra points through the Soldier Field uprights in Sunday’s game. In so doing, Parkey became the only opposing player to score against the Jets in four consecutive seasons for four different opponents. Parkey has hit at least one FG and two PATs vs. the Green & White for the Eagles in 2015, the Browns in ’16, the Dolphins last year and now the Bears.