For the last five years Jacoby Jones has played for the Houston Texans, most would say he has underachieved, never turned into that explosive receiver opposite Andre Johnson. At 6'2" 212 lbs and the speed to blow the top off coverages, he has the intangibles considered to be a good weapon on offense. The last two seasons he has averaged 537 yards and 2TD's. In his career, he has gone over 50 receptions once (51). Caught 6 TD's in 2009. Last season he had 31 Recs, 2TD's, 512 yards, and averaged 16.5 ypc. Offensively he doesn't have eye popping numbers. Special teams is where he does his work but recently he is commonly known for the two fumbles in the playoffs against yours truly.
What is it about this guy that the Ravens felt compelled to pay him a generous $7mil over a 2 year period.
Lets talk about protecting the ball which is most important in this league. He had two huge fumbles in the playoffs which most would say got him released. What about before the playoffs, did he have fumbilitis? Receiving the ball he had zero fumbles all year. Returning punts he had zero fumbles during the regular season. I believe its safe to say he just had a bad game.
As a punt returner last year he was one of the most prolific returners in the league. Jones led the league in punt returns for more than 40 yards (5) and tied for third with returns more than 20 yards (7). Out of 49 attempts he only fair caught the ball 7 times. Shows the guy can think fast and knows what he wants to do with the ball. Our best returner for the last couple years have been Lardarius Webb, which has done a solid job. Although, sometimes I thought the fair catch signal was used prematurely last season. Last year he had four returns for more than 20 yards and one return for more than 40 yards, fair caught the ball 20 times out of 30 returns. Of course there are many things that impact a return, mainly blocking, but Jones stats clearly shows he is superior. Every year we have a top 5 defense. One thing that has been much overlooked is how often we make teams punt. Ravens defense were second in the league in success on 3rd down. Field position will increase considerably with the addition of Jones.
The Houston Texans passing offense has been up and down since Schaub has signed with them in 2007. He only played a full season 2 out of 5 seasons. Last season started with a twist when Andre Johnson went down in Week 4 with a knee injury and would miss the next 9 out of 12 games. Then Schaub would end his season early week 10 on IR, then Matt Leinert thought it was his time to shine but could not finish the game due to injury. Now TJ yates has been called upon to finish the season. When these catastrophic events took place the Texans became a run first offense which led the league in rush yards per game and second in the league in rush attempts per game. Just to recap, #1 receiver gone, one of the most prolific passers gone, and a amped up run offense. Jacoby Jones who would normally be used to change coverage because of his speed, was asked to anchor the pass offense to make way for the run game. Some thought he would step up to the challenge with Johnson going down. But its mighty hard to show you can show up being the only vertical threat on a run first team with a third string quarterback throwing to you mostly on bootlegs.
From the outside looking in I think Houston will miss him, and considering the variables Jacoby didn't have a fair shot last year and was cut prematurely. I think the Ravens noticed and saw a gem. I like the signing and I think he will clear his name by seasons end.