Why 2011 Has Been a Nightmare Season for Santonio Holmes

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystDecember 19, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18:    Brian Rolle #59 of the Philadelphia Eagles attempts to tackle Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets as he catches a 25-yard touchdown pass from  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Week 15 performance of New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is a perfect microcosm of the mess that has been his 2011 season.

The sixth-year veteran from Ohio State reeled in four passes for 40 yards and his eighth touchdown of the year (although he also picked up a 15-yard penalty for taunting on the play).

But the defining moment of his afternoon was the first quarter fumble that was scooped up by Philadelphia defensive end Juqua Parker and returned for a touchdown in a 45-19 win by the Eagles.

It's been that kind of year for Holmes, who entered the season as the top option in the New York aerial attack, but who has suffered through any number of issues both on and off the field.

On the field, Holmes has yet to top 100 receiving yards in a game after doing so five times over the past two seasons. He's on pace for the lowest yardage total of his career, and while he does have a respectable eight scores, his 12.9 yards per reception is the lowest total he's managed in his career.

Off the field, Holmes took part in an ugly war of words with offensive lineman Brandon Moore, who took Holmes to task after Holmes repeatedly and publicly criticized the Jets offensive line,

Moore said of Holmes, "he's obviously got the green light to evaluate every position on the team. I just didn't think captaincy entailed that. I've never seen a captain do that. That's not leading. That's not being a leader. It actually fragments the locker room. It's not productive."

While the two have since mended fences, the issue cast a huge pall over the Jets locker room for some time.

Regardless of the reasons for this swoon, the fact is that Holmes hasn't done a whole lot to earn that fat contract extension he received before the season began.

If the Jets are hoping to right the ship and make a run at the playoffs, then Holmes needs to shake off this nightmare, wake himself up and start producing like the player that topped 1,200 receiving yards for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009.

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