Bengals Silent Standout: Week 2

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Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones (82) makes a catch for a touchdown a during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are now 2-0 and still sit atop the AFC North after a nice 24-19 victory over the San Diego Chargers. We’ve looked at the highs and lows from the game, named the Bengals’ weekly MVP and expressed optimism for the upcoming season, so now here’s a look at a player who had a huge impact against San Diego but never received the attention he deserves.

Marvin Jones came up huge for Cincinnati in Week 2, catching two passes for 48 yards, one of which was a sweet 45-yard touchdown bomb. While Jones’ production wasn’t incredible, the touchdown grab he made (pictured at the top of the article) was a huge difference-making play in the Bengals’ win. Not only did Jones’ deep catch demonstrate Andy Dalton‘s renewed arm strength, it reminds Bengals fans of the rapport last seen between Dalton and Jones in the 2013 season. Jones takes the top off of opposing defenses, and with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert already posing huge threats in the passing game, Jones’ re-emergence is just icing on the cake.

We discussed how Dalton’s vast arsenal of receiving weapons is one of the NFL’s best last week, noting that Eifert’s emergence would open up space for Marvin Jones to make plays–and look what happened. With Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard (the NFL’s best running back duo) gashing opposing defenses on the ground, A.J. Green drawing double-teams and Eifert posing as a threat who is too tall for corners to cover and too quick for linebackers to cover, opposing defenses are already too spread out to compensate for Marvin Jones, the Bengals’ speedy deep threat.

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Opposing defenses will have to pick their poison when facing Cincinnati this year–if they double-team A.J. Green, they become vulnerable against the run; if they don’t double-team A.J. Green, he’ll burn them deep. There’s really nothing that opposing defenses can do to stop Tyler Eifert due to his combination of speed and size; they can only try to contain him. With Gio Bernard and Rex Burkhead posing as threats in the receiving game as well, the Bengals offense simply has too many weapons for opposing defenses to prepare for. When opponents don’t have the defensive personnel to stop the run game, an elite receiver and a top-five tight end, they have to overextend. When they overextend, Marvin Jones is going to beat them deep. It’s just going to happen.

Jones’ emergence makes the Bengals offense one of the NFL’s most dangerous units. He’s only Cincinnati’s fifth-best offensive player (only including skill positions), yet his impact will be huge for Cincinnati in 2015. We saw Jones catch 10 touchdown passes in 2013, and we know he’s capable of taking over a game (as evidenced in his four touchdown performance against the New York Jets in 2013); Jones makes the Bengals a great football team.

Marvin Jones has me excited for the 2015 season and hopeful for a potential Super Bowl run. Who else is with me? Let me know who you’re excited about on Twitter @CHoweSports.

Next: Bengals Silent Standout: Week 1

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