Marvin Jones Wins Against Man Coverage On Monday Night Football

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An Film Review Of Marvin Jones Week Nine Performance In Lambeau.


Marvin Jones struggled to get open against man coverage through the first couple weeks of the 2017 season. This was an issue that held the Lions receiver back from reaching his full potential last season, often disappearing in games where he faced a big physical corner. In these games, press-man would drive him off his route every play, making it very difficult for him to get open to even receive a pass.

However, the past three weeks Jones has been on a tear with nineteen catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Surprisingly, much of it has come against man coverage. While Jones has not been getting much more separation than previous weeks, he is making the most of his opportunities when quarterback Matthew Stafford throws the ball his way. This was especially evident in arguably his best game of the year this past week, against the Green Bay Packers.

How Marvin Jones Defeated Man Coverage Against Green Bay

Typically, the best way to defeat man coverage is utilizing routes with hard cuts to create separation from the defensive back like slants, outs, ins, comebacks, and digs. Works best with receivers who run really crisp routes. While Jones does run nice routes against off coverage, when he is pressed at the line of scrimmage against man, it has typically thrown him off his route.

In this game, he was getting better releases at the line of scrimmage, but the coverage was still tight. Marvin was not able to win by creating separation, but by superior ball skills and it showed up big against the Packers.

Marvin Jones’ First Touchdown

Jones first touchdown came against PFF’s number three rated corner in coverage heading into this game: Devon House. Jones runs a nice stunt to get outside positioning, but House is right on his hip right until Jones jumps for the ball. Granted this was a nearly perfect throw by Stafford, but the Lions receiver high points the ball perfectly and hauls in the contested catch.

Jones’ Second Touchdown

Again Jones faces tight man coverage, but this time his stunt is sniffed out and struggles to get a free release at the line of scrimmage. Packers corner Demarius Randell is stride for stride with him  when Stafford releases this ball.

But the receiver keeps his outside positioning and as long as the throw is good, he has a shot to win it. Stafford places the ball beautifully in the corner, with Jones high pointing the ball well and holding on to secure the touchdown.

13-Yard Reception on Dig Route

21-Yard Reception on Comeback Route

These two plays are less impactful, but still moved the chains and helped keep drives alive in this game. In the top clip, he is lined up against House again and runs a dig route near the first down line. House trails well and end up in a good position to knock the ball out, but Jones snatches the ball from the air before he has the chance.

The bottom clip comes against rookie cornerback Kevin King whose size would usually give Jones fits. The corner starts out with great positioning against Jones until he breaks off the top of his comeback route. Jones stops on a dime at his break, taking the rookie out of the play for an easy completion for a first down.

What Else Went Right For Jones In This Game

While his main presense was helping the passing game fly past the Packers, Jones did solid blocking runs that went to the perimeter in this game. One of his best blocks of the game helped the Lions spring to a 14-0 lead.

The Lions’ second touchdown of the game came on a toss play to Ameer Abdullah. Marvin works with fellow receiver, and former-Packer, Jared Abbredaris to create the space he needed to score. They combo the outside linebacker and outside corner to seal edge perfectly, helping propel Ameer Abdullah to the easy score.

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