Soft-spoken off the field, Robby Anderson wasn’t bemoaning the ball not coming his way in the first quarter of the season as much as he was the wins not coming the Jets’ way the previous three weeks.
“Everybody throughout the league, everybody on my team, everybody knows what I can do. It’s just that things weren’t tricking how we wanted them to,” Anderson said following the Jets’ 34-16 win over Denver today. “More important, we weren’t winning, so that’s what was more so frustrating.”
The Jets took care of both matters against the Broncos. Anderson, held to just one “big play” in the first month of the season, grabbed three first-half passes, including touchdown catches of 76 and 35 yards from Sam Darnold, that were instrumental in building the satisfying victory at MetLife Stadium.
The 76-yarder was sweet as Anderson turned on the Jets past Broncos CB Bradley Roby and had Darnold’s long ball settle into his hands at the Denver 40, from where he took it the rest of the way to give the Jets their first lead of the game at 14-7. It was the longest pass of Darnold’s short career and the longest reception of Robby’s slightly longer career.
“That was fun, you know? That was fun,” Anderson said. “I looked to my left and saw how far away he was and it was fun, it felt good. That’s what we play the game for, to make big plays, score touchdowns and win. Nothing else, really.”
Sam and Robby had another big play in the tank 9½ minutes of clock time later in the final two minutes of the first half. Anderson was again singled up with Roby and again beat him for the 35-yard end zone snag, after which he did a mini-Lambeau Leap into the MetLife stands, to make it 21-10 at the half.
“I’m starting to feel the rhythm of Robby’s timing and how fast he gets down field — it’s awesome,” Darnold said. “It’s just a matter of time until we click and our offense is rolling on all cylinders. It’s going to be fun to watch us in the next couple of weeks.”
“I think it shows we’ve got a lot of weapons,” Anderson said of his and the Jets’ big game. “Everything starts up front and we’ve got to follow through with doing our jobs and dominate.”
Anderson didn’t dominate any more in this game after that, but he didn’t have to, and he left his mark on the win:
- His 76-yard catch, coming 3:01 after Isaiah Crowell’s 77-yard run, marked the first time in franchise history that the Jets scored on a run and a catch, each at least 75 yards, and the third time and first since 1972 that they scored on two 75-yards-plus offensive plays in the same game.
- His 123 yards on three catches gave him the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his three-season career.
- His 41.0 yards/catch was the second-best average in franchise history for a wideout with at least three catches in a game. The only one better was, of course, Wesley Walker, who averaged 44.5 yards/catch on four receptions against the Raiders as a Jets rookie in 1977.