All Down Hill - The struggles of Jets Rookie WR Stephen Hill

Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

Stephen Hill is hurting the Jets.

Stephen Hill started off the year with a bang. Five receptions, 89 yards, 2 TDs... it was everything the most optimistic Jets fan could have hoped for from the rookie out of Georgia Tech. Visions of a high octane offense powered by Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, Jeremy Kerley and Hill danced in Jets fans heads. Then reality hit with a thud. Holmes went down to a season ending injury. Keller began the season injured, then struggled to regain his form when he came back. And Hill? Well, Hill went into the witness protection program, current whereabouts, unknown. He's become invisi-Hill. If it weren't for the dropped passes, you wouldn't even know he's been on the field most games.

This is how bad things have gotten - in the 7 games Hill has played since his smashing debut, he has 9 catches. He also has 9 drops. Let that one sink in for a bit - since opening day, the Jets prized rookie receiver has dropped as many balls as he has caught. That is so far beyond unacceptable it boggles the mind. And it doesn't end there.

Since opening day, the Jets have relied on 5 wide receivers and 2 tight ends to carry the pass catching load. Those players are Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Clyde Gates, Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland. Here is what each of those guys has achieved in the 9 games since opening day:

Holmes 16 catches, 204 yds

Hill 9 catches, 107 yds

Kerley 34 catches, 533 yds

Schilens 19 catches, 190 yds

Gates 11 catches, 139 yds

Keller 21 catches, 236 yds

Cumberland 12 catches, 117 yds

A quick glance at that list will confirm that since opening day, Hill has been the worst receiver on the Jets. Worse than Cumberland, a backup tight end. Worse than Gates, a marginal #5 WR. Worse than Holmes, who only played 3 games in that stretch. Yes, Hill missed 2 games. But every player on that list other than Kerley and Schilens missed at least 1. So Hill has been the worst receiver on one of the worst corps of receivers in the entire NFL.

Add in the fact that since opening day, Hill has not caught a pass that went for more than 21 yards, so he has not even been the take-the-top-off-the-defense deep threat Jets fans hoped for. The unfortunate fact is that since opening day, for Stephen Hill it has been all Down Hill. At this point he is hurting the team with his drops, and he is quite likely the worst starting wide receiver in the NFL. It is time for Hill to take one more step down, and take his seat on the bench, a seat he has clearly earned.

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