Welcome to the Spotlight. Here we spotlight one key player for each game of the season, hopefully putting a different player in the spotlight each week. Today's player in the spotlight is wide receiver Robby Anderson.
Robby Anderson is a 24 year old, 6’ 3”, 193 pound wide receiver out of Temple University. Anderson went undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft and signed an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Jets. After dominating in preseason action Anderson impressed the Jets enough to win a roster spot with the 2016 Jets. He started slowly as the 5th receiver on the Jets depth chart, but after Eric Decker went down to injury and Jalin Marshall played himself out of a prominent role, Anderson found himself rising to the third wide receiver spot, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Over the last half of the 2016 season Anderson flourished, putting up 435 yards receiving and two touchdowns, one of the top performances of any rookie wide receiver over that time frame. Among the class of 2016 wide receivers Robby currently ranks second in career touchdowns with nine and third in career yards with 1301.
Lately Robby Anderson has taken his game to a higher level. Over the last five games Anderson has produced 418 yards receiving, a 1300+ annual rate, and a ridiculous six touchdowns. This week’s game against the struggling Kansas City Chiefs presents an interesting challenge for Anderson. Top Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters generally stays on one side of the field. If the Chiefs stick with this scheme then the Jets will have the opportunity to counter by lining up Anderson against old friend Darrelle Revis in his first game of the 2017 season. Revis will likely be a bit rusty, and his 2016 performance suggests that he may not have much speed or cover ability left. With Anderson having success beating people over the top on a weekly basis, this game has the potential for an Anderson showcase on Sunday.
The 2017 Chiefs have been vulnerable to the big play in the passing game, having given up six touchdown passes of 30+ yards this season. By way of comparison, the 2017 Jets have only allowed two 30+ yards touchdown passes all season, and Robby Anderson alone has put up four such plays for the Jets offense, three in the last two weeks. If the Jets emerge victorious in this game there is a good chance Robby Anderson beating people deep will play a prominent role in the victory.
The contest against Kansas City presents the Jets with a decent chance of climbing back to within one game of a playoff spot in a down year for the AFC. The story of Revis coming home to New York in his first game back will provide additional drama to the game. There is a good chance that Robby Anderson will have numerous opportunities to wreck Revis’ homecoming while helping the Jets to a win. Robby Anderson, this is your chance to vanquish a legend while continuing to burnish your own reputation. This is your time in the spotlight. Time to shine and continue to stake your claim as one of the most promising young wide receivers in the NFL.