It has been well documented on the ups and downs Santonio Holmes has experienced in his career with the New York Jets. No one will forget the meltdown he had during the last drive of the last game against the season or the rocky relationship he has had with his QB Mark Sanchez.
All that was behind them and it was supposed to be a fresh start for both veterans until Holmes suffered a season ending injury against he 49′ers in week four.
Some of the Jets players, specifically his WR unit, have always said that Holmes is a great teammate always willing to help and give tips. Fans’ frustration from what I have been able to see has been on Holmes’ attitude of being a “ME first player”. Just ask Fireman Ed. I’m sure it’s safe to say: NOT A FAN.
Having only played in 3 and 3/4 games this year, Holmes was putting up the same amount of stats with the exception of getting more targeted which translated in more catches.
Mark was clearly trying to target Sanchez a lot more in those first four games, but was he forcing the ball? Some people believe that with Holmes out of the lineup, Mark is more relaxed and is spreading the ball around. A theory is Mark was forcing the ball to Santonio so that the WR wouldn’t eventually have a meltdown like last season.
The Jets do have some young inexperienced faces on the WR core, and one that really took advantage of an opportunity was Jeremy Kerley against the New England Patriots in week 7. Jeremy was targeted 11 times with 7 Rec for 120 Yards averaging 17.1 yards per catch.
In the first four games, Jeremy was targeted 14 times. In the last game alone he was targeted 11 times.
First four games: Targeted 14 - 10 Rec 197 Yards 2 TDs
Last 3 Games: Targeted 26 - 15 Rec 238 Yards 0 TDs
Kerley has Stepped up his game with Holmes Out
As you can see, Jeremy’s numbers are up for the last three games, and if the running game wasn’t as successful as it was against the Colts, I believe Kerley’s numbes would be even higher since they didn’t need to throw in that game.
It’s clear that Mark is building some nice chemistry with Kerley and what is appreciated from THIS fan is that there seems to be no distractions or noise off the field.
So do you think the Jets are a better team with or without Santonio Holmes?
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.