Robby Anderson climbed into the stands and looked out into MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, outstretching his arms after scoring the Jets’ third touchdown of the day.
Fans screaming in his face and patting him on the head, Anderson had just given the Jets a 27-3 lead over the Raiders.
Anderson finished with four catches on five targets for a game-high 86 yards and the touchdown in the Jets’ 34-3 blowout. He averaged 21.5 yards per reception and gave Oakland’s defense fits.
The 26-year-old receiver was coming off quiet games against the Giants and the Redskins, when he combined for two receptions for 17 yards in back-to-back wins.
“Before, it wasn’t really anything he was doing,” coach Adam Gase said. “He was doing a good job of getting open. For whatever reason — we couldn’t get the throw to him or the read took [Sam Darnold] somewhere else first — I just think it worked out right for him today.
“He really has been doing a good job of staying with it. Today, it finally paid off.”
On a third down early in the second quarter at Oakland’s 43, Darnold ignored the wide-open space in front of him when he could have run for a first down and connected with Anderson in the middle of the field for a 31-yard gain, setting up a 35-yard Sam Ficken field goal to give the Jets a 13-3 lead.
Anderson said that the biggest difference between the Jets’ 1-7 start and the last three games has been the team’s accountability for each individual job. Anderson’s chemistry with Darnold has grown, even if the results were limited before Sunday.
“I practice with him week in and week out, and I know what he can do,” Demaryius Thomas said of Anderson. “It’s just about taking advantage of his opportunities. He can run the whole route tree, he can flat-out fly and he’s a good teammates I’m happy for him.’’
With Sunday’s performance, Anderson now has 445 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think it’s good momentum,” Anderson said. “Regardless of who it’s against, we need to win. But, you know, it feels good to come out and put up a win like that against a very good team like that.”