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New York Jets: Robby Anderson faces tall task against Stephon Gilmore this week

New York Jets Robby Anderson (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
New York Jets Robby Anderson (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will face his toughest matchup of the season when he squares off with New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore this week.

The New York Jets are set for one of their toughest games of the season when they take on the New England Patriots this week on Monday Night Football. And one player who will be feeling the effects of the difficult matchup is wide receiver Robby Anderson.

After a slow start to the season, Anderson finally broke out last week hauling in a beautiful 92-yard touchdown reception in the first half of the Jets’ 24-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s safe to say that he missed Sam Darnold.

Unfortunately, he won’t be matched up with Chidobe Awuzie this week. Instead, Anderson will face the unenviable task of going one-on-one with likely the best cornerback in the NFL today in Stephon Gilmore.

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Gilmore has always been a very good cornerback, but his play over the past year and a half has been on a completely different level. After being selected first-team All-Pro last season, Gilmore has returned and perhaps even upped his level of play this season.

The Patriots’ defense as a whole has been absolutely dominant. Their pass defense ranked second in the league heading into Week 7 and their 42.6 passer rating against was more than 20 points higher than the San Francisco 49ers who ranked second in the NFL.

At the heart of their supremacy has been Gilmore.

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We may not have seen a string of play so dominant from a cornerback since Darrelle Revis‘ legendary 2009 season. Gilmore has been that good.

However, Anderson’s recent numbers when paired with Darnold have been quite impressive. As Gang Green Nation’s Michael Nania points out, Anderson has hauled in 31 catches for 484 yards and four touchdowns in his last six games with Darnold starting under center.

Those are some impressive numbers, ones that would put him on pace for an 83-catch, near-1,300-yard season when projected over 16 games.

Unfortunately, history isn’t exactly on Anderson’s side.

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In four career games against Gilmore, Anderson has managed just nine catches for 59 yards and no touchdowns. Even worse is the fact that Anderson hasn’t even totaled over 25 games in a single game against Gilmore.

That doesn’t exactly bode well for their meeting this Monday.

It is worth noting that only once did Anderson have Darnold throwing to him and that was in Week 17 of last season when he put up his best numbers against him — three catches for 24 yards.

And if Anderson is going to make an impact, he’ll first have to have the time to complete his routes. New England’s 10.6% sack rate was first in the league entering Week 7 and the Jets will be down both Kelechi Osemele and Kelvin Beachum with both Alex Lewis and Ryan Kalil dealing with injuries as well.

That spells bad news for a Jets offensive line that has struggled for the majority of the season. If Darnold can’t find time in the pocket, it might not even matter how Anderson fares against Gilmore.

The Jets will face a tall task when they take on the Patriots this week, but perhaps no player has it worse than Anderson.

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But if he could find a way to beat Gilmore deep even just once — much easier said than done — then the Jets may just find a way to steal a big-time divisional victory.

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