Jacoby Jones Pays Quick Dividends for Baltimore Ravens: A Fan's View

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Baltimore Ravens improved to 5-1 with a Week 6 home victory over the Dallas Cowboys thanks to a 108-yard kickoff return by WR Jacoby Jones. The usually stout Baltimore defense has struggled this season placing an extra burden on the team's offense. The Ravens' offense has been up to the task to this point.

Baltimore was a dropped pass by WR Lee Evans from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl last season. The Ravens traded a 4th round draft pick to Buffalo for Evans prior to the start of the 2011 season. Evans suffered an early season injury and contributed just four catches for 74 yards in his lone season in Baltimore. Seeking a dependable third receiver to replace the inconsistent Evans the Ravens signed former Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones as a free agent.

Jones has made an instant impact in Baltimore. In addition to his record-tying kickoff return against the Cowboys Jones has also contributed in the passing game. Through the Ravens' first six games Jones has 11 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. Of Jones' 11 receptions ten have gone for first downs.

Jones' stats may not be eye-popping but he has already surpassed the production of Evans. Jones gives Baltimore an additional deep threat, along with WR Torrey Smith, which has allowed WR Anquan Boldin and TE Dennis Pitta to do some damage over the middle. Jacoby Jones has also solidified the punt returner position, a spot that gave Ravens' coach John Harbaugh fits in 2011.

Over the years Ravens fans have become accustomed to the team fielding a top flight defense and inconsistent offense. As the once great defense has succumbed to age and injury the Baltimore offense has made a stark improvement. The addition of Jacoby Jones, along with the continued maturation of QB Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith, has given Ravens fans the explosive offense they've been craving. After years of stalled drives and baffling play calls the Baltimore offense currently ranks among the top ten scoring offenses in the NFL, averaging 26.8 points/game in 2012.

*Information gathered from http://www.nfl.com

Dan Soderberg is a Baltimore native and avid Ravens fan. You can read some of Dan's other work at http://dadstimeout.tumblr.com/ Follow Dan on Twitter.

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