Through the first five weeks of the 2013 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals hadn’t given second-year receiver Marvin Jones too much work in the passing game. In the first five games of the season, Jones was targeted a total of just 12 times which resulted in just nine receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown.
In weeks six and seven, though, Jones started to see a little more work. Combined, he saw 11 targets that ended up in seven receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Even with a recently increased workload, though, it would have been hard to predict the outburst that Jones had in the Bengals week nine win over the New York Jets.
Jones led the Bengals with eight targets in the game, which was surprising in itself. What was more surprising, though, was the fact that he caught all eight passes that were thrown his way to lead the team in receptions and yards with 122. However, that doesn’t take into account the most impressive part of his performance, which would be his four grabs that went for touchdowns.
There are two humungous takeaways from Jones’ big game. First, it shows that quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ offense is at its best when Dalton is spreading the ball around to more than just A.J. Green. Secondly, it shows that Dalton now has faith in the abilities of Jones as a pass-catcher going forward.
Obviously you would be a fool to expect four-touchdown performances every week from Jones, but he can certainly be a guy that helps open up this Cincinnati offense. Defenses now know that Jones is a player that can burn them if they don’t pay him the proper attention, which could aid the causes of Green and the Bengals’ running game. Ultimately, Jones had the game of his career this Sunday, but it could be the start of a breakout season as well.