Hard Knocks come to mind when Jaguars WR Zay Jones thinks of the Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

Wide receiver Zay Jones has become an important piece in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense this season and in Week 12, he played a key role in their upset victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Next on the Jags’ schedule is a Detroit Lions team that Jones describes as tough and gritty.

Jones met with the media ahead of Week 13 and said Detriot is a gritty opponent based on what he’s seen on HBO’s Hard Knocks, via Mia O’Brien of 1010 XL:

“Based on Hard Knocks, grit”, Jones said. “Their coach, I like him. I think he’s well-spoken, a lot of energy. Former player as well, so he knows what it takes. A lot of great athletes that they have, especially on offense and defense respectively, so yeah, tough team, tough opponent for sure. It should be an interesting matchup”.

Later in the exchange, Jones describes Detroit’s defense as physical:

“I think they’re really physical, they swarm to the ball well. They play well as a whole, pretty collectively. Their DC is an aggressive play-caller, he’s not very afraid of anything. Former players will still have a lot of respect for him, what he’s done in this league, and the way that he’s handled this season with his team so far”, Jones said.

The Lions’ offense ranks eight in points scored so there’s no doubt they’ll present a tough challenge for the Jaguars’ defense. On the other hand, Jones might have gone a bit too far with his praise for their defense. After all, they rank dead last in points allowed and total yards.

Jones didn’t catch a touchdown against the Ravens but he was on the receiving end of the two-point conversion that helped the Jaguars win. Moreover, he posted career-highs in both catches (11) and receiving yards (145). A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, the former East Carolina Pirate has appeared in 10 games with nine starts this year and has hauled in 58 receptions for 562 yards, the second-most on the team, with one touchdown. Here’s the pass he caught from Lawrence that sealed the deal in Week 12.

The Jaguars might need to get in a shootout to beat the Lions in Week 13

This writer doesn’t think Jones’ production is not currently on par with the three-year $24 million deal he signed in free agency but his performance against the Ravens showed what he’s capable of doing.

The Jaguars will need another big game from Jones if they want to keep up with the Lions’ high-powered offense. The over/under for the game sits at 51.5 points, so bettors think this will be a high-scoring game and the Jags will need to crack the scoreboard early and often if they want to find themselves trailing.

With six games to go, the Jags aren’t out of the playoff picture just yet. But to keep their postseason hopes alive, they will need to dispatch the Lions and for that to happen, Jones and all of the Jacksonville offense will once again need to show out.

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