EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Having a full complement of receivers ended up making a big difference for the New York Jets, who had Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. available at the same time for the first time since Week 4.
The Jets defeated the Oakland Raiders 37-27, their first win in four weeks and the first week back for Kerley. In his first quarter back, the slot receiver had the first touchdown reception from Geno Smith since Week 7 with a 25-yard catch.
"I just up and got it," Kerley said. "It felt like backyard football. I knew it was going to come to me based on the coverage. [Smith] threw it up and it seemed like it stayed up there forever. I caught it when I was coming down. It was a good throw, a big catch and it got us some points."
That was the start of a strong offensive performance, with Winslow and Holmes both contributing big catches as the Jets gained steam. The Jets won the game and are still technically in the hunt for a post-season berth.
"If anyone's down right now they should probably be slapping themselves in the face," Holmes said. "Seriously."
Winslow speculated that more no huddle offense might have helped the Jets. Winslow had wondered why he wasn’t playing more, and capitalized on the 19 plays he saw out of a possible 58. The snap totals are unofficial.
"We’re all playmakers and we need more time together I guess," said Winslow, who had three catches for 61 yards.
Holmes (41 snaps) added 3 catches for 55 yards. The receiver has been hit or miss with a foot and a hamstring injury, but said he felt fine on Sunday. Kerley, who did not wear padding on his elbow, said he took contact but it wasn’t as painful as he anticipated. Kerley played in 27 snaps.
"We looked a lot better," Winslow said.
Smith was asked if having the receivers back together made a difference, but said that wasn’t the only reason.
"Well, it’s great to have those guys back and to have them in the rotation," Smith said. "But that’s not the reason for the mistakes that were made in those three games and any of those games. It all comes down to my decision-making and accuracy."