The rain was falling and then it was swirling at MetLife Stadium, so it wasn’t easy to catch a slick football in the wind-whipped deluge. It reminded Robby Anderson of when he was a kid, playing out in the fickle Florida weather.
“Growing up in Florida, it rained on and off throughout games, Little League, flag football,” said Anderson, who was born in New Jersey and raised in Fort Lauderdale. “So it’s just embracing it from that perspective and just blocking out the rain and just focusing on the ball.”
The Jets (3-5) came from ahead to lose for the third straight game, falling to Atlanta, 25-20, Sunday. But Anderson’s focus, speed and playmaking skills stood out among the soaked crowd down on the field.
The second-year receiver from Temple was targeted six times by Josh McCown and caught every pass thrown his way, including one when he blew by cornerback Desmond Trufant and hauled in a 24-yard touchdown. Anderson had the first 100-yard game of his NFL life, coming in at 104, with a long gain of 32.
“I would’ve felt a whole lot better if we would’ve came on top,” he said.
He showed his frustration over losing the previous Sunday at Miami, throwing his helmet near the end of a 31-28 loss after the Jets led 28-14 in the fourth quarter. This time, there was no tantrum while a 17-10 second-quarter advantage and a 17-16 fourth-quarter lead turned into yet another defeat. But the frustration was bubbling again.
“We’ve been right there and we’re just not finishing out,” Anderson said. “So it’s been tough, honestly. It’s just growing pains. We’re going to get over this hump.”
Anderson averaged 17.3 yards per catch, but the former undrafted free agent didn’t sound satisfied.
“I always feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Anderson said. “I keep that chip on my shoulder because I know there’s a lot of people that doubt me. And on top of that, I’ve got something to prove to my teammates. I want them to know that they’re going to get my all and my best, day in and day out.”
“He’s an explosive guy,” receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “The speed that he has to stretch the field, guys got to respect it. And they better start respecting it quick because he’s hit a couple of people over the top.”
“Robby’s just continuing to step into the kind of next realm,” McCown said, “that next echelon of the player that we believe he can be.”
The Jets’ next try at winning comes Thursday night against visiting Buffalo.
“It’s a big game,” Anderson said. “We’ve got to get this ‘W.’ ’’