New York Jets: Robby Anderson is the biggest X-factor in Week 1 matchup
By William Snell Jr.
The New York Jets are set to take on the Buffalo Bills in their Week 1 matchup to kick off the NFL season. Wide receiver Robby Anderson will be the X-factor in this divisional matchup.
When the New York Jets face the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, much of the responsibility will be on one player’s shoulders.
Arguably the most important player on the field will be Le’Veon Bell. The Jets trophy running back is the key to opening up Adam Gase’s playbook against the Bills defense.
With that being said, the X-Factor for the Jets will be Robby Anderson.
Once Bell establishes the running game, Anderson will be counted on to capitalize off of the play-action and on Darnold’s deep shots. Both Gase and Darnold aren’t afraid to air it out downfield, but it’s up to Anderson to make the biggest plays.
Looking back on last season, some of the Jets’ best offensive games were when Darnold and Anderson were connecting downfield. Against the Broncos, Anderson was able to take the top off the defense and show Jets fans what this offense’s potential is.
With Bell in the backfield now, it’s no secret he will garner tons of defenses attention, giving players like Anderson a chance to make huge plays.
When we look back on the result of Sunday’s game, very little of it will be on the Bills defense. The keys are in this Jets offense’s hands and it’s just a matter of whether players like Robby Anderson will take advantage of the opportunity.
Not only is it important for Anderson to make the big plays down the sideline, but I am fully confident he will. The Bills never intimidate this team and Anderson gets extremely comfortable when the defense shifts their focus off of him.
Right when defenses take their eyes away from him, Anderson has more than enough speed to blow past defensive backs into the second and third level.
Anderson finished last season with 752 yards and six touchdowns on 94 total targets in 14 games played. The Temple product dealt with injuries in 2018, but much of his lackluster production was due to the attention that he was getting from opposing defenses.
Defenses were keying in on him and because of his lack of size, his body couldn’t hold up. Arguably the Jets’ biggest weapon, alongside a below-average running game, and Anderson was due for a tough season last year.
Even with all the adversity he faced, Anderson came out on top in quarterback Sam Darnold‘s rookie campaign. His numbers were good, and he showed flashes here and there.
It was those flashes that were both a positive and negative for the Gang Green though. Anderson is an extremely streaky player. He will come out on fire one week, and never see the ball the next.
It’s up to him to take the next step, but I believe this is the year with Bell coming out of the backfield. Darnold has far more weapons at his disposal in both the run and passing game, making Anderson’s job much easier.
When we see the Jets take on Buffalo, Robby Anderson will most definitely be the X-Factor. More importantly, I think it’s going to be a massive year for him.
Not only will he be the X-Factor on Sunday, but he will be a cornerstone of this Jets offense in 2019.