Robby Anderson made sure the rest of the NFL knew that he could be a weapon. The Panthers definitely found out.
Anderson shredded Carolina’s secondary for six receptions, a career-best 146 yards and two touchdowns on Nov. 26, 2017, at MetLife Stadium. It was his fifth straight game with at least one touchdown and earned the Jets receiver some phone calls and texts from players on other teams.
“I feel like it built my resume, showed what I can truly can do,” Anderson said. “Across the league and throughout the world, it opened a lot of people’s eyes. I heard from a few guys throughout the league, veterans, good players that recognized what I did. I started to show that I can be an elite player.”
Anderson, whom the Jets signed as a rookie free agent in 2016, was reluctant to call it his most memorable game because Carolina won. But he acknowledged that he enjoyed “big plays I’ll never forget” in that game.
He’s probably not alone.
On Anderson’s first touchdown, he beat double coverage for a 33-yard completion from Josh McCown. Anderson pulled the ball down in traffic with James Bradberry and Mike Adams converging from each side.
Anderson burned safety Kurt Coleman with an out-and-up route for his second TD. After Anderson ran into the end zone with no defenders in sight, he laid down, placed the ball under his neck, folded his arms and acted as if he were sleeping.
You probably remember that.
“I made some not easy plays,” Anderson said. “But it was a consistent game. The plays I made kept us in the game. It was good from an offensive standpoint. It kept us flowing, kept us moving down the field, kept us in a close game.”
Among the players Anderson heard from after his first and only two-touchdown game — he had just two TDs during his rookie season — was Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery. He gave Anderson words of encouragement and advice.
“He said, ‘That’s what you got to do. You got to keep that going,’ ” Anderson said. “He was just giving me feedback of how to maintain and get to the key points to the next level as a pro.”
Anderson took the phone call to heart and had another big game the following week, catching
a career-high eight passes for 107 yards in a win over the Chiefs. It was the first and only time in his career that he had back-to-back 100-yard games.
He finished 59 yards short of 1,000 for the season and is primed to prove he can be a No. 1 receiver for the Jets.
“I picked up some things and I carried it over to the next week,” Anderson said. “I was on a stretch and I started to really crank up and it felt good. It was helping our offense because I was becoming a down-the-field threat, opening up things for the other side of the field to run, and I think it was good overall as a team. We just didn’t finish.
“But you can’t dwell on the past. Living in the past in life and in football, it’s a trap. You just got to learn from things and move forward and not let it happen again. That’s what we struggled with last year. But it’s over with.”
The memory of that special game remains, though.