Brandon Marshall preferred to talk about how much his teammates did Sunday to help the Jets secure their fifth straight victory, a 26-20 overtime decision over the New England Patriots. But when asked about his part in the win, Marshall said yes, he was proud of himself, too.
Marshall, the 6-4, 229-pound receiver who was traded to the Jets by the Chicago Bears in March, had eight catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. That gave him an NFL-record six seasons with at least 100 receptions. He has 101 catches for 1,376 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns this season. With his first reception Sunday, he broke a tie with Al Toon and became the Jets’ all-time leader for catches in a season.
“I’ve got to say that is special, being the only guy to do that,’’ Marshall said of his NFL record. “My first year [with the Denver Broncos], I had Rod Smith and Jevon Walker in front of me, and I was just a rookie. I just wanted to make the team. My second year, I had 100 catches and that was the standard, and that’s all I cared about. That’s probably why I get so [ticked] when the ball is not coming to me, because I felt that was the norm.’’
There were a few more achievements for Marshall, who has been selected to go to his sixth Pro Bowl. When Eric Decker caught the winning touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick in overtime on Sunday, it marked the eighth time this season that Decker and Marshall had caught a touchdown pass in the same game, an NFL record. Between them, Marshall and Decker have 24 touchdown catches this season, extending their team record for a pair of teammates. The 100-yard receiving day for Marshall was his ninth of the season, tying him with Don Maynard for the franchise record.
“He played big,’’ coach Todd Bowles said. “He stepped up in a big game. He made some tough, unbelievable catches with guys draped all over him.’’
Marshall’s contributions helped the Jets take control of their playoff destiny. The Jets’ victory over the Patriots, combined with the Steelers’ loss to the Ravens, means the Jets will make the playoffs if they beat the Bills in Buffalo next week.
If they do, it will be another achievement for Marshall: He has never played in the NFL postseason.