If it were all about him, then what transpired on the field Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the Panthers beat the Jets 35-27, would be labeled a massive success.
Wide receiver Robby Anderson put on the best performance of his short career, catching six balls for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns. The speedster extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to five, becoming just the seventh player in franchise history to do so.
Approaching halftime, the Jets offense — which had mustered just three points — showed little promise of being able to compete with Carolina’s stout defense. Then Anderson exploded.
With 1:12 left in the second quarter, Josh McCown heaved a 33-yard deep ball to the end zone for Anderson, who was blanketed by two defenders. The 24-year-old managed to snatch it and get two feet down inbounds for his first touchdown of the day.
He struck again on a broken play in the third quarter. Flushed out of the pocket, McCown directed Anderson to go long and lobbed a 54-yard bomb over the secondary.
“Hats off to Robby,” the Jets quarterback said. “He’s a stud, man.”
With each game, that becomes harder to dispute.
But of course, it isn’t all about Anderson — a point the undrafted second-year player found himself defending to the media in a desolate locker room afterward.
Following his second touchdown, which made it 17-12 Jets with more than 20 minutes remaining, Anderson did some boasting to the camera.
“Hey, will y’all vote for me for the Pro Bowl, man, please?” he was shown asking.
When asked about his bit of self-promotion, Anderson insisted his intentions were “nothing bad.”
“I was just excited,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to come off in a bad way. [It was] just excitement, spur of the moment. Everybody knows that I’m all for this team in every aspect. I make my life decisions based off my teammates. Everything I do is about being the best I can for my teammates, so it wasn’t anything malicious or anything like that or trying to come off in the wrong way. I was just excited in the moment.”
But coach Todd Bowles wasn’t exactly pleased to hear how that excitement was expressed.
“I didn’t see it, but if that’s true, that’s not smart football,” coach Todd Bowles said. “We don’t want selfish players on this team doing selfish things.”