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How much did Jets receiver production drop after Bryce Petty took over for Josh McCown?

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NFL: AUG 12 Preseason - Titans at Jets Photo by Alan Schaefer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Josh McCown surprisingly productive 2017 season ended in a December loss to the Broncos. Bryce Petty started the rest of the way for the Jets, a stretch where Petty and the rest of the offense looked dismal.

How much did productivity drop off under Petty? I decided to take a look using the Pro Football Reference Play Index.

I compared the production of the top three receivers on the Jets, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins under both quarterbacks. These were the only three for whom it made sense to compare. Running backs like Matt Forte and Bilal Powell tend to catch screens and checkdowns whose production doesn’t reflect quarterback quality. Jeremy Kerley was cut before Petty took over, and no other receiver had many opportunities during the season.

I looked at catches per game, yards per game, completion percentage on targets, yards per target, and TD rate (TD catches per target).

Production under McCown

Production under Petty

Change after the switch to Petty

I don’t think anybody who watched the Jets in 2017 would necessarily be surprised to find there was big drop off in receiver efficiency after Petty took over, but the difference here is striking. The receivers essentially lost the ability to do anything once McCown left.