Stats & Info: Braylon Edwards

AP Photo/David ZalubowskiBrandon Marshall (left) and Jay Cutler both were drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006.
Only three players have had at least 1,000 yards receiving each of the last five seasons: Larry Fitzgerald, Roddy White and Brandon Marshall.

For Marshall, his first two 1,000-yard seasons came when he was paired with QB Jay Cutler with the Denver Broncos. From 2007-08, Marshall had 206 receptions (only Wes Welker had more) and his 2,590 yards ranked third behind Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne.

In 2008, Cutler targeted Marshall a league-high 179 times, 33 more than any other QB-receiver combination. That’s the most times a QB has targeted a player in a single season in the last four years.

Marshall and Cutler have been reunited with the Chicago Bears, a team that hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002.

In fact, since the 1970 merger, the Bears have had a total of seven 1,000-yard seasons posted by receivers. (Booker and Curtis Conway are tied for the most with two.)

In his three seasons in Chicago, Cutler's leader in receptions among wide receivers is Johnny Knox with 133, which ranks 43rd in the NFL among wide receivers. (The Bears leader in receptions the last three seasons is running back Matt Forte with 160.)

However, one area that Knox has proven to be Marshall's equal is on deep routes. On throws over 20 yards, Marshall has been targeted 68 times, with 24 receptions (and three drops) and four touchdowns over the last three seasons. (In 2008 with Cutler, Marshall was targeted 25 times on throws more than 20 yards downfield, with seven receptions, 235 yards and one TD.)

Knox has been targeted 18 fewer times than Marshall on throws over 20 yards, and still has 22 receptions (and only one drop) and six touchdowns.

One flaw in Marshall's game is drops. Since 2008, his 26 on-target drops are third most in the NFL behind Dwayne Bowe (37) and White (31).

Marshall also has caught only 12 of his 64 end zone targets the last four seasons. That’s the second-worst rate in the NFL behind Braylon Edwards. (Marshall caught five of 15 attempts from Cutler in 2008.)

Jets new-look offense key to season

August, 21, 2011
With the New York Jets coming off consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances, fans are hoping 2011 will finally be the year their team returns to glory.

Forty-two seasons have come and gone since Joe Namath’s legendary guarantee and ensuing victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III. If this is truly the year the Jets break through under Rex Ryan, they will have to do so using new looks on offense.

With the loss of free agent Brad Smith to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets will likely shift away from the Wildcat this season. Last year, only the Miami Dolphins used the formation on more plays, while Smith was responsible for the only passing touchdown thrown from the Wildcat across the NFL.

The Jets also parted ways with veteran wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards during the offseason, while signing free agents Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress.

Mason and Edwards each led his respective team in targets on passes outside the numbers last season, but Edwards provided much more of a deep threat. That could open the door for Burress to be a factor on the outside, or perhaps the Jets will throw the ball inside more this season.

The defense will surely be strong once again. New York’s base defense held opponents to the lowest passer rating allowed against 3-4 formations last year (74.5), and the team’s vaunted secondary tied for the NFL lead in passes defended when five or more defensive backs were on the field last season.

With the defensive side considered a given, Mark Sanchez and the offense will ultimately need to adapt to offseason changes if Gang Green wants be in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl on February 5.

Jets may be better off without Edwards

September, 21, 2010
EdwardsIf New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards is unable to play this weekend, what will the effect be on the Jets offense? Quarterback Mark Sanchez completed less than 54 percent of his passes as a rookie last year, but is up over 60 percent through two games this season. And that could improve even more WITHOUT Edwards.

The Jets had only three players who were targeted more than 26 times last season, and Edwards had the lowest catch percentage of the three. Jerricho Cotchery caught 60 percent of the passes thrown his way, while Dustin Keller hauled in more than 56 percent. Edwards caught exactly half of the 70 passes that were intended for him as a Jet.

And with Sanchez being second in the league in interceptions thrown last season, expect an improvement in that area as well. Only two players in the entire league were the target on more of their quarterback's interceptions than Edwards was last season. And since the beginning of 2008, only Calvin Johnson (22) has seen more picks on passes thrown his way than Edwards (19).

In fact, Sanchez had a higher passer rating when targeting 10 different receivers last year than he did when throwing the ball Edwards’ way.

On top of all that, only one player – Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe with 23 – has dropped more passes since the start of 2008 than the 21 that Edwards has had go through his hands.