EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When Stephen Hill learned that the last time the Jets had two receivers with more 100 yards in a game was Week 12 of the 2006 season -- and those receivers were Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles -- Hill laughed.
“That was back in the day,” Hill said and exhaled. “2006, I was in 10th grade.”
With the 22-year-old Hill’s 108 receiving yards on three catches, and 154 (five receptions) for Santonio Holmes, the Jets had two stellar performances from a receiver crew that took a lot of criticism for drops against the Patriots.
“We’ve come far, mentally,” Hill said. “We’re starting to understand each other and we’re starting to understand what (offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg) wants. We just need to come on out there and do what we need to do.”
It was a focus of the receivers last week, during practice and after with extra reps on the Jugs machine. Hill capitalized in the second quarter with a 51-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Geno Smith. Then like a bookend in the fourth quarter, Holmes caught a 69-yard touchdown pass. Smith threw for 331 yards in the 27-20 win for the Jets.
“We worked the heck out of it all week,” Ryan said. “We knew if we could get our protection to hold up, we’d have some opportunities down the field. That happened today.”
The team had slot receiver Jeremy Kerley back as well. Kerley, who missed the Patriots game with a concussion, had two early first-down conversions -- an 18-yard catch and a 24-yard catch.
“I just felt like, third down is like my down,” Kerley said. “So any time third down comes up I want to keep the chains moving, so I get ball hungry.”
In fact, the last time the Jets had a single receiver with 100+ yards it was Kerley, from Week 7 of the 2012 season against the Patriots. Hill said that he hoped the receivers have a lot more games like that this season.
“I’m definitely going to smile about this tonight,” Hill said. “All tonight.”