Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. got off to a hot start last season, his first in Detroit after signing as a free agent. He caught 36 passes for 656 yards and four touchdowns through his first eight games. That production faded the second half of the season, and he finished with 55 receptions for 930 yards and four scores.
Disappointed by his first season as a Lion, Jones went to work this offseason. He enlisted the help of receiving legend Randy Moss, and the two watched film and worked out to try and find small ways Jones could better his game and be more consistent through the course of all 16 games in his second season in Detroit.
All that work has paid off.
Jones has been good through Detroit's first 11 games, and he's become one of the best deep threats in the NFL along the way.
Jones is coming off a Thanksgiving Day performance where he caught six passes for 109 yards and a couple scores. Jones scored on his NFL-best fifth receiving touchdown this season of 20-plus yards (43 yards in fourth quarter).
On the season, Jones ranks second in deep receptions (10) and yards (328), and first in touchdowns with five, per Pro Football Focus statistics.
"I think he's just in terms of another year in the system, having a better feel for what we're doing," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of Jones.
"I think he came back, just kind of worked on all of the little details that he needed to improve upon and I think it's paying off for him. Now, we've got a ways to go yet, but he's been playing well consistently."
Jones has 44 receptions for 731 yards and eight touchdowns through 11 games. His eight receiving touchdowns are second only to DeAndre Hopkins' nine.
The Lions have five games left to decide their playoff future. Expect Jones to continue to play a big factor for the Lions' offense down the stretch.