It’s all because of Zay Jones: The key that unlocks the Jaguars offense

• WR Zay Jones returns after injuries and off-field issues to make the Jaguars whole again
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

As expected, Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Calvin Ridley went off against the Titans Sunday like we said. But was it all them? In the NFL, certain players can shift the dynamics of a game, profoundly influencing their team's performance. One such standout personality for the Jacksonville Jaguars is wide receiver Zay Jones.

His presence on the field has significantly contributed to the team's offensive strategy, and his absence due to a knee injury has been deeply felt. Lawrence tends to favor him when he's available but let's talk about how truly influential JOnes is on the field for the rest of the offense. 

The knee injury that has kept Jones off the field has been a significant setback for the  Jaguars, impacting their offensive performance. The team's conversion rate and red zone efficiency have dipped, marking among the worst in the league. This decline underscores Jones's pivotal role on the offense, and his absence has undoubtedly left a gap that the team has struggled to fill.

Zay Jones takes Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars offense to another level

When Zay Jones is on the field, Lawrence is ultimately more efficient. When Zay Jones gets at least one target, the Jaguars are 3-0 and average 30 points per game. Lawrence averages a quarterback rating of 108.7, with 2.3 touchdowns and 273 yards per game, a completion percentage of 72.5% percent when Zay Jones gets at least one target.

Without Jones, Lawrence has an average rating of 85.3, a 66 percent completion rate, .85 touchdowns, and 223 yards per game. Simply put, Lawrence is an elite quarterback with Zay Jones on the field and a mediocre one when Jones is not. It's just Lawrence who benefits from having Jones back. The whole offense sees a significant performance boost when he's in the fold.

Calvin Ridley is elite when Zay Jones is in the Jaguars lineup

Interestingly, Jones' presence on the field seems to have a positive impact on Calvin Ridley's performance. Jones stretches the offense with his go routes, although this translates into more targets for Ridley. He sees an average of nine targets per game with Jones on the field six when he is not. Ridley's three 100+ yard games came when Jones opened up the defense, and three of Ridley's four touchdowns this season during those games. 

The bottom line is that Zay Jones is not just a platoon slot receiver; he is the integral piece the Jaguars offense has been missing. He was out against the Texans in that shocking Jaguars defeat in Week 3; I don't think it will go the Texan's way this week, thanks to Zay Jones. 

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