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Disappointing with an Asterisk: Corey Davis' first season with the NY Jets

NY Jets, Corey Davis
NY Jets, Corey Davis / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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J.C. Jackson, Corey Davis
New England Patriots v New York Jets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The NY Jets did not help Corey Davis succeed

First, at the absolute best, Davis saw shaky play at quarterback all season.

Unfortunately for Davis, both games that a Jets quarterback performed objectively well in were two of his missed games, as he was sidelined during Mike White's slaughter of the Bengals and Josh Johnson's strong performance against the Colts.

Zach Wilson's performance at the start of the season was lackluster outside of a few impressive throws against the Titans, and the non-Wilson quarterbacked games outside of these Bengals and Colts matchups were pathetic.

I think this point could also help explain Davis' drops, a problem he has not seen before this season. As we have seen the past few weeks, Wilson throws passes with almost too much zip.

A specific play against the Eagles comes to mind. When throwing a swing pass to Ty Johnson early, Zach Wilson threw a bullet to the running back. The ball hit Johnson's hands and fell to the ground.

Most fans would blame Johnson for this play, and for good reason. But Wilson is also to blame here, too. Yes, the pass was on target. But accuracy is only one component of a "catchable" ball.

When a QB zips a swing pass from just five yards away, the ball's sheer velocity is both unexpected and hard to handle for a pass-catcher. This example is meant to make a critical point that Jets fans miss when evaluating players: "drops" are not always just the fault of the receiver.

Likewise, Davis was likely credited with a "drop" against New England in Week 2 when the ball hit him in the hands and then fell into a defensive back's hands.

However, this ball was very poorly placed by Wilson, in addition to be thrown too hard. The fact that Davis could even get his hands on it was impressive. While Davis is not free of blame here, fans should give him the benefit of the doubt after such a dubious throw.

Next, no other skill position player on this offense was worth paying attention to while Davis was healthy. Before rookies Elijah Moore and Michael Carter hit their strides late in the season while Davis was battling injury, they were both borderline non-factors to start the season.

Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims were also hardly worth much attention, and Zach Wilson's scrambling ability was not seen this year.

That just leaves Davis on the outside for defenses to gameplan against. While a player should not be absolved merely due to lackluster talent around him, defenses truly had no worry when facing this team outside of Davis.

Also, this is a completely new staff and scheme for Davis. Early struggles may not be expected but are arguably tolerable for a short time. Davis never really got the chance, though, to showcase his ability after adjusting to a new locker room and offense.

One similar situation that I think is worth examining is Allen Robinson's start in Chicago.

Also a possession receiver, Robinson had several strong seasons in Jacksonville before heading to Chicago in 2018. In his first year with the Bears, though, he saw little success relative to his skill.

Robinson started slowly in his first season with Chicago and then battled injuries that kept him below 100 percent all season. Sound familiar?

Well, following this slow first season, Robinson would go on to record over 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns with the Bears in 2019. Jets fans can look to this example with the hope that Davis can rebound from this disappointing season with a Robinson-like comeback in 2022.

Finally, Davis' injuries were unfortunate happenings of this year that should not be given too much weight. Prior to this season, Davis played in 56 of 64 games, averaging just two missed games per season.

The majority of his missed games came in Davis' rookie season, too, as the wideout missed just three games from 2018-2020. The injuries this year are arguably an anomaly.

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