Stephen Hill: How Rookie's Emergence Helps the New York Jets

Thomas AttalCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2012

Stephen Hill celebrating a touchdown
Stephen Hill celebrating a touchdownRich Schultz/Getty Images

Against the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets threw three times as many touchdown passes as they had throughout the entire preseason. Apart from the accurate day put forth by Mark Sanchez, the biggest reason for this revival of the passing game is Stephen Hill.

In his first NFL game, Hill caught five passes for a total of 89 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Besides the impact his game had on fantasy leagues, Hill's big day completely changes the landscape of the Jets' passing game.

The Jets' offense had been stalling due to the apparent lack of a threat downfield. That's not quite so true anymore. Stephen Hill is 6'4", scored an impressive 11'1" in the broad jump, obviously has good hands and runs the 40 in just 4.36 seconds. He clearly possesses the physical tools to be dangerous.

He also has enormous potential when his fellow wide receivers are taken into account. Jeremy Kerley is most effective when running routes over the middle in order to open up space down the field. Initially, Kerley was supposed to open space for Santonio Holmes to be the deep threat.

However, Holmes is only 5'11" and had the most impact when running routes over the middle of the field, using his speed to break single coverage and gaining yards after the catch. He isn't most suited to contest jump balls and double coverages. With Hill now in the picture, Santonio can do what he does best. 

The Jets are in possession of a trio of wide receivers with varied enough sets of skills to be dangerous all over the field. Hill was hugely impressive by himself in Week 1, but he means even more to the team as part of a unit.