The Bengals, to a man, love seeing wide receiver Marvin Jones back to form.
The speedy receiver missed all of last season due to foot and ankle injuries, which disrupted an ascension that saw Jones score 10 touchdowns in 2013, his last previous healthy season.
As the Bengals' third receiving option, Jones ranks 24th in the AFC with 321 yards receiving on 24 catches (37 targets) for 13.4 yards per catch to go with three touchdowns.
That puts Jones on pace for 853 yards on 63 catches with 8 TDs. He has five catches going for at least 20 yards and 13 receptions for first downs -- not a bad comeback season.
His NFL single-season bests are 51 catches for 712 yards (14.0 average) in 2013.
Jones had his second 90-yards-plus receiving game Sunday at Buffalo with 95 yards on a career-high nine catches with a touchdown. He had five catches for 94 yards against Baltimore, with a a score.
"When Marvin gets the chance, he continues to make plays," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.
As a former defensive coordinator, the coach can speak to how difficult it is to game-plan against many offensive weapons like the Bengals have.
"We’re trying to put pressure on the defense by making them defend the whole field. With more coverage to A.J. (Green), we know we’re getting one-on-one looks at other spots," said Lewis. "They play certain coverage that require us to throw them inside. The quarterback (Andy Dalton) has been doing a good job of orchestrating where the ball should go to what we perceive as a weakness on the opposing defense."
Dalton agreed, saying Jones has been integral in integrating the passing attack.
"We spread the ball around a lot. A lot of different guys are getting the ball. And, like I’ve said throughout the time, you never know who is going to have the big week. Marvin had a bunch of catches (against Buffalo)," Dalton said. "And so, for us, it’s nice to have the ability to spread it around to a bunch of different guys because we have a lot of playmakers on this team."
Captain Andrew Whitworth, who anchors the offensive line at left tackle, said Jones brings unique energy to the offense while dovetailing his talents with the rest of his emerging teammates.
"The cool thing about this locker room, when its successful, is every one of these guys are tremendous people so you’re always so happy for them when they have an opportunity to shine, because all of them are just as quality off the field as they are as on," Whitworth said. "Like I said, they’re young players who are all coming in to their own time, and their own opportunities, and we’re all doing it at the same time, and that’s the cool thing about it."