If the Jets had Jeremy Kerley in week two against the Patriots, I firmly believe that we come away with the "W", bold statement? perhaps! but his performance on Sunday indicates just how important he is to this football team.
After watching the game again, it got me thinking about Kerley and his 3rd down receptions against the Patriots. Luckily, Eric Allen tweeted something that I had been looking into this morning, so I thought I'd jump into the conversation.
Kerley is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 3rd down receptions, he has a total of 15. Now that in itself is very positive, he has 15 receptions on 21 targets on 3rd down. A good reception average and the amount of targets makes you realise how important he is to our rookie QB.
Now of those 15 receptions he has made on third down, 12 of them have resulted in a first down. So that tells me a few things, one when we need a first down and we are throwing the football, more often than not it's heading to Kerley. Two he has very good hands and is a reliable receiver when it comes to knowing where the sticks are, and finally without him, our ability to move the chains drastically decrease.
10 targets, 8 receptions against the New England Patriots, that is one hell of a performance. Just how good is his current performance of 15 receptions on third down resulting in 12 first downs? compare it to last year. Throughout the entirety of last season, he had 19 third down receptions for 12 first downs. He has the same amount of first down receptions on third down through 7 games as he did through 16 last season. Do you put that on his development? on the offensive coordinator throwing it more and having a better game plan? or even the QB?
One thing is obvious, when we need a first down we go to Kerley. The Jets will now come up against defensive coordinators Mike Zimmer in Cincy and Rob Ryan in New Orleans, and they will know just how valuable Kerley is on 3rd down, and you better believe he'll be drawing extra attention in those situations.