Cumberland was the star of the first half for the Jets against the Atlanta Falcons, catching three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. He didn't add to his total in the second half, but his early contributions sparked a big win on the road for the Jets.
A player who has long been viewed as someone with potential, Cumberland has never been able to consistently put it all together on the field. Before this game, in his three-plus seasons in the NFL, he'd caught just 36 passes for 467 yards and three touchdowns.
Bart Scott said he couldn't cover him in practice and called him a future star three years ago, as noted by Chase Stuart of Pro-Football-Reference:
3 years ago, Bart Scott said Jeff Cumberland was a future star; said he couldn't cover him in practice. I assumed that was bc Scott was slow— Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) October 8, 2013
But the Falcons of 2013 don't necessarily represent the benchmark from which to judge fantasy receivers. Before Monday night's game against the Jets, Atlanta had given up more fantasy points to receivers than all but three NFL teams.
The Falcons are clearly struggling on defense, as Bleacher Report's Erik Frenz alluded to after one of Cumberland's big receptions:
Falcons are swinging at shadows in the dark. Jeff Cumberland had no one on him.— Erik Frenz (@ErikFrenz) October 8, 2013
While Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill recover from their injuries, Cumberland will continue to get opportunities to play. However, he isn't likely to have as much success in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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