Remember when teams used to avoid Revis Island like it was the Bermuda Triangle?
Now they flock to it like it’s Disney World.
This week’s lucky visitor was Kenny Britt, who must’ve enjoyed the trip even more than most because it represented a homecoming for the receiver, who grew up in Bayonne and starred at Rutgers before starting his NFL tenure with the Titans in 2009.
Britt has been an underachiever during his career, with his production rarely matching his awesome combination of size and speed. This year, though, he seems to be putting it all together, which is saying something, because the guy throwing him the ball is Case Keenum.
Keenum was, as usual, perfectly mediocre Sunday at MetLife, but Britt was outstanding. The WR accounted for 109 of Keenum’s 165 passing yards, with most of Britt’s output coming at the expense of Darrelle Revis. I hate to beat up on Revis, who may well be the greatest Jet of all time. But he spends most of every game getting repeatedly burned by opposing receivers, many of whom aren’t household names -- at least until the rapidly-aging cornerback makes them look like All-Pros.
Still, while it took Revis the better part of a decade to slow down, it’s appeared as though the Rams’ Todd Gurley was already over-the-hill halfway through his second NFL season.
A phenom as a rookie in 2015, Gurley has been a nonentity in 2016. With absolutely no one afraid of Keenum’s right arm, defenses have been loading the box vs. the Rams and Gurley has gone nowhere fast. That trend continued in the first half against the Jets, as the running back had 10 yards on 10 attempts. In the second half, though, Gurley appeared reborn, running over and around Gang Green’s D and sealing the visitors’ 9-6 win.
Five years into his pro career, we know what we have with Keenum. But the picture isn’t so clear with Bryce Petty, who made his first start and looked, well, quite a bit like Keenum -- as the Jets’ lack of offense attests (Matt Forte’s impressive exploits aside). Petty, who got the nod with Ryan Fitzpatrick hobbled from an MCL injury, looked sharp early on. So did Chan Gailey, who made a clever call on the home team’s only score, a Brandon Marshall-to-Bilal Powell hook-and-ladder in the second quarter.
As time went on, though, Petty was increasingly pedestrian, missing open targets too frequently -- including undrafted rookie Robbie Anderson, who has shown through 10 games that he can basically catch anything that the defense doesn’t get its hands on.
Petty’s last pass of the afternoon went to Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree, who fellow defender Aaron Donald nearly dismembered during a sideline tiff earlier in the contest. Donald-Ogletree might have been the snoozer of a game’s most memorable moment, if not for a booming fourth quarter punt by the Rams’ Johnny Hekker that may still be in midair.
Hekker may be the Rams’ most potent offensive weapon. If only he could play quarterback -- for either team.