Return man extraordinaire Jacoby Jones arrived in March via free-agency after spending the last three years in Baltimore. He will immediately make the San Diego Chargers one of the most dangerous clubs on special teams; and if it’s one team that could improve in the kick return category, it’s the Bolts.
The Chargers ranked 28th last year in kick return yardage at 577, Jacoby Jones in 2014 – 978 yards himself. In fact, the Chargers longest kick return last year was 35 yards! That’s only five yards shorter than Jones’ average for the entire 2014 season (30.6).
He’s had at least one TD return in the past three seasons and three total return TD’s in 2012. The Chargers coincidentally haven’t had a kick return TD since ’12 when Michael Spurlock took one back 99 yards. (Michael Spurlock people)
Not only does Jones have the ability to take it to the house on every kickoff, but with his average hovering around 30 yards a return, it will set up Philip Rivers and co. with a shorter field to work with. Look for more TD drives and field goals from the Chargers offense this year.
But Jacoby isn’t just here for returning kicks, he can also stretch the field as a deep threat on offense. It wasn’t long ago that Jones beat the Bronco’s secondary on a 70-yard pass with just a minute left to tie the game in the AFC Divisonal round.
Just when you thought he couldn’t get any more clutch, Jones then returns the second half kick-off back 109 yards for a TD in Super Bowl XLVII, breaking the record for longest TD in Super Bowl history. He also caught one pass, a 56-yard TD reception. The man possess the clutch gene. The San Diego Chargers will surely find him useful this 2015-16 season.
While he’s far removed from his best receiving year, which came in 2009 as a member of the Houston Texans, defenses still have to account for him or he’ll make you pay. A deep threat that like will certainly open up some passing lanes underneath, where Keenan Allen and Steven Johnson will be making their living.
Yeah it’s true that Rivers isn’t the greatest deep ball thrower and Jones had Joe Flacco flinging the ball down the field, the fact remains he has to be given attention. Hopefully Rivers still has a few deep balls in that arm of his to get it down the field to Jones.
He’s the explosive playmaker that the Charger’s lacked last year. Of course controlling the tempo of the game is an important factor and something Rivers has excelled at in his career, but with so many weapons, I’m hoping to see some drives that only last two plays before we’re in the end zone.
With his playoff experience and blazing speed, Jones is going to be an absolute delight to watch on special teams and on offense this season. I don’t think I’m alone in being excited to see what he has in store this year.
Nick was born and raised in San Diego where he became a Chargers and Padres fan, attending numerous home games throughout the years with his dad. He then went on to attend college at the University of Arizona. There he earned his degree in marketing and now lives in San Francisco where he dreams of the the sunny beaches of San Diego. Bear Down.