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How Great has Robby Anderson Been Downfield This Year?

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at New York Jets
That defense is not enough to stop this man.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Robby Anderson’s breakout has been one of the biggest positives to come out of the Jets’ 2017 campaign so far. The former undrafted free agent has become one of the most unstoppable downfield threats in the league and is the core of the Jets offense. But just how rare has his deep production been?

Anderson has 7 receiving touchdowns right now, all from a distance of at least 18 yards, giving him the most of that variety in the NFL (Marvin Jones is second with 5), and the most in a single season of any Jet since 1994 (as far back as the data is available). His current pace puts him on track for 10 over the course of the entire year.

Over the previous thirteen seasons, the Jets as an entire team have only hit that mark of ten 18+ yard touchdowns once, with exactly 10 in the 2010 season.

Now, take a look at the following comparison:

WR1- From rookie year to year two, increased Y/G by 20.1, Y/Rec by 3.9, TD/G by 0.5, Catch% by 1.3%, and passer rating when targeted by 45.2.

WR2- From rookie year to year two, increased Y/G by 28.2, Y/Rec by 3.4, TD/G by 0.5, Catch% by 1.6%, and passer rating when targeted by 42.7.

Eerily similar, right? Well, WR2 is Robby Anderson. Any guess to who the first receiver is, whose first two seasons came from 2008 to 2009?

It’s DeSean Jackson, arguably the most dominant deep threat in the league since he came up and a player Anderson has often been compared to as a potential ceiling.

Obviously, it’s been quite the breakout from Anderson. Most impressive to me is that much of his progression has come in-season. It was only a few weeks ago that there was still collective doubt concerning Anderson’s ceiling and long-term potential. He’s cleaned up some of the issues that have plagued him in a matter of weeks to become the core player we now view him as. With plenty of holes beckoning to be filled this offseason, Anderson has helped make the receiver position one of the least concerning areas on the squad going forward.