Robby Anderson's been hot and we provided a few more number nuggets on just how hot in **Friday's 7 Points**. But Jermaine Kearse was sizzling on the opposite side of the line from Anderson as well against the Panthers.
How hot was he? For starters, Kearse had seven catches for 105 yards. It was his first 100-yard game as a Jet, the fourth of his career, and his first since going 11-for-110 for Seattle in the 2015 playoffs against, as luck would have it, Carolina.
But there's more. Kearse moved the chains on every one of his seven receptions (including his late 3-yard TD catch, which counts as a first down). When was the last Jets receiver to have at least seven catches with every one gaining a first down? We have to go all the way back to 2002, when Chad Pennington, who earlier had moved in as the QB starter, found Laveranues Coles seven times for 114 yards and seven first downs in the 31-14 win at Detroit.
One final Kearse note: He caused Panthers corners to commit three penalties. In the first quarter, Daryl Worley was flagged for hands to Kearse's face. In the second half JK drew pass interference calls against Kevon Seymour and Worley.
The last time a Jets receiver forced three first-down penalties in a game was Brandon Marshall at Miami last year, but only two were walked off. Similarly, Jeremy Kerley caused three penalties with two marked off at Minnesota in 2014. The last receiver to cause at least three enforced penalties was Santonio Holmes, who got four at Pittsburgh and three at Miami in back-to-back games in 2012.
It's not official, but that gives Kearse 10 first downs vs. Carolina, the most by a Jets WR regardless of number of catches since Holmes' 10 (seven receiving, three on penalties) in that Dolphins OT win.
The Long and Short of ItWhen it comes to Chandler Catanzaro's field goal tries this year, more have been forties than shorties. His 40.5 yards/FG attempt is fifth-longest in the NFL and his 39.3 yards/FG is sixth-longest. So he was happy to come on for a 19-yard try that gave the Jets their last lead over Carolina at 20-18 early in the fourth quarter ... although he said ideally there's no difference between his long kicks and short ones.
"Every kick's the same so I treat each one the same way," he said. "I go through my routine the same way, I try to strike the ball the same way, I attack it the same way. That way, everything's the same whether it's a 19-yarder of a 57-yarder."
Nevertheless, inside-the-20 FGs have earned their reputation as "gimmes," since the league's kickers have hit 197 of them consecutively since the last miss, by the Texans' Kris Brown (a block, actually) in 2002.
The 19-yarder got us to thinking: What is the shortest field goal in Jets franchise history? Working our way back-back-back, the last 19-yarder was struck by Nick Folk at Buffalo in 2010, the last 18-yarder by Mike Nugent in the 2006 opener at Tennessee.
We could keep slowly passing the milestones, past the early Nineties, when field goals were last routinely spotted 7 yards behind the snap instead of today's 8 yards, beyond 1973, when the goalposts were last located on the goal line, not the end line.
But let's cut to the chase. The shortest field goal in a game in franchise history is 7 yards.
"Seven yards. That would be nice," Catanzaro mused. "I'll do height drills sometimes, I'll get like 5 yards away and try to work on my height. But I'd never heard of a 7-yard field goal."
The kick came in the 1969 AFL playoff game, when the Jets' got to fourth-and-goal inches away from paydirt and Jim Turner came on for the 7-yarder to tie the game at 6-6 early in the fourth quarter. The Jets of course went on to lose at windy Shea that day. 13-6. To Kansas City. Which just happens to be visiting the Jets 48 years later on Sunday.
Here's hoping the Jets punch in all their third-and-inches at the goal line against the Chiefs tomorrow before Catanzaro has to come on for an 18- or 19-yarder.