Matthew Stafford and Marvin Jones hooked up for nine touchdowns last season for the Detroit Lions, with Jones setting personal bests in receiving yards and yards per catch.
They formed one of the NFL’s most potent duos through the air, ranking sixth among NFL.com’s top QB-WR duos, posted Tuesday.
Jones finished with 61 catches for 1,101 yards — good for an 18.0 average — and joined Golden Tate (92 catches, 1,003 yards) as 1,000-yard receivers Stafford had at his disposal. They helped the ninth-year quarterback boast a career-best passer rating of 99.3.
For Jones, it was a rebound of sorts. Though he had a career-best 930 receiving yards in 2016 — his first with the Lions — a large chunk of that came in the first four games. He didn’t reach 100 yards receiving in his final 13 games, and Jones wasn’t happy with how he finished, particularly when it came to dropped passes.
Last season was much different. Jones’ receiving yards ranked ninth in the NFL, while his touchdown catches tied for fourth.
“The football world at large didn’t give enough credit to either Matthew Stafford or Marvin Jones for their incredible seasons,” Matt Harmon of NFL.com writes. “The duo mastered its connection in close quarters after some lulls in the players’ first year together in 2016.
“Stafford was one of the best tight-window passers in 2017, and Jones was his top weapon. The Lions wideout led the league by a country mile with 529 yards gained on tight-window receptions, with no other player clearing 300. Jones led the team with a 34.1 percent share of Stafford’s intended air yards, while (Tate) did his work in the short areas of the field.”
Central Michigan product Antonio Brown was part of the top-ranked duo, teaming with quartertback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.