Why Jeremy Kerley is so important to the Jets offensive success
Many people will look at this draft and say “Oh but the Jets screwed up because Richard Sherman went one pick later.” However, I’m here to tell you they did not screw up and Kerley is one of the most important players on this Jets team.
Kerley played in 12 games during the 2013 NFL season (really 11, because he left early in the 2nd quarter of the Saints game and the game plan was to run the ball). Let’s take a look at what the Jets’ offense did without Kerley in the lineup.
The Jets were 0-4 in the 4 games Kerley did not dress in and the Jets’ offense scored a total of 30 points in these games, which averages out to 7.5 points/game (ouch). Also, Geno Smith was particularly brutal without Kerley in the lineup, going 36/90 (a completion % of 40) with 0 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Those are absolutely horrendous stats for Geno and it goes to show the lack of playmakers this Jets team had on offense last season.
Now let’s look at the difference in the Jets record & Geno’s stats in the 12 games Kerley played in. The Jets went 8-4 with Kerley in the lineup and Geno was 211/353 (Basically a completion % of 60) with 12 TD’s & 12 interceptions, very respectable numbers for a rookie QB with very limited weapons. With Kerley in the lineup, Geno’s completion % was 20 percent higher and the Jets won 75% of those games.
If this isn’t a clear indication of how important Jeremy Kerley is to Geno and this team’s success then I’m not sure I can take your football opinion seriously. Furthermore, I did some research into Kerley’s receptions since I felt like he was always moving the chains for our offense. Kerley had 43 receptions during the 2013 season and 31 of those catches went for either a 1st down or a touchdown. 72 percent of Kerley’s receptions were either a 1st down or a touchdown, which is an insane statistic.
Digging deeper into Kerley’s receptions shows he is also a 3rd down converting machine. The Jets as a team were tied for 12th in the league in 3rd down conversion percentage at 39 % (90/231 to be exact). Out of those 90 3rd down conversions, 18 of them came when the football was thrown to Jeremy Kerley. That means 20% of the 3rd down conversions the Jets had come as a result of Kerley despite him only playing in 11 ½ games. So the numbers are certainly there to show why Kerley is such an important piece to not only the Jets success on offense, but to the success of hopefully the long-term answer at the QB position Geno Smith.
Jeremy Kerley is much more than a role player to this offense, he is a guy who understands defenses and knows where to go to move the chains. Jeremy Kerley is one of my favorite Jets because of this and I will be very disappointed if he is not resigned sometime in the near future as he is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season.