One of the bigger stories of the season is Jeremy Kerley's almost total disappearance in the offense. A player who at one point looked like the man at slot receiver for the Jets and received a nice contract from the Idzik (Idzik'D), is now a spare part depth player. On the season, Jeremy Kerley has only played on 206 offensive snaps, 1/3rd of the Jets offensive snaps on the season. This is the 3rd highest percentage of the receivers on the team, but consider this: Kenbrell Thompkins has played on 19.5% of the team's offensive snaps (121), and he's only be on the roster for 3 games. Chris Owusu has played 20% of the snaps (124), and he was only active for 3 games. Quincy Enunwa has played on 28.3% of the snaps (175), and he was suspended for 4 games. Devin Smith, a rookie who missed all of camp and preseason, has played on 25% of the snaps (154), and he also has missed 3 games.
It appears that the Jets have tried to give more snaps to other receivers over Kerley, though they continue to fall for one reason or another. Kerley, to his credit, has been a good soldier through all of it, but it's strange/interesting that the Jets keep trying so hard to move him out of the lineup. Is it because of his productivity? Probably. After an 827 yard season in 2012, Kerley dropped to 523 yards in 2013 (in 12 games), then down again to 409 yards (playing all 16 games), to 2015 where he is on pace for under 300 yards. What happened to Kerley? I think I've unlocked the answer. And it's my fault. Let me tell you a story.
'Twas Sunday, October 27, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.
Jeremy (Jackson) was in what Jeremy refers to as "law school hell." Most law school people refer to it as "print day." To those who have no clue what print day is, allow me to explain it to you. At the end of your first year of law school, after finals have been completed, before your summer job (if you landed one) starts, and when you have absolutely no inclination to do any work, the school cons the students into participating in a 10 day "write on competition" to be a part of one of the school's "prestigious" law journals. To those who perform well enough at write on, or have a high enough GPA, you may get an invitation to be on the school's "law review", the highest of these menial honors that may land you a few more eyes on your resume. Otherwise, you will be on one of the other journals, which as far as Jeremy can determine, are all equal in their prestige and helpfulness (read: none).
Being a part of one of these journals means you get the honor of reading, reviewing, and correcting written submissions to the journal. These submissions are generally dreadfully boring articles with titles such as "How land use ordinances have become the new battleground for natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale." I caught a few z's just reading and writing the title. They are always full of silly typos, failure to put spaces between sentences, and ridiculously incorrect and nonsensical citations, stuff that a writer would catch if they actually read what they had written before submitting the article to us. Print day is a special day of torture, where you are required to come to the school on a Sunday, sit in a room with a bunch of other students, and read and edit articles and citations together! Fun!
In the meanwhile, fantasy team Jackson 3-16 was in dire straights. It was game day, and Jackson 3-16 had to figure out how to fill his lineup. WRs Brandon Marshall and Keenan Allen were both on a bye week, and there were no adequate backups to fill the final open WR spot. From the waiver wire, Jeremy decided to pick up Jeremy Kerley. After all, he had just put up 97 yards and a touchdown against the hated Patriots in a thrilling victory. He plays for Jeremy (Jackson)'s favorite team, the Jets. It was a sound plan! But alas, as Jeremy was sitting there, reading some boring article about rocks and gas and how they relate to the law, a nagging feeling in the stomach. And it was not the below average Newark bagels he just ingested. It was there: a lack of confidence in his man, Jeremy Kerley. The guy who shares his name! And Jeremy did not believe.
At the fortunate conclusion of print day, Jeremy (Jackson) could no longer ignore the impending feeling of doom in his gut. But it was 1:30, and the early games had already kicked off. What was Jeremy to do? Ignore the doom feeling... or act? So Jeremy acted. In one swift, bold move, Jeremy dropped Kerley from Jackson 3:16 and picked up one Marvin Jones from the free agent pool. And simultaneously! A blessing AND a curse! For see, it set Jeremy (Jackson) and Jeremy (Kerley) on paths that went in opposite directions. Jeremy (Kerley) ended the Bengals game with 3 catches for 27 yards, a grand total of 2.7 points in fantasy land. For those who have erased this game from their memory, I am remiss to write that Marvin Jones had a phenomenal game, catching 8 passes for 122 yards and FOUR touchdowns, for a total of 36.2 fantasy points. It was a resounding defeat for JK, as the Jets were crushed 49-9 by the Cincinnati Bengals. However, it was a resounding success for JJ, who used Marvin Jones's output to bring home a 4 point victory in what proved to be a turning point to stopping a 3 game losing streak... en route to Jackson 3-16 hoisting the trophy at year's end. And destroying Jeremy Kerley's career in the process.
- In the 22 games preceding the Bengals game, Jeremy Kerley had 1,146 yards and 4 touchdowns. That's an average of 52 yards per game. In 31 games since the Bengals game, Kerley has a total of 765 yards and 4 touchdowns, an average of 24.67 yards per game.
- Need more? In his 22 games prior to the Bengals game, Kerley had 8 games with at least 63 yards or more (I'm using 63 yards because 63 yards a game is what you need to average to reach 1,000 yards over 16 games); in the 31 games since, Kerley has had 63 yards or more only 4 times.
- In 22 games prior to the Bengals game, Kerley had 50 yards in a game 10 times. 31 games since then? Only 5.
- The big games disappeared also. 22 games prior to the 2013 Bengals game, Kerley had at least 80+ yards 5 times, 90+ yards 3 times, and had a game with 120 yards. 31 games since? Only once surpassed 80 yards, has not hit 90 yards.
- 22 games prior to the Bengals game, Kerley had 10 games with at least 4 catches. 31 games since? 7 games with 4+ catches.
- 22 games prior to the Bengals game, he had 13 games with a 20+ yard catch. 31 games since? 7 games with a 20+ yard catch.