BGA: Receivers – Is this some kind of test?

Of all the head-scratching decisions that the Jets’ regime has made over the years, activating Santonio Holmes as a gametime decision, putting him in the starting lineup and then only using him on one other play all game has to be one of the most bewildering.

On the first play, Holmes ran a full-speed go-route and Geno Smith was sacked well before he could get a pass off due to Brian Winters getting beaten. Holmes re-appeared on a running play in the second quarter and hustled to make an attempted cut block on a play where Chris Ivory gained seven yards. You couldn’t criticize his effort on either play, so the only thing that makes any sense is that he must have shown displeasure at being removed from the game immediately after each one and they benched him for that reason. If that’s not the case, then it’s not like any of the other receivers had earned extra reps, so there is no obvious explanation other than the fact that he’s not really part of their plans, in which case, why start him? Why even continue to have him on the team?

Making this all the more baffling is the fact that Kellen Winslow only played 17 snaps. Winslow was probably their most efficient player, catching three passes on three targets. Again, I can understand why a player on a one-year deal might start to lose playing time as the team falls out of contention and gives more reps to the players it anticipates will be back next year, but that’s not exactly conducive to an ideal working environment.

Again, though, it’s a major departure from the end of last year, when guys like Yeremiah Bell, Bart Scott and Eric Smith who were never expected to return, were still getting major reps with younger options like Antonio Allen, Demario Davis and Josh Bush sitting out.

Are they not even trying to win any more?

Of those that did play, David Nelson saw the most action, catching three balls on eight targets. He could have had a much bigger day as he was open on two of those incompletions and had one bad drop late in the game. He did have one good downfield block.

Greg Salas was targeted four times, with one of those being the interception just before half time as he was blanketed by Dannell Ellerbe. His one catch went for no gain and, as noted in the offensive line section, he did have a first down play overturned.

Stephen Hill finally broke his string of games without a catch by making a first down on his only catch of the day, a two yard gain. He was targeted three other times, including the interception by Matt Simms, where he was not open.

Jeff Cumberland had just one catch and has just 49 yards since week seven. On one play, he seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball. He’s also gone backwards as a blocker, missing a block on the edge on one play and getting beaten inside on another. I can understand why the team is giving him reps over Winslow, but he isn’t exactly responding as they’d have hoped.

Zach Sudfeld has shown some promise as a pass catcher, but his blocking is still not that impressive. He got blown up into the backfield on one play. He did manage to make a good lead block on a short yardage conversion from the fullback position.

Finally, Josh Cribbs was injured on special teams early in the game and played just one snap.

Next up…we move onto the defense, where at least the Jets can do something right…